Each Year, the ETH Zurich and the University of Zurich organized a large outreach event called Scientifica. In 2015, the topic was “Light”. As representor of the OSA/SPIE and EPS; we had a booth where the main activity was a big laser maze. In a dark room, laser were set up as in a bank/museum security system. Children had then the opportunity to try to go thought the maze without starting the alarm!
For this purpose the EPS money was used to build a proper, reusable laser security system. We have now a set of 8 laser and detector, easily connectable to a central alarm. We planned to reuse this experiment for future similar activities as the interest was really high. We were indeed one of the most visited both! People even had to wait to go through the maze…
In a parallel, we had some smaller game base on lasers (a kind of laser chess from an outreach kit) and some small experiments to demonstrate optics. We had a laser coupled to a fiber through a collimator and some ray optics demonstrations. This experiment were goo for the parents waiting for their children in the laser maze.
I was a large effort from our side to make a proper laser system that can be reused but thanks to the grant, we had the possibility this time to buy the requested quality components. We indeed already had a laser maze in 2013 but the systems was not reusable at all. So thanks!