Outreach brochure website

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STEM 15 Photonics Science Show 16 Workshops Young Minds 18 Highly talented 20 Broad audience 21 EUROPEAN PROJECTS


Light2015 22 Gophoton! 24 Others 26 UPCOMING 27 CONTACT 28



THE PHOTONICS EXPLORER An intra-curricular photonics kit designed for lower by B-PHOT for lower and upper secondary school studentss across Europe. Each kit contains a class set of generic, durable and versatile optical experimental components for a class of 25-30 students. This is supported by a didactic framework.

The Photonics Explorer is specifically designed to integrate into and enhance and complement existing European secondary school science curricula. The kit is distributed to teachers only in conjunction with teacher training courses. Excite Youth for Engineering Science and Technology EYESTvzw is a Brussels based non-for-profit organization dedicated to ‘Excite Youth for Engineering, Science and Technology’, founded by the VUB and is currently responsible for the distribution of the Photonics Explorer program throughout Europe. Over 2500 kits currently distributed EU wide reaching over 125.000 students every year! The Photonics Explorer is available in already 13 4

languages, Bulgarian, Czech, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish! What is in the box? 10 aluminium mirrors, 20 polarisers, 10 colour filter sets, 10 LED modules, 10 sets of lenses, 10 foils with slits, 10 diffraction gratings, 5m polymer optical fibre, 10 eyesafe lasers and 1 DVD including the didactic framework. Educational modules for lower secondary level: ‘Light signals’, ‘Colours’, ‘Lenses and telescopes’ and ‘Eye and Vision’. Educational modules for higher secondary level: ‘Making light’, ‘Polarisation’, ‘Diffraction and Interference’ and ‘A scientis’s job’.



2500 Over 2500 kits currently distributed EU wide reaching over 125.000 students every year!


I appreciate the possibility to do a lot of experiences with simple instruments involving all students!

More than 2500 kits distributed thanks to our 26 LAPs! 26 Local Associated Partners (LAPs) are responsible for the teacher training and distribution of the Photonics Explorer in a particular country/region. The LAP, preferably a non-forprofit organisation as well, look for sponsors in their region such

that the teachers themselves don’t have to pay for the kit. The LAP has also a background in sciences and has a good network of teachers.

Feedback on trainings. From time to time EYESTvzw organises a survey to all teachers who received a kit. The feedback we get is always positive.

26 Local Associated Partners distributing the Photonics Explorer kit in Europe.


The students are very curious and eager to work, they love experimenting on their own.


Get involved! Sponsoring the Photonics Explorer kit gives you the opportunity to help raise the next generation of scientists and engineers! The sponsor gets Europe wide publicity in a non commercial context. EYESTvzw manages the whole logistic chain for the sponsor thereby helping them to build on community and social involvement and contribute to the community where their employees live and work. The sponsors involvement is therefore an investment in the recruitment base for their future!

Teacher testimonials about the Photonics Explorer. Sponsoring Several sponsors already supported the distribution of the Photonics Explore across Europe. Visit the interactive map on the ‘Distribution’ page of EYESTs website to see the countries and schools supported by their sponsorschip. More information can be found on the website: www.eyest.eu



THE PHOTONICS INNOVATOR The Photonics Innovator was designed by the VUB in the framework of the European project, GOPHOTON! The Photonics Innovator contains components and supporting material that is tailored to the young society and community through workshops and photonics camps as well as high-achieving youngsters as well as companies, industry and entrepreneurs.


The Photonics Innovator is a collection of hands-on experiments organized in three different target groups. Youngsters The Photonics Innovator targets young minds between the ages of 10-18 years, providing sufficient experimental material for small groups of students to work together and experience the fascination of hands-on optics while enhancing their creativity and nurturing their enthusiasm for science. High-achieiving youngsters The PI kit targets high-achieving, gifted and talented youngsters encouraging them to build basic

INITIATE, INTEGRATE, INNOVATE Photonics systems that form the basis of Photonics technogies, including optical communication systems with fibres and LEDs. Entrepreneurs The kit targets industry staff and entrepreneurs to convey the role of and possibilities created by Photonics, while hosting team-building activities and showcasing their technologies.


The kit is very useful and versatile, at all levels! 12 



STEM SCIENCE • TECHNOLOGY • ENGINEERING • MATHEMATICS The four components of STEM are all individually very important. But the strength of STEM is the cooperation on common ground where science, technology, engineering and mathematics meet and are interlinked. And of course in common ground with the social and other sciences and professional fields. Which are also indispensable.

STEM platform To increase the attractiveness of STEM courses and professions and to enhance the coherence and interdependence, there is a need for a global partnership among all actors. The STEM platform drew up a charter that unites everyone who wants to testify how exciting, meaningful and socially importan STEM elements. VUB and EYEST, both signed the STEM charter and are willing to put in extra efforts to put STEM in the spotlight.

The STEM ambassadors stimulate interest and passion for STEM, increasing STEM literacy and expertise and make STEM courses and professions more attractive. STEM activities B-PHOT and EYEST are organising several activities to promote science, and especially the science of light. On the following pages, examples of several activities are listed.


Every year in October, ten young B-PHOT researchers team up for a lively and interactive Photonics science show, where they

More than 1500 from 45 secondary schools come to the VUB to particpate in one of the three photonics science show. The students are intro-

a quiz using their mobile phones. The student with the most correct answers receive a nice prize. Volunteers from the pub-

PHOTONICS SCIENCE SHOW showcase basic but important concepts of light and light technology. These concepts are illustrated with cutting-edge real-life applications.


duced to lasers for medical applications, LEDS for energy-efficient lighting, solar concentrators and 3-dimensional displays. During the show the students are invited to participate in

lic join our researchers on stage to assist them with experiments using infrared light, fluorescence, tuneable lenses, endoscopy, optical sensors, and much more.

“ ”

I learned a lot! I never knew science is so much fun!



WORKSHOPS FOR YOUNG MINDS At these Photonics workshops for young minds, pupils from primary and secondary schools are able to learn -through hands-on experiments- how to send messages to the other side of the world based on light technologies, what a laser does and how it works, and how to mix colours and generate white light. These workshops are organised during several occasions: •Campus visits •Girls&Boys Congres •Science Expo •Science Day

Photonics has many applications, one of which is the development of apps for smartphones and tablets. These use the camera of phone terminals to caputre meaningful changes in the light, such as the redness in the skin or even the heart rate.


HIGHLY TALENTED Some highly talented youngsters came to the university to follow three days of workshops on photonics. The youngsters came to the campus and got acquainted with photonics and some of its applications. They visited the laser lab and learned about the relation between photonics and French Fries. They participated in several workshop, they learned for example how a camera works and painted with light, learned what diffraction is and calculated the wavelengths of the different colours of an energy-saving light bulb.


BROAD AUDIENCE B-PHOT seizes every opportunity to bring photonics to the general public. Therefore B-PHOT makes sure to always be present with a few people at several events to demonstrate various experiments. Each year, young and old can discover the wonderful world of photonics on the “Day of Science” at the VUB campus in Jette, or the “Science exhibition” at Tour&Taxis. B-PHOT was even present at the open day of the Berlaymont building of the EU in 2015. Thousands of people visited their booth.


Thousands of people visited the booth of B-PHOT during the open day of the Berlaymont building.



EUROPEAN PROJECTS The outreach team of B-PHOT is founding member of ECOP, European Centres for Outreach in Photonics, and is involved in several European projects. In the framework of these European projects, B-PHOT is able to create awareness about photonics even more! Light and Light-based Technologies 2015.

LIGHT2015 was a high impact outreach and education project to promote the importance of photonics to young people, entrepreneurs and the general public in Europe during the international Year of

LIGHTtalks LIGHT2015 activities included LIGHTtalks, a series of inspirational events, which took place throughout the European union in different cities at different timies for the whole duration of the project in order to bring photonics closer to students and entrepreneurs. iSPEX-EU Another highlight of

LIGHT2015 was a community experiment on smartphone photonics where thousands of participants from all over Europe carrie dout optical measurements of the sky to yield information related to air pollution.


EYESTvzw was able to distribute 250 Photonics Explorer kits in 10 new EU countries thanks to LIGHT2015.


opportunities and growth potential that Photonics represents for society. GoPhoton! aimed to bring photonics closer to society and to inform the general public at large as to the ubiquitous and pervasive nature of Photonics in our lives. The goal was to make Photonics a household world, gaining recognition and support for the amazing

270.000 270.000 adults, adolescents and young children had the opportunity to discover a variety of fascinating aspects of light in the Atomium.


Exhibition The highlight of the project was the organisation of a “PhotonicSplash”. B-PHOT organised an informative, and visual experience-exhibition: “Discover the power of light!” Drawings of Frank R. Paul and visions of several animals were exposed. A custom-made screen along

the inside, covering 260° of the entire sphere was used as a projection screen to show a total spectacle.

Highlights of several “PhotonicSplashes” across Europe.

Very impressive! It’s like you’re part of the movie!


Outreach and dissemination Within the MEDEA project, EYESTvzw provides Phds with the techniques and skills to communicate with persons with different knowledge background, expertise, cultural level, and age by implementing different techniques adapted to the particular audience. The Phds received a training on the Photonics Explorer and are now supposed to organise at least 4 different work-


shops with the Photonics Explorer kit, for teachers as wel as for students. Children University In the Photonics4all project, partners are using the Photonics Explorer kit during children Universities. These activities are events which offer workshops and lectures for children during their school holidays. The workshops and lectures include hands-on experiments, com-

petition activities and educational games all based on the science of light. The photonics workshops and lectures are embedded into existing regional Children Universities to bring photonics closer to children and the general public.

UPCOMING SCIENCE SHOW & PHOTONICS CONGRESS Save the date and register quick! The next science show (spoken in Dutch) will take place at 24 and 25 October 2016. There will be 2 shows for the second grade and one show for the third grade of secondary

school. On Tuesday afternoon 25 October 2016 a Photonics Congress will take place. Register via: wetenschapsweek.be

AUTUMN CAMP VUB is organising an Autumn Camp for secondary school students on 3 and 4 Novmeber 2016 of the last grade. You will learn everything about the University and can participate to a high quality range of courses, as the course about Photonics.

Find out more about some upcoming events in 2016.

Registrations will be soon made available via: www.vub.ac.be SCIENCE DAY Science day is the largest science event in Flanders and Brussels. This event leads you to place where you’re never been before. You can discover new inventions and listen to professors and researchers. B-PHOT will also be present on campus Jette on 27 November 2016. More information on this day: http://www.dagvandewetenschap.be

PHOTONICS EXPLORER WORKSHOPS FOR TEACHERS If you would like to participate to a Photonics Explorer workshop, feel free to express your interest by filling out the form on the EYEST website. We will contact you as soon as a teacher training will be organised in your neighbourhood.

For more information about our activities, please visit: www.b-phot.org www.eyest.eu


Please contact us for more information:

Prof. Hugo Thienpont Director B-PHOT VUB hthienpo@b-phot.org

Ir Nathalie Debaes STEM/Outreach B-PHOT VUB ndebaes@b-phot.org

Pleinlaan 2, 1050 Brussel Vollezelestraat 46, 1755 Gooik www.b-phot.org 28 

Ing Tine De Pauw STEM/Outreach B-PHOT VUB tdepauw@b-phot.org