|Among the #FacesofPhotonics: Student Leadership|
Workshop participants at SPIE Optics + Photonics
One of the many perquisites of being a student in the optics and photonics field is being able to pass along knowledge to those who will follow your footsteps in the future. Throughout the #FacesofPhotonics campaign, it became clear that current SPIE students thrive on educating a younger generation while simultaneously working diligently on their own academic careers.
In this post, we feature students who have educated others as well as themselves.
“I was visiting my hometown during South African National Week; I went to two high schools that are there, gave a public lecture about lasers and optics, and on career paths after high school. Most importantly, I motivated the scholars before their final exams trials.
In addition, Bell notes, “Our student chapter bought about nine textbooks to give to those scholars to share since they do not have study materials. The textbooks we gave as awards for answering questions based on the public lecture that was given.”
|Elizabeth Bernhardt and friend|
“It's the little moments that make life the very best,” Bernhardt said. “Our OSA/SPIE chapter created a laser maze; during the grand unveiling, there was a little kid who was super-afraid of the lasers. He was so worried he was going to die! I asked him if he could help me get to the other side to refill the candy bowl, and we worked together to get through the maze. When he realized the lasers wouldn't hurt him, he kept getting in line to go through the maze again. His mom had to drag him home after an hour or two, and he was crying!
“Another little moment I really liked was when a fifth-grade girl explained polarization to her clueless classmates. We had the kids make polariscopes. When the girl offered her explanation as to why the polarizers behaved the way they did, it was so thorough and so awesome that I took a video. I keep the video on my photo so I can watch it when science is not going well.”
“I got involved in optics and photonics back in 2010, as a bachelor student with the student chapter at my university. I was involved as an officer. That year I assisted at my first optics and photonics event and fell in love with optics when meeting this awesome community. Our chapter organized the first ‘Optics 4 Kids’ event, with a few experiments. It was the first outreach event of its kind at our university!
“When I graduated with my bachelor’s degree, I continued my studies at my university and started to study optics with a solar illumination project, the first project in non-imaging optics in our facility.”
“At our event, our chapter partnered with the astronomy club to do long exposure photography of the stars, and also with sparklers while teaching about different light phenomena. It was a great moment to see students and the general public coming together and sharing their knowledge and ideas all the while having a good time playing with lights, cameras, and lasers and enjoying free snacks. We got some amazing photos from it and lots of good memories!”