Brussels Photonics Team B-PHOT and EYESTvzw present a new tool to engage, excite and educate youngsters for Science, Engineering and Technology! This new tool - The ‘Photonics Explorer’ educational kit, has been developed by B-PHOT in the framework of a European Project, with the voluntary efforts of over 40 teachers, scientists and experts in pedagogy from 11 EU countries!
While most outreach projects are designed as extra-curricular activities, the Photonics Explorer is designed to integrate seamlessly into the regular secondary school curricula across Europe. The kit equips teachers with class-sets of experimental material provided with supporting didactic framework. (worksheets, factsheets, teacher guides and multimedia) for 8 topics dealing with light and optics. The didactics is based on proven guided inquiry-based learning techniques with a strong emphasis on hands-on experiments done by students themselves. Students can enhance their scientific and analytical skills, relate abstract concepts to everyday technologies and hone their problem solving and critical thinking abilities. Thus the Photonics Explorer kit helps teachers to reach the educational targets set in their curricula while at the same time offering students the opportunity to work with up-to-date photonics technologies.
The Photonics Explorer has been tested with over 1500 students in 7 EU countries in the local language; Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Poland, Spain and UK. The impact of the kit has been scientifically evaluated by experts and it is seen that working with the Photonics Explorer raises the self-efficacy and interest of students in science overall. It also helps girls gain more confidence in their scientific abilities.
The Photonics Explorer is distributed to teachers completely free of charge, in conjunction with teacher training courses. The EU wide distribution of the kit is handled by EYESTvzw, a Belgium based non-profit organisation with the mission of raising the interest of young people in Science, Engineering and Technology by creating and dissemination educational programs, mainly to schools.
Currently, 11 EU countries are implementing the Photonics Explorer in secondary schools with sponsorship from European industry, organisations and goverments. Over 300 kits have already been distributed reaching 15000 students each year and over 75000 students in five years.
To find out more about the Photonics Explorer please contact Amrita Prasad, CEO-EYESTvzw on firstname.lastname@example.org . More information can also be found on www.eyest.eu.
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