The University of Southampton

ORC students successful in securing International Day of Light SPIE funding

Published: 24 April 2018
Interactive laser light show

Three Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC) PhD students from the Optical Photonics Society (OPSoc) have been awarded a SPIE (the international society for optics and photonics) Micro Grant for a programme of events as part of the UNESCO 2018 International Day of Light celebrations on 16 May 2018.

The first celebration of the International Day of Light will take place on 16 May 2018 with an official inauguration ceremony at UNESCO in Paris. A wide variety of local celebrations and activities will take place across the world to raise awareness of the many different ways light impacts society.

The Southampton group will be organising grassroots activities targeting school students and members of the public: An Outreach Masterclass (16 May)for 100 ‘gifted and talented’ local school students includes an interactive laser light show exploring the importance of light in industry, and three workshops where students can recreate the Pepper ghost illusion using a smartphone and build their own spectroscope.

An art competition (16 May) in collaboration with Cantell School will task students with producing a piece of art titled, “Why light is important in my life” and aims to bring creativity and innovation into STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects. Winners will be invited to star in a video promoted by Fun Kids radio.

A public panel session (17 May) will showcase applications of light sciences and technologies in the arts, education, industry and research, with a parallel poster competition running for participating students.

Angeles Camacho Rosales, President of OPSoc, says: “We are delighted to have won support from SPIE to organise these events as part of the International Day of Light. It is vital that we reach out to the wider community to share how much importance light has in our lives, and help encourage future generations of photonics scientists in the UK.

“I would like to thank the student officers who are leading these activities, who have contributed significant time, effort and commitment: Callum Stirling, project leader and coordinator; Andrei Donko, outreach masterclass leader; Neda Baktash, public panel session leader; and Kasia Grabska, art competition leader.”

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