Looking into the future: Talented students bring science into local schools

In September 2015 a new SPIE Student Chapter of the University of Oulu has organized its first outreach event. Members of the Student Chapter visited the Oulu Steiner School to share the exciting science of light with the youngsters. This visit under the aegis of the International Year of Light (www.light2015.org) was intended to show importance of light in day-to-day life and present key photonic areas in science and industry.

Ms Olga Bibikova and Ms Anna Reint demonstrate creation of new colors from red, gran and blue light beams.


Most talented doctoral students from the Optoelectronics and Measurement Techniques Laboratory and SPIE Student Chapter advisor Dr Alexey Popov showed a colorful presentation of the International Year of Light opening ceremony in Paris. They especially highlighted the role of the Finnish light designer Kari Kola (www.valoparta.com) in the ceremony.

The nature of light and its manipulation with lenses, prisms, mirrors and fiber optics, as well as major applications of lasers in medicine and industry were presented in a way to encourage children to think like scientists. In addition, the phenomenon of Northern lights (Aurora borealis), fascinated microscopy pictures and photo-electric effect were shown and discussed. During the demonstration by using the experimental kits provided by SPIE the children explored the laws of light reflection and refraction, created new colors from red, green and blue light beams, studied formation of shadows and use of focusing and defocusing lenses.

Finally, a short quiz about rainbow, colors of the sky, speed of light and basics of human vision was carried out with a great children's enthusiasm.

Lukasz Surazynski and schoolchildren with the Grand Prix for the quiz.


The organizers of the event received an extremely positive feedback showing the interest of the schoolchildren and their teachers in such activities. Enjoyable learning will induce children's interest in science, in particular, in photonics and attract attention of parents and good and talented students to this exciting research area.


Last updated: 23.9.2015