Pueblo High School here in Tucson, AZ held their Science night once again. We’ve been presenters there in the past, and were happy to be back again with our favorite demos. The event was well attended. During a conversation I had with one of the organizers, we estimated somewhere between 200 and 300 high school students, not counting their families, were there.
We brought along a small army of demos, including my two favorites, the IR camera and the “laser radio.”
The laser radio is always a great demo. It has a plug to connect to your phone to play some music. It then takes that signal to a laser, which then encodes the data optically through pulse width modulation. A separate detector connected to speakers can then be placed anywhere on the table, and if the laser is on the detector, the sound comes out through the speakers. It is a great way to explain generally how optics is used in the internet. All participants are amazed when the beam is blocked and the music instantly stops.
Everyone who came to our table had a great time. We were voted one of the best tables, if not THE best, of the whole event. They’ve already said that they want us to come again next year, and we will be more than happy to come.
BENJAMIN CROMEY – UNDERGRADUATE STUDENT, UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA
Benjamin Cromey is pursuing his Bachelors in Optical Sciences and Engineering at the University of Arizona. As a member of the Optics Ambassadors and the Outreach Coordinator for the Student Optics Chapter, optics outreach is one of his passions. He participated in the 2012 IOU program with CIAN and has been working with 3D Holographic displays ever since.