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The Science Show is a yearly event where B-PHOT, the center of expertise in photonics at Vrije Universiteit Brussel, welcomes over 1500 pupils and 120 teachers from 2nd and 3rd grade of secondary schools for an interactive Science Show on photonics.
During this two-days event on October 24 and 25, 29 schools participated in this educational show about photonics that explains the basic concepts of light technology. A team of passionate PhD researchers demonstrated real-life experiments about the origin of light, infrared light, fluorescence, tunable lenses, color mixing, endoscopy and optical fibers. Students took part at the show and assisted in the experiments on stage. During an exciting quiz they could test their knowledge.
A special Boys & Girls Congress allowed 60 participants to visit labs and follow workshops covering a broad range of themes such as light painting, 3D holograms with smartphones, a solar boat race, optical communication, the light labyrinth, apps and magical tricks with light.
Students got a closer look into the science of light and find out that photonics surrounds us everyday. Think of LED screens for smartphones or the newest Virtual Reality goggles. Delicious Belgian fries are often scanned by the light to reduce dangerous toxins in food. Cancer can be detected and treated faster through smart light-guided biopsy needles. The show aims to inspire future engineers for STEM educational programs that enable them to contribute to a lighter, brighter, and healthier world.
B-PHOT, the Brussels Photonics Team at the VUB, is an internationally recognized center of expertise in Photonics, the science and technology of light. Photonics integrates different scientific disciplines and plays a key role in responding to economic, environmental and social issues. Innovation and valorisation are key concepts that lead research in photonics to efficient solutions in cooperation with leading universities and the industrial landscape in Flanders, Europe, U.S.A., Australia and Asia.
The photonics team, led by Prof. Hugo Thienpont, has built a remarkable portfolio of research projects in fundamental, strategic, applied and industrial research. The advanced technology infrastructure ensures a complete supply chain in photonics. With the optical technology platform, the polymer optics pilot line and the large-scale optical measuring center with clean room environment (Photonics Innovation Center in Gooik) B-PHOT profiles itself as one of the leading centers in optical modeling, optical characterization, cost-effective rapid prototyping, and proof-of-concept prototypes of extreme optical components and systems.
Also in the context of STEM the research team commits itself to excite future generations for the most cutting-edge technologies and to contribute to a world full of light. Over 2500 educational Photonics Explorer kits were distributed to schools in Europe and 125 000 students annually get an introduction into photonics.
The B-PHOT research team counts 50 researchers in photonics and 20 technical staff. Visit www.b-phot.org for more information on education, research, valorisation and international programs in photonics.