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Armenia is the next destination for the Photonics Explorer educational kit, thanks to the successful crowdfunding campaign of Tigran Baghdasaryan (postdoctoral researcher from B-PHOT Brussels Photonics team at Vrije Universiteit Brussel). He collected over 2700 EUR in less than 3 months aiming to provide – originally – 10 secondary schools in Armenia with the Photonics Explorer kit for photonics and optics experiments in the classroom.
Eyest (European coordinator and trainer for Photonics Explorer) committed to add 10 extra kits for free as soon as the target of the crowdfunding was reached. So today, in total 20 Armenian schools will receive their own Photonics Explorer kit for use in the classroom, with the educational material and teacher training sessions in Armenian.
With those Photonics Explorer kits, 5.000 young students will have the chance to work with a key technology and get inspired by the endless opportunities for innovative projects.
The Photonics Explorer is a ‘lab-in-a-box’, developed by VUB B-PHOT research in Brussels, for schools to give young bright minds the chance to experiment with lasers, LEDs, lenses, optical fibers and other high-tech components and actively learn about photonics and optics.
For the translation of the materials into Armenian, for the local distribution of the kits and for teacher trainings, Eyest is teaming up with Fiber Optics Communication Laboratory at the National Polytechnic University of Armenia headed by prof. Hovik Baghdasaryan. (Read more below)
The Armenian community has contributed from all the corners of the world, such as USA, Australia, Canada, Russia, Armenia and many countries of Europe. The goal was reached also thanks to the efforts from Grigori Eyramjyan, Aram Zeytunyan and David Meghavoryan from California, who received their PhD degree in disciplines closely related to photonics and who understand the importance of STEM activities in Armenian schools.
Everyone who donated more than 50$ is considered as Armenian Program Sponsor*, the organizers will inform all contributors about the progress making sure that every cent raised is well spent.
All contributions to offer even more kits are still welcome and can be done on generosity.com
About Photonics Explorer
Photonics Explorer is an educational kit, developed by the photonics research team B-PHOT at VUB (Vrije Universiteit Brussel), for students and teachers of secondary schools to discover the unique opportunities of photons and light technology during their school curriculum or through workshops. VUB B-PHOT is a leading international research group in photonics, bridging research, innovation and education with outreach STEM projects such as PHABLABS 4.0 and with the European Master of Science in Photonics at VUB (Belgium). The compilation, distribution and train-the-trainer workshops for educational staff is coordinated by Eyest vzw. (Read more below)
About Photonics for Armenia initiative and Armenian Program Sponsors
Photonic for Armenia is initiated by Tigran Baghdasaryan (postdoctoral researcher from B-PHOT Brussels Photonics team at Vrije Universiteit Brussel). Tigran travelled from Armenia to Belgium to start his Master in Photonics at VUB through the Erasmus Mundus programme, and finally settled in Belgium 8 years ago. His exchange experience combined with an insight look on the professional opportunities provided by a key technology such as photonics, he is convinced that more youngsters should have a chance to follow his path.
*The organizers are very thankful to Armenian Program Sponsors Aram and Shery Minasians, Gevorg Nahapetian, Ara Apkarian, David Meghavoryan, Mikhail Kulidzhanov, Ruben Zadoyan, Irina Veretennicoff, Levon Nurbekyan, Karapet Margaryan, Hayk Vardanyan, Evgeny Vanin, Aram Petrosyan, Sargis Zeytunyan, Hrachya Harutyunyan, Davit Hakobyan, Arus Keshishoghlyan, Vardan Baghdasaryan, Inessa Gasparyan and Karen Alaverdyan, Suren Eyramjyan, Hrayr Azizbekyan, Hovo Tamazian, Hayk Tamazian, Garegin Sargsyan, Tigran Bayburtsyan, Mher, Anna Antonyan, Sevak Abelian, Khoren Papazyan, Artur Martirosyan, Grigori Eyramjyan and Aram Zeytunyan.