April 13 2013 | Views: 2315
Kent and Medway
St Anselm’s Catholic School in Canterbury have been enjoying the help of STEM Ambassador Peter Kean at their weekly Physics Club. The club met once a week for students who were interested in enhancing their Physics knowledge. The students have been experimenting with different lenses, making a pinhole camera, making a simple camera with an array of lenses and even a working telescope! The club intends to continue with these Physics enrichment activities.
From STEM Ambassador Peter Kean:
Following a request from Miss Dos Santos at St Anselm's, we have been running the STEM club at St Anselms approximately once a week since last Autumn. The club kicked off with a presentation where I gave a general talk about Physics with some home-made demonstrations! (Static electricity, guiding light, Bernoulli's principle etc.). The core club members have been 4-5 enthusiastic students from years 10&11.
The brief from the teacher was to include some theory and experiments on lenses in the club since this is what the students would be moving on to in class. We began by making a simple pin-hole camera and then introduced a lens, demonstrating the benefits this brings to capturing an image. Most recently, the club have constructed a free-space optical link (audio link) based on a modulated LED and photo-receiver. Initially the range was limited to a few centimetres but by the addition of lenses, they have already increased the range to several meters! The aim now is to take the system out-doors and see how far they can communicate.
It has been very rewarding to work with the teacher, seeing the students gain an understanding of optics and light. Several simple experiments performed were described by the students as 'very cool'!! In today's world of advanced technology, it is very rewarding to understand the basic principles of how things work through some relatively simple experiments.
Peter has been involved in many STEM Ambassador activities including an LED lesson at Callis Grange Infant School, Building a Crystal Radio and the Solar Car Challenge. He has a PhD in laser physics and his areas of expertise include lasers, optics, fibre-optics and electro-optics. Kent & Medway STEM would like to thank Peter for his on-going support which was clearly appreciated at St Anselm’s Catholic School on this occasion.
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