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Outreach Overview
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Our Education Committee is developing exciting presentations for young people that promote careers in technology. The key to our strategy is the take-home demo, in the form of a theme packet. A basic understanding of these theme packets makes it possible for almost anyone to go into his/her child's school or after school youth group and conduct an interactive and interesting "lesson". At the conclusion of the presentation, a child takes home several theme packets and a 1 page color flyer that conveys the basics of the presentation to parents and siblings.

A typical presentation might require 45 minutes. In this time it is possible to go through 3 demos, complete with theme packets. It is important to "customize" the presentation with information about the presenter's background and involvement with technology. This may take the form of a viewgraph or two about the presenter's company or "technical hobby". The introduction should flow into and around the take-home demos.

We have worked hard to create theme packets that cost ~$1/ea in materials, excluding the labor needed to assemble them. The cost of presenting 3 demos w/ theme packets to a class of 25 students is therefore ~$75. Currently we have 6 packets (one not quite ready for release). One theme we have successfully explored deals with color in white light, using the rainbow peephole®, the liquid crystal patch, and the polariscope.

In what follows you will find a recent article from COM's Convergence Newsletter which gives an example of how to do a demo, using a few viewgraphs, an overhead projector, large sheets of polarizer, and a large sheet of encapsulated liquid crystal film. You will also find a set of viewgraphs, some of which you might want to copy, that give further information on giving an outreach presentation. Finally, there are extensive details on how to "build" your own theme packets, including sources for materials and pricing information. Theme packet labels may be used as is, or modified to your special needs. You can even print your own 1 page flyer .

Finally, our objective is to get technical professionals into the classroom. If you encounter impediments, please contact us at www-com@lle.rochester.edu.

SJ team site

SJ team site

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This site was last updated June 3, 2005.
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