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Photonics and Physics Exploration Workshop

Tuesday, March 2, 2004

Organized By
Vitesse Re-SkillingTM Canada Inc.
Algonquin College
Partnering to Articulate for Student Success

Hosted By
Photonics Engineering Technology Programs
School of Advanced Technology, Algonquin College
Institute for Microstructural Sciences, National Research Council Canada

Although the importance of technology education is well recognized, there is a growing concern at the educational institutions that enrollment in technology courses are far below the expected level. Statistics show that female students in particular are reluctant to go for technology education. To promote the importance of technology at the high school level, 9 district school boards from the Eastern Ontario region have teamed up under an umbrella organization known as Partnering to Articulate for Student Success (PASS). One of PASS' mandates is to ensure increased enrollment into technolgical courses at the levels of grade 11 and 12.

PASS has approached Vitesse to design and develop fun-filled, hands-on, technical projects in different areas of electronics for students in grade 10. The aim of these activites was to get students interested in technology such that the resulting effect would be more students enrolling in technical courses at the grade 11 and 12 levels. Thus, Vitesse developed a one-day, Photonics and Physics workshop, which includes hands-on experiments at Algonquin College and also laboratory tours at the National Research Council Canada's Institute for Microstructural Sciences (NRC-IMS).

To launch a technology exploration program for high school students in order to encourage them to take courses that may eventually lead them to a technical profession.

Expose grade 10 students to the practical world of engineering through fun and challenging hands-on projects. This will help ensure greater enrollment into technology courses in grades 11 and 12.

Target Audience
Technology teachers and grade 10 students from selected high schools in Eastern Ontario

Click HERE to view the program at Algonquin College

Click HERE to view the program at NRC-IMS

Evaluation Snapshot

Based on the responses given by the teachers who participated in the event and also completed the evaluation survey, many of them felt that it was an excellend and enjoyable introduction for students into the fields of photonics and physics. One teacher said that "it was a real eye opener for students." Almost all of the teachers responded that they would recommend this program to the school board as an important education excursion for students. Most of the teachers praised the organization of the program.


Overall, it was a successful event. Students had the opportunity to observe the potential career and post-secondary education pathways that lie ahead of them. They had fun learning about technology through the fun-filled experiments designed by the Photonics team from the SAT and they were able to ask questions and interact with the researchers in the field.
Pictures from the Workshop


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