Overview – Outreach 2015

The UCD OSA Student Chapter has been very active through 2015 promoting STEM and highlighting 2015 as the International Year of Light (IYL). They achieved this through presentations, workshops, demonstrations, panels, science festivals, class room visits, radio interviews (Prof Sheridan Interview & Laura Tobin Interview) and writing articles – Celebrating Light in Ireland (Photonics Spectra).

We wish to thank OSA for our grant and Optics Suitcase which enabled us to reach such a wide and diverse audience in 2015. We were able to reach about 14,000 people between our different public engagement activities. We used the grant to purchase materials, some reusable and some as (low cost) giveaways such as, diffraction rainbow glasses, DIY LED badges, DIY UV bracelets etc..


We also loved the Science Week Smart Phone Microscope. All you need is a smart phone camera, a lens, cardboard and a pencil to make a microscope. Here’s ours with the IYL logo. IMG_3640 IMG_3639 IMG_3636 It all kicked off in March at the launch of IYL Ireland:

1. IYL Ireland launch

  LaunchThe launch of the International Year of Light in Ireland took place on Friday 13th of March at the Spire in Dublin city centre which coincided with the kick-off of the 4 day St. Patrick’s Day festival. The Spire (or Monument of Light) is a 121.2 metre high landmark monument located on O’Connell St, right in the heart of Dublin city centre. It was illuminated for the first time by Philips Lighting and the lighting sequence was choreographed to Reel around the Sun from Riverdance. The Spire also streamed a live scrolling twitter feed using the hashtag #lightirl which featured messages from all around the world.

The light installation and live twitter feed remained in place throughout St. Patrick’s Festival and had a prominent place at the centre location of St. Patrick’s Day parade.


Read the rest of the story here: http://ucd.osahost.org/international-year-of-light-launch/

2. Light & Shadow


The UCD OSA Student Chapter participated in the UCD Science open day, Light and Shadow in celebration of the International Year of Light and the light based research within University College Dublin Saturday 23rd May 2015. There were over 500 attendees on the day.

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The UCD OSA Student Chapter along with their advisor Prof. John T. Sheridan commanded 9 tables during Light and Shadow, 4 tables for the KHET tournament and 5 on optics outreach “Fun with Light”.



Student Chapter Advisor, Prof. John T. Sheridan also gave a talk on Therapeutic Light.

Read the rest of the story here: http://ucd.osahost.org/light-and-shadow/

3. InspireFest


Inspirefest 2015 is a two day international event that connects professionals interested in the future of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics with new perspectives on innovation, leadership and success. Plus unique networking at our exciting Fringe Festival taking place from 18th – 20th June.


The UCD OSA Student Chapter took part in the Inspirefest Fringe Festival on Saturday the 20th June, in Merrion Square, Dublin.  Chapter members Laura Tobin, Liang Zhao and visiting intern, Victoria Brunny ran a hands on workshop promoting the International Year of Light as part of Dublin Maker stand. The public were able to make UV bracelets and LED badges.

  Featured article on InspireFest Fringe: https://www.siliconrepublic.com/portfolio/2015/06/24/dublin-maker-movement-inspires-kids-of-all-ages   Read the rest of the story here: http://ucd.osahost.org/inspirefest-2015/    

4. Dublin Maker 2015 – UCD and NUIG OSA Student Chapters

Logo Dublin Maker Dublin Maker is a one-day, hands-on, family-friendly, free, outdoor celebration of making on the Physics Lawn at Trinity College Dublin. Dublin Maker 2015 took place from 10am to 6pm on Saturday 25th of July. Dublin Maker featured over forty groups of makers from across the country and had over 10,000 visitors. SDC10559 The UCD OSA Student Chapter teamed up for the first time with the NUIG Student Chapter as makers in Dublin Maker as Light2015. We came together to promote the International Year of Light and to demonstrate how light is used in our everyday lives though lots of hands on experiments and demonstrations including;

          • Medical imaging, surgical procedures, and even diagnoses rely upon the use of light. An example is Tissue Viability (TiVi) imaging, which is method of determining blood concentration in tissue using a standard digital camera and a laptop. This is a nice example of a very simple medical imaging system, using easy to understand image processing and components that many people have available at home.



        • Light based smartphone apps using the camera of smartphones to capture meaningful changes in the light, such as the redness in the skin or even the heart rate.



        • Interference with light (laser and white light) using a Michelson Interferometer.



        • Making UV bracelets and LED badges.



        • Optical illusions to show the different ways in which light works.



        • Laser graffiti


                                  IMG_3321     SDC10524 SDC10547 IMG_3327  SDC10523      

Read the rest of the story here: http://ucd.osahost.org/dublin-maker-2015/

5. Science Includes Me: Mentoring Week


Student Chapter President, Laura Tobin took part in the Science Gallery Transition Year Mentoring Week. The Science Gallery received funding from the SFI Discover Program to increase the mentoring weeks offered in the Science Gallery from 4 a year to 9.


Laura gave two introductory presentations into optics and photonics and highlighted that 2015 is the International Year of Light. The presentations on the 23rd and 30th of September which emphasised on the role of light in our every day lives and that it encompasses everything from art and nature to science and technology.  Laura brought along many props and included a number of hands on demonstrations. The students were able to make their own LED badges and UV bracelets.

IMAG2374 DSC_0459

Read more about the story here: http://ucd.osahost.org/science-includes-me-ty-mentoring-week/

6. Meet the Stemettes

Elle Loughran, Dr. Shannon Chance and Laura Tobin
Elle Loughran, Dr. Shannon Chance and Laura Tobin

OSA Student Chapter President, Ms. Laura Tobin was asked to be a panellist for the event “Meet the Stemettes” panel on the 7th November . The event was hosted by Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Stemettes to highlight women in STEM for second level and undergraduates thinking of perusing a career in STEM . Ms. Tobin talked about her journey from studying physics as an undergraduate in UCD to a PhD candidate in optical engineering.

Silicon Republic article: Meet the Stemettes event encourages young women in STEM

photo via Flickr/StemmetesHQ

Read the rest of the story here: http://ucd.osahost.org/meet-the-stemettes/

7. ScienceWeek 2015 – Midlands Science Festival

st cremins

Student Chapter President, Ms. Laura Tobin was asked to take part in the Midlands Science Festival during Science Week 2015. Laura gave two talks about STEM and Women in STEM on the 11th November 2015. The first talk was to 5th and 6th class (11 – 12 year old) in St Cremins NS, Multyfarnham, Co Westmeath which had a class of 31 students. The second presentation was in Laura’s former secondary school, Loreto College, Mullingar where over 130 students from Transition Year, 5th and 6th year attended.


Read the rest of the story here: http://ucd.osahost.org/science-week-2015-midlands-science-festival/