Fifty young students, who participate in Explora initiative Chile Va!, lived a very educational experience, when they visited the Center for Optics and Photonics (CEFOP) facilities at Universidad de Concepción, Basal Center funded by CONICYT, through its Research Partnership Program, PIA. Young people, students of 2nd, 3rd and 4th grades in high school, from different educational institutions from Biobío Region, participated in workshops and reinforced their knowledge on physics content.
Students got to formulate a question, at this point, classical in Physical Science: is light a wave or a particle? This thanks to “Photons at school” workshop, that brought out theoretical and experimental scientific research concepts, all of them explained through teaching methods. Students also made a complete tour across CEFOP laboratories, firsthand knowing experiments our researchers are currently developing, their objectives and what their results represent for the progress of Science in our Region and country.
For example, the experienced the “Microcosmos: Beyond the invisible” activity, where they could see the interdisciplinary mix of Biochemistry with Physics and learned that we are able to see, take and manipulate microorganisms, which are invisible to the human eye, through light experiment known as “optical tweezers”.
With many questions and answers, they directly approached to Scientist. Such as Francisca Puebla (17), a fourth grade from El Refugio high school from Penco, who previously had a similar experience, and even took part in some Optics workshops, and, on this occasion, was able to strengthen their knowledge. “I have already participated in various activities in ‘U de Conce’ and I am very happy with everything I’ve learned. I love everything that has to do with innovation, because I know it will help me in the future, because that will be the change the country needs and you have to put everything to change that”, said the student.
Also researchers, CEFOP members, assessed to the instance, such as Juan Pablo Staforelli, Ph.D. “These meetings allow not only allow students to learn technical aspects of scientific and technological research, but also get them to discover everyday aspects of scientific life as something more than a body of knowledge,” said the member of Instrumentation and Remote Sensing Technologies Division from our Center.
For his part, Dr. Guilherme Xavier, from Optoelectronics Division of CEFOP, highlighted that these activities are also positive for graduate students who work in research development in our laboratories. “It was very good because young visitors had the opportunity to interact with us. They were very interested in learning what the researches are about, and Optics possible applications. For our students was also a good experience, because they achieved to explain their complex experiments in a simple way”, explained the teacher.