Active learning in optics and photonics

As part of its continuing effort to raise the quality of physics teaching in the country, NISMED hosted and organized a five-day workshop titled Active Learning in Optics and Photonics (ALOP) on November 15 to 19, 2010. A total of 34 selected physics teachers and instructors from regional science high schools, selected science-oriented high schools, laboratory schools, and teacher training institutions attended the workshop.

Mazzolini demonstrates an activity on optical data transmission.

ALOP is a UNESCO program conceptualized by an international team of experts and resource persons. It aims to provide the participants with opportunities to enrich their knowledge and skills in teaching optics and photonics through the active learning approach. The members of the team who also served as facilitators during the workshop sessions include Alex Mazzolini (Australia), Vengu Lakshminarayanan (Canada), David Sokoloff (USA), Ivan Culaba (Philippines), Joel Maquiling (Philippines), Joseph Niemela (Italy), and Minella Alarcon (Philippines). Alarcon also served as the workshop director and ALOP project coordinator.

As a bonus, all the participants were given the set of materials they used during the workshop sessions, including the training manual developed by the facilitators themselves. The manual includes hands-on activities that use materials and equipment that are simple, inexpensive, and can be locally fabricated. With these materials, participants were encouraged to try out and practice what they learned in their respective schools, as well as share them with their fellow physics teachers.