Sunday, September 4, 2011

End of summer experience

As the program came to an end we had been tasked with creating power point presentations and posters to present to faculty members in the photonics center [both poster and presentation can be found on my website]. As we presented our power point and answered the various questions people had, I noticed how much I learned in only six weeks. My information regarding the experimental process, photonics, chemistry, physics, and even mathematics grew. There were no questions regarding the theory, process, or procedure that I was unable to answer. When I reflect back to June 30th, I knew NOTHING!!!

On our last day, we had to present our poster in an open lobby to any one who was interested. Well, since we had a robot on our station, we received a lot of visitors, many of who were intrigued by our lego robot. As I presented, I felt comfortable knowing what mistakes were made during the experiments, why we made certain corrections and things that we could have done differently to obtain more accurate results.

Reflecting on this experience, I have realized how lax the research environment, but how being an easy going environment also means you need to be discipline. I wonder is this kind of mentality can be created with success at the secondary level? During the poster presentations the presenters were eating and drinking food, discussing their project with other presenters, and really sharing ideas, even the faculty who attend the poster presentation shared ideas related and not related to any of the other projects going on. How cool would it be if secondary students also had an opportunity to just share ideas? How much will they learn? What would be the the risk? I need to reflect on these questions and hopefully, be able to create an environment where this kind of learning and discipline can take place.

During the three weeks I spent traveling to various locations, I could not stop thinking of the applicability of photonics. For example, every time I saw a jumbotron or digital advertising signs, I though about LED's and professors at BU help develop these technologies. I also saw places such as "laser hair removal" and though about how it works? and how lasers have so many applications. When I watched the news on TV, I almost always watched a piece on medical research that required some kind of scanning, and my brain quickly though about the photonics center.

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