Monday, April 9, 2012

LASER Classroom brings STEM curriculums to light

LASER Classroom (Minneapolis, MN), touted as the Classroom Laser Resource, recognizes that few Science, Technology, Education, and Mathematics (STEM) K-12 educators--even those with physics backgrounds--have experience with photonics.

To tackle this, the company plans to offer a three-volume curriculum for high-school classes that engages students by getting them excited about light and lasers (for me, any reference to Star Wars--an icon of my 1980s childhood--would've gotten my attention) and makes connections to STEM areas. In science, the lessons in the curriculum teach about lighting concepts, while the math lessons allow students to apply those concepts appropriately. It's not available until October of this year, but the company offers a free sample of Volume One that's available now.

With the goal of bringing safe laser technology to K-12 classrooms, the company created Laser Blox to enable easy, safe classroom demonstrations and student activities. To become available this month in red, green, and violet wavelengths, the laser modules are magnetic, stackable, and won't roll off surfaces when set down. In the classroom, the violet version can be used to explore fluorescence--by shining it through a bottle of tonic water, students can watch its quinine (a white, crystalline alkaloid that provides the beverage's flavoring) glow. And stacking three green Laser Blox allows students to create a ray box.

For more information, check out