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Washington State Univ. Chapter IYL Laser Maze

During the grand unveiling of the WSU SPIE/OSA student chapter laser maze on 11 April, 2015, over 700 students and family members learned about the International Year of Light. The entrance to the event was staged such that participants first learned about fiber waveguides and the internet by watching a laser being guided through a stream of water.

The same setup was then used to demonstrate the optical illusion of anomalous water flow through an oscillating spout using a strobe light. Next, participants walked past two hands-on demonstration tables; one table discussed fluorescence and participants utilized diffraction gratings to look at various light sources.

The second table showed participants how to make a polariscope with polarizers and discussed the importance of polarization. Finally, participants reached the laser maze and used their cat-burglar and ninja skills to jump over, scoot under, and run through the laser maze.

After the maze, participants were directed to a separate physics and geology demonstration show to learn about volcanoes, electricity, magnetism, and other phenomena. Overall, the event was a huge success, considering this is our club's first large-scale outreach event.

Photos by Shelly Hanks, WSU Photo Services