Optics curriculum for middle school students

Michael J. Nofziger

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

2 Scopus citations


A two-week course in optics has been developed and taught as part of the APEX program at the University of Arizona. APEX, (Academic Preparation of EXcellence), is an early-outreach program for minority students in the middle schools of the greater Tucson area. APEX targets financially disadvantaged students who posses skills necessary to be successful in higher education beyond high school. The program promotes academic confidence and career awareness through school-year meetings, field trips, a speakers' bureau, and a summer day camp. The optics course described in this paper has been taught over the last four years to middle school students in the APEX summer camp. The optics course presented is a micro-version of the optics courses taught as part of the B.S. program i Optical Engineering at the University of Arizona. The APEX optics class contains a successful mixture of theory and hands-on demonstrations. Proof of this success is evident at the end of every summer session when, after two weeks and forty hours of optics, the students are eager to learn even more about the world of optics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
PublisherSociety of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers
Number of pages12
ISBN (Print)0819418846, 9780819418845
StatePublished - 1995
Externally publishedYes
Event1995 Int. Conference on Education in Optics - San Diego, CA, USA
Duration: Jul 9 1995Jul 10 1995


Other1995 Int. Conference on Education in Optics
CitySan Diego, CA, USA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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