Resources for teachers

ICFO generates materials for educators and participates in European projects that generate resources for teachers. Explore and use these resources to bring science and technology to the classroom with an original approach.

These material are designed (with some exceptions) for high school students (grade 9-12).

We organize some training sessions related to these materials. If you would be interested in participating, sign up to our mailing list to receive the latest news about our activities or contact us at outreach@icfo.eu.

 

Resources for teachers

Photonics: a tool to solve global problems

Light is an incredibly versatile tool that is at the base of many current and future technologies that can help improve society.

Here you will find the materials and activities that we have prepared to introduce high-school students to the applications of photonics and the next technological advances in this field.

 

ICFO Decide Game

The ICFO Decide Game is an activity based on PlayDecide to introduce photonics and the research carried out at ICFO in an entertaining way. It is a collaborative group work that also serves to develop critical thinking and verbal communication skills.

You can organize one independently in your class or participate in a guided session (see our Activities Calendar).

ICFO designed other Decide Games that you can find in the sections on Sustainable Energy and Quantum Physics.

The ICFO Decide Game is also available in Italian.

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Photonics in 5 minutes!

ICFO periodically organizes an online event to connect students from the age of 14 with ICFO scientists: Photonics in 5 minutes!

After the events, we publish some of the short talks on the ICFO YouTube channel to explain some of our research topics in a quick and entertaining way.

 

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photonics and digital fabrication

The European project Phablabs 4.0 connected several research centers in photonics (including ICFO) with local FabLabs to generate activities and materials to integrate photonics into new digital fabrication techniques.

Go to the Phablabs website to find instructions for creating your own photonics project.

 

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Photonics kit

ICFO designed a kit to carry out simple photonics experiments in the classroom. It can be borrowed from different institutions.

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msteam modules about photonics

ICFO collaborates with mSchools to develop classroom activities that awaken interest in the potential of photonics through the use of the mobile phone as a useful tool to understand the world.

On the mSTEAM platform you can find two teaching modules: more than 20 hours of free activities and experiments that will allow educators to teach key concepts about photonics to elementary and middle school students.

 

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YOUNG PHOTONICS CONGRESS

Every year ICFO organizes a scientific congress where secondary school students (grade 7-12) explain the scientific projects they developed to their peers and ICFO specialists.

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Quantum physics for society

Quantum physics has a reputation for being difficult to understand, but now it is more important than ever to understand it, as we are living through the second quantum revolution, which is bringing new technologies for the benefit of whole society.

Many ICFO research groups work with atoms and photons to discover how the world works on the microscopic scale, as well as developing new applications such as quantum cryptography, quantum sensors or specific-purpose quantum computers.

 

 

maciej lewenstein quantum school for teachers

Thanks to the donation of Prof. Dr. Maciej Lewenstein, ICFO has created and collected tools and materials aimed at ESO and high school teachers to bring the new generations closer to the world of quantum physics.

Explore the four modules of the course to learn more about quantum physics and the technologies derived from it, discovering tools that will help you make them more accessible to your students.

Many of the materials are in video format, so you can stop or rewatch them as many times as you like.

 

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quantum tour

Explore this digital platform to discover how quantum scientists work, experience for yourself some of the fascinating aspects of the quantum world, and think about whether and how quantum technologies can shape our future.

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DECIDE GAME: Quantum technologies

Decide Game: Quantum Technologies is an activity based on PlayDecide to introduce quantum technologies in an entertaining way. It is a collaborative group work that also serves to develop critical thinking and verbal communication skills.

You can organize one independently in your class or participate in a guided session (see our Activities Calendar).

ICFO designed other Decide Games that you can find in the sections on Sustainable Energy and Photonics.

 

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nanostructures for people and the environment

The wavelength of visible light is on the order of hundreds of nanometers. This makes it an interesting tool for working with nanotechnology, since new interesting phenomena emerge when we make photons interact with structures that have the same wavelength scale.

At ICFO we work with different materials, designing and manufacturing nanostructures that allow us to better understand physical laws at this scale, as well as creating new technologies.

Here you will find the materials and activities that we have prepared to introduce students to the applications of photonics related to nanotechnology and new materials, such as graphene.

 

Nanotechnology in 5 minutes!

In the video gallery of this section you can find some short and entertaining talks about ICFO nanotechnology projects that were recorded on the occasion of the 10alamenos9 festival and different editions of the Young Photonics Congress.

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Graphene

Graphene is the first 2D material to be fabricated in the world. It has a regular, two-dimensional and hexagonal structure, made up of carbon atoms.

Despite being an atom thick, graphene is stable and surprisingly strong. Its physical properties make it an excellent conductor of heat and electricity, as well as being flexible and almost transparent (it absorbs only 2.3% of light). With all these characteristics, graphene is a very interesting material for the development of new technologies.

Below you can find some links to the instructions for hands-on activities related to graphene for secondary school students. You can also find interesting links to external resources to learn more about this fantastic material.

 

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sustainable energy to mitigate climate emergency

Solar panels are the closest and most intuitive example of how light can help us create energy in a sustainable way.

Photonics offers multiple opportunities to develop technologies that can help mitigate the effects of climate change: ICFO is at the forefront of photonics research for sustainability and care for the environment.

Clean Planet in 5 minutes!

In the video gallery of this section you can find some short and entertaining talks about ICFO nanotechnology projects that were recorded on the occasion of different editions of the Young Photonics Congress and Photonics in 5 minutes!

DECIDE GAME: Clean planet

Decide Game: Clean Planet is an activity based on PlayDecide to introduce in an entertaining way the photonic technologies that contribute to mitigate the effects of climate change. It is a collaborative group work that also serves to develop critical thinking and verbal communication skills.

You can organize one independently in your class or participate in a guided session (see our Activities Calendar).

ICFO designed other Decide Games that you can find in the sections on Quantum physics and Photonics.

 

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Advances in therapy

Microscopes, endoscopes, lasers, and many other photonic devices help health professionals diagnose and treat various diseases. At ICFO there are different research groups that investigate issues that can have a positive impact on people’s health.

photonics for health in 5 minutes!

In the video gallery of this section you can find some short and entertaining talks about ICFO nanotechnology projects that were recorded on the occasion of the 10alamenos9 festival and of different editions of the Young Photonics Congress and Photonics in 5 minutes!

 

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Clara presents series

Join Clara and Bob in this video series that explains how diffuse optics can help diagnose different diseases.

 

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EXTRA

Light Pollution

We prepared some activities on light pollution and colors (including instructions for building a spectrometer) to introduce the NightUp Castelldefels citizen science experiment in the classroom.

At the moment, this activity is only available in Catalan: contact us if you are interested in the English version.

 

 

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debunking fake news through critical thinking

There is a lot of amazing news about science and technology in the media and on social networks: how can we know if it is true or false?

With this one-hour workshop, you can help your students develop tools to recognize fake news. In the materials for teachers you can also find suggestions to transform it into a longer project.

This activity was born from the collaboration of three research centers that are members of BIST (Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology): IBEC, ICFO and IRB Barcelona.

At the moment, this activity is only available in Catalan: contact us if you are interested in the English version.

 

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