I was privileged to be at the ASE Conference last week and meet so many great Science Educators in the flesh! In particular it was lovely to meet so many who regularly tweet at the #ASEChat.

It was also great to run, for the third consecutive year, my Modulated Laser Pen workshop which is always very well received and attended. This year, as usual there were quite a lot Norwegians and several from other parts of Europe, which shows again how good the conference is to attract educators from so many parts of Europe!

Coming back to the workshop, it consists in building a modulating circuit to add in series to the laser diode in a laser pointer and the whole kit costs less than £20, but the IoP provides it for all participants free of charge! The receiver is simply a small photovoltaic cell plugged into a Radio Shack mini-amp through a Jack lead. You can find the instructions to make your own and some teaching ideas in this resource I uploaded on TES (just click here). Most parts can be found from Rapid Electronics and the mini-amp from Amazon.

Another cause for celebration and enjoyment was the 10th Anniversary of the Institute of Physics Teacher Network, which has run very successfully for all that time and of which I have the privilege to be part as the Network Coordinator for the area of Gloucestershire!

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Comments
  1. And there was loads for people not so mad about physics too. Frontier science lectures were brilliant, as was Wellcome’s In the Zone for Olympic Year

  2. Matt says:

    That LASER workshop looks amazing!

    • Alessio Bernardelli says:

      Yes Matt! It is amazing and thanks to you mate! I should have mentioned you in the Blog post, sorry! You are on the PowerPoint and I told everyone at the workshops how amazing you are 🙂
      I have changed the phototransistor with a small rectangular photovoltaic cell (see instructions on the TRS resource) and it works so much better. No alignment problems, stronger signal and if you use a laser pen which has a switch to also light an LED light you can show how distance from the cell affect the sinal, I.e. inverse square law, although LEDs are not strictly speaking point sources of light. But the round plastic case makes a lens that is a good approximation!

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