UEW Level 300 Physics Students Equipped with Photonics Explorer Kits

The Department of Physics Education of the Faculty of Science Education (FSE), University of Education, Winneba (UEW), has organised a day’s training programme for its level 300 students, at the South Campus of UEW. 

The students, who were equipped with photonics explorer kits, donated by the International Society for Optics and Photonics (SPIE) in Finland and Photonics Ghana (a group of Ghanaian MPhil and PhD holders in photonics), to equip student-teachers for the training of Junior and Senior High School (JHS/SHS) students during their internship in November as well as engage in practical hands-on sessions to enhance their knowledge in photonics and physics optics.  

They were taught how to use the kits to perform elementary modules in polarisation of light, diffraction and interference, colours, lenses and telescopes.  

Leader of the photonics group and Lecturer in the Department of Physics Education, Dr. Desmond Appiah, in an interview, revealed that the training was primarily to test the application and efficacy of the photonics kits they received from Photonics Ghana. 

The level 300 students gathered together during  practical hands-on session activities

“We trained our third-year students who will be going out for the internship programme starting from 1st November to also go and train the Senior High School students across the country. We will be serving them with some questionnaires and some test items associating with the modules we trained them on today. 

“We are expecting that this exercise will actually enhance their knowledge in the field of light energy and its current application in telecommunication, energy, medicine and so many fields. Probably when they are able to do it very well, most of the students will enhance their knowledge in that field such that if they go out there to take any engineering courses in other universities, they will be able to really understand the concepts behind physics and not an abstract way of learning and teaching,” he stated.  

Dr. Desmond Appiah

Dr. Appiah expounded that the experiment under the total internal reflection of light is a theoretical concept being applied in telecommunication such as the optical fibre cables engineers lay under roads and buildings, are used to communicate signals processed into information. “So, one major significance in our day-to-day lives is the total internal reflection of light applied in optical fibres. Signals are sent by using the principle of total internal reflection of light in communication.”  

Dr. Appiah was hopeful that his students would be well motivated to go and teach the JHS/SHS students to apply the kits and also encourage them to know that physics is not an abstract subject as it is perceived. “However, it’s very practical and everything we do is just around us and the students will be encouraged to be seeing some of the phenomena they’ve been hearing over the years with hands-on applications”.  

Students and Lecturers together in a pose after the training

Lecturers in the Department who took the students through the training were Prof. Victor Antwi (Vice-Dean of FSE), Mr. Isaac Kwesi Acquah, Mr. Issahaku Sontaa Jakalia, Mrs. Cynthia Jebuni-Adanu and Mr. Emmanuel A. Ahenfo (Principal Laboratory Technologist).