Photonics for Education

The Photonics Partnership supports various projects with the aim of bringing photonics into the education system of Europe. In this sector we dive a bit deeper into this projects.

Phabslabs4.0 logo

PHABLABS 4.0 aims to achieve a lasting, positive impact on the way photonics is integrated into the rapidly expanding ecosystem of European Fab Labs and Makerslabs, resulting in a larger and better skilled photonics workforce with superior innovation capacity in photonics to support the next revolution in digitization.

Combining the forces of top experts from 11 European photonics institutes with the Fab Lab stakeholders, PHABLABS 4.0 will devise and deliver a comprehensive suite of 33 Photonics Workshops, 11 Photonics Challenger projects and Photonics Toolkits to enhance Fab Labs and Makerslab with photonics activities aimed at 3 specific target groups: young minds (10-14y), students (15y-18y) and young professionals and technicians.These activities, developed in PHABLABS 4.0, will be extensively tested in 14 existing Fab Labs with the purpose of rolling them out to the entire growing network of European Fab Labs as a proven model at the end of the project. They will stimulate hands-on design, fabrication, experiments, and the building of innovative systems with photonics, and in this way nurture the 21st Century skills of the participants in the PHABLABS 4.0 activities.

It is in the nature of the Fab Labs to stimulate creativity and innovation, and by providing photonics-enhanced toolkits, photonics innovation will naturally be stimulated all across of these innovation hubs. Especially when you give young professionals and technicians access to the right tools under the right guidance, with the opportunity and freedom to put their ideas into practice, innovative concepts and systems will be created and the overall innovation capacity of the workforce will be improved.

In that sense the PHABLABS 4.0 project will harness the power of the growing innovation ecosystem of the Fab Labs and equip it with sufficient material to really engage, excite and educate youngsters, students, technicians and young professionals alike in the skills of working and innovating with light. The ultimate impact of PHABLABS 4.0 will be seen in the emergence of a much larger and better trained workforce with 21st Century skills capable of translating the potential of photonics as a key enabling technology into tangible products for the benefit of society.

To find out more about the project visit the Phablabs4.0 website


Photonics4All logo

Photonics4All was a European outreach project which was funded by one of the calls under the Photonics Partnership and thus received funding by the European Union. The tools mentioned below and developed within the project are open access and should be used as widely as possible for all people and organisations engaged in photonics outreach:

  • An animated VIDEO that can bring small children closer to Photonics and Light. See how heroine 'Max' and her friend 'Lux' chase after the stolen cup! There are subtitles for several countries in diverse languages: French, German, Swedish, Slovakian, Italian and Dutch.
  • Download the Photonics4All App consisting of five learning modules which have been enhanced by a gaming and a quiz part on google playstore or web App in seven languages.
  • Watch 5 video training tutorials in English for experiments using the Photonics Explorer kit of EYEST
  • 3 best practice handbooks (for young people, entrepreneurs, general public) summarizing experience in developing the most successful tools and implementing events such as a game competition, children's universities, teacher training workshops on the photonics explorer kit, boot camps, innovation workshops, investment events, EU start-up challenge for entrepreneurs as well as various photonics campaigns for the general public. Hopefully a source of inspiration and practical information (with many tips) for outreach in photonics for all science communicators.
  • The prototype of the "OMNILIGHT LABORATORY" is a modular instrumentation developed in Photonics4All for light-based scientific show, aiming to provide an interactive light laboratory for presentation and education of photonics in many related outreach activities (namely training workshops, exhibitions, scientific events, light festivals)
  • 13 designs of photonics bookmarks explaining fascinating facts about photonics, which had a huge success towards all kinds of audience, and are available in print quality as well as (on request) as original adobe illustrator data to be re-used and adapted for further topics
  • Several photonics expert interviews (including one of the nobel price winner for blue LEDs S. Nakamura)
  • Download "Study Photonics!" which lists photonics degree courses in 7 EU countries
  • Download "Create your Business in Photonics!" listing photonics applications and business opportunities in 7 EU countries

All the above resources are also available on the long-term open data repository Zenodo