The Swedish Year of Light 2015
That the International Year of Light is about so many more things than any single group can imagine became very obvious already during the first meetings in August 2014, for planning IYL2015 activities in Sweden. Physicists from different areas, science educators from schools, university and science centers, event managers, photonic industry representatives, experts on indoor and outdoor lighting and got together to discuss activities for the Swedish Year of Light.
Since no earmarked funding was available for the celebrations, we decided to try to include a light-related themes or activities in festivals, magazines, teacher conferences and lecture series. I was appointed as one of National contact points for the Swedish branch of the year of light, together with Petra Bindig at Photonic Sweden. One of my responsibilities was to create and maintain a www-site, with the name ljus2015.se (ljus = light)
The www site ljus2015.se includes a calendar for the Swedish year of light activities. In addition, each month featured a new theme with suggested observations, experiments and links to more material, including research. A facebook page ljus2015 was created to share activities, articles, photos, movies and other interesting links. A youtube channel ljus2015 was created to present researchers working on different aspects of light, from fundamental properties, to applications in a wide variety of fields. As a local associated partner for the Photonic Explorer Kit, the National Resource Centre for Physics Education (fysik.org) will run teacher workshops, and distribute kits to schools in this context.
The calendar included about 50 events. In addition, light-related articles were written in a number of magazines. Preschool teachers were invited to present their explorations of light with children and parents, and a prize was awarded during a national prescool science teaching conference.
The monthly themes included the topics Lighting the environment, Light for health and life, Invisible light,
Sunlight, Radiation safety, Light in the service of research, Tips for the summer holidays, Light and art. The material produced will be continue to be useful.
The International Year of Light have given all of us expanded networks, that will influence future work. Taking part in the opening ceremony in Paris opened my eyes to new perspectives on light, as presented in an article for Physics Education, as well as in a personal blog post. Following the international blog created a large international family. The year of light has come to and end, but will remain with us through the years to come.