St. Petersburg National Research University of Information Technologies, Mechanics and Optics (RUSSIAN FEDERATION)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2013 Proceedings
Publication year: 2013
Pages: 2463-2468
ISBN: 978-84-616-2661-8
ISSN: 2340-1079
Conference name: 7th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 4-5 March, 2013
Location: Valencia, Spain
This paper describes the new Optical Museum for education and training created in Saint-Petersburg at the end of 2008 by University of Information Technologies, Mechanics and Optics with support of Russian Federation Government, City parliament and Optical Society of Russia.

The problems to be solved by the University are: choice of the young people - IT vs. Optics; problems in math & phys school education; collision between traditional methodology and new generation; low level of relationship between optical education and real optical researchers; desintegration of different branches of optical science.

The solutions to these problems are: Internet-activities - popularization of optics knowledge, web-sites, on-line intellectual competitions in IT & Optics etc.; Multimedia educational resources, 3D simulations and virtual optics laboratories; Real place of interest in Optics Science.

The main tasks of the museum are to show the brilliant world of Optics; to realize different educational strategies for young generations from kids to university students; to demonstrate all classical optical phenomena and modern devices, equipment and elements.

The museum is located at the Arrow of Vasilievsky Island (the historical center of St. Petersburg) in the Innovative Technology Center of University of IT, Mechanics and Optics. The main halls of the museum are: Holography; Historical collection with mini-auditorium; Glass & Optics Materials; Optical elements & light sources; Microscopes & Interferometers; Projection & Photo Techniques; "Magic Images"; Lasers & deflection systems; Optical toys (total square about 450 m2). We can demonstrate: 8 experiments in interference, 12 experiments in polarization, 14 experiments in diffraction (including fractal diffraction), 18 types of microscopes, 10 types of lasers etc. The museum contains new optical equipment to education, examples of optical software for education and research, famous collections of State Optical Institute (60 unique holograms, 144 blocks of glasses), large collection of artifacts (copies) and elements, related with history of optics, optical toys, illusions and magic images.

The main goals of the museum which have already been realized are:
- to combine certain historical facts, classical experiments with most modern optical stage;
- to mix illusions, optical tricks and paradoxes with serious scientific problems and explanations of optical phenomena;
- to provide a wide range of conducted activities: from surveys and educational excursions to a series of lectures with demonstrations and thematic workshops;
- to organize a group of young guides from among the students and masters of university; the most effective way to attract new generations to science is when young people introduce science to those who are younger.

The museum web site with panoramic virtual tours:
Science popularization, optics, optical museum, interactive exhibition.