Optical Spectroscopy in Natural Sciences: Between Mediation Formats & Open Source Hardware

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Title: Optical Spectroscopy in Natural Sciences: Between Mediation Formats & Open Source Hardware
Authors: Osterheider, Mattis Leo Volker
ORCID of the author: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6121-0210
Thesis advisor: Prof. Dr. Mirco Imlau
Thesis referee: Prof. Dr. Marco Beeken
Abstract: In this thesis, a modular Open Hardware based DIY high-end spectrometer is used for mediating the subject of optical spectroscopy. For this purpose, different, partly novel formats are used or developed to significantly increase the accessibility of the subject within different target groups with partly fundamentally different needs (school education, the maker movement, extracurricular education, and university education). Subsequently, the newly developed formats’ acceptance is evaluated by comparing them to established formats. In addition, the hardware Open Source Hardware in use is also evaluated, mainly focusing on its effect on the user employing two different studies (interview and questionnaire). In order to make the subject of DIY high-end spectroscopy accessible to the field of education (especially science education), two scientific papers with the titles A do-it-yourself Czerny–Turner spectrometer: atomic emission, absorption, reflection, and fluorescence spectroscopy in natural sciences and Spectrometer build of LEGO®-bricks – innovations for classes in modern chemistry are published in established journals. Within the papers, a modular Open Hardware C-T spectrometer based on LEGO®-bricks and professional low-cost optical and electronic components is described in detail and tested regarding its suitability in different application areas of spectroscopy (transmission and absorption spectroscopy, fluorescence spectroscopy and reflection spectroscopy). Both papers have already been published in advance. In contrast to the field of science education, optical spectroscopy is mediated to individuals associated with the Maker movement using a sophisticated book with the title Measuring atomic spectra yourself. The book is part of the series 1.000 laser hacks for Makers and has been published in advance by the Bombini Verlag. The volume described in this thesis describes the construction, adjustment, and handling of a modular Open Hardware C-T spectrometer employing typical Maker tools. Furthermore, multiple experiments with different difficulties are discussed to appeal to the broadest possible range of Makers with different levels of expertise. In order to mediate optical spectroscopy in an extracurricular setting to a wide range of people again with different levels of expertise, a recipient-specific novel practical training is developed in this thesis. The practical training is carried out online to enable participation regardless of location. The utilization of a modular Open Hardware based C-T spectrometer (using LEGO®-bricks or the optocubes Framework) within the practical training enables the participants to explore and adapt the spectrometer without the need for a sophisticated laboratory or equipment. The practical training is carried out voluntarily at a university with students and in the context of a vacation program at an educational institution with pupils, with all necessary materials being sent to the participants by post. Building on the novel practical training for extracurricular education, adaptations of practical training are made to use it in university education in the field of physics. The basic idea of using Open Hardware (exclusively using the Optocubes framework for mechanical constructions) in combination with problem-oriented task design used in the extracurricular practical training is also employed here. The modular Open Hardware aspect allows for the ground-up construction of a fully functional C-T spectrometer outside a dedicated lab. It enables the deployment of the constructed spectrometer in various applications. The interview study associated with the first round of the online practical training shows that the participants rate the online practical training format positively but prefer the interaction possibilities with each other in practical training in a shared location. The handling and the working experience with the spectrometer are generally described positively, while criticism is only expressed towards the time required to assemble the spectrometer utilizing LEGO®- bricks. Based on the findings of the interview study, 13 hypotheses regarding the practical training and the used system are proposed. Furthermore, as a result of the criticism, a more sophisticated system, the optocubes framework, is used for all subsequent practical training to cut the construction time to a possible minimum without neglecting the aspects highlighted in the interview study. Following the interview, a questionnaire study is conducted based on the 13 proposed hypotheses. The study shows that the participants prefer a practical training at a location like a university to working remotely. Regarding the tasks and materials used in the practical training, classical scripts are preferred over an open-task design. The evaluation of the system hardware shows that the users again rate it positively on average. Furthermore, the data also shows a positive evaluation of the hardware regarding personal factors like motivation, enjoyment, and ability self-concept. In addition to the overall positive evaluation of the DIY high-end spectrometer itself and the associated working experience, it should be noted that the collected data consistently show relatively standard solid deviations. Due to the sample size, no significant changes could be found concerning concepts such as motivation, enjoyment, ability self-concept, Etc., which could be caused by the practical training or the hardware in use, e.g., the DIY high-end spectrometer.
URL: https://doi.org/10.48693/285
Subject Keywords: Optical Spectroscopy; Natural Sciences; Mediation Formats; Open Source Hardware; Do-it-Yourself; LEGO®; Optocubes; At home; High-end Spectroscopy
Issue Date: 30-Mar-2023
License name: Attribution 3.0 Germany
License url: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/de/
Type of publication: Dissertation oder Habilitation [doctoralThesis]
Appears in Collections:FB06 - E-Dissertationen

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