EYESTvzw is a Belgium based non-profit organization established in November 2011 by members of the Brussels Photonics Team of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel and dedicated to ‘Excite Youth for Engineering, Science and Technology’. The mission of EYEST is to raise the interest of young people towards science, engineering and technology by creating and disseminating educational programmes and by supporting teachers in their endeavour to convey the fascination of science and engineering to pupils and students, and as such to inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers. The development of EYEST’s educational programmes is financially supported by sponsoring companies and governments and they are made available to teachers, students and schools. EYESTvzw is currently responsible for the fundraising for and the assembly of the Photonics Explorer kit as well as for its distribution throughout Europe. EYESTvzw works with 26 Local Associated Partners, who are supporting the distribution, including training of the Photonics Explorer kits to the teachers of their region. The Photonics Explorer kit is an intra-curricular ‘educational’ kit for secondary schools and given to teachers in conjunction with teacher training courses. Over 2500 Photonics Explorer kits have already been distributed to European teachers supporting more than 125.000 European students per year.
In the framework of the European Project, GOPHOTON, the Photonics Innovator toolkit has been develop. This Photonics Innovator Toolkit will also be distributed by EYESTvzw.
EYESTvzw is also work package leader in the European Project LIGHT2015! for the further roll-out of the Photonics Explorer in Europe in the framework of the International Year of Light 2015.
The EYESTvzw is also member of the national STEM charter Platform.
In the PHABLABS 4.0 project the main task of EYEST is the assembly and distribution of the Photonics Toolkits to the Pilot Fab Labs and other European Fab Labs who are interested. EYESTvzw will play an important role in the roll-out plan of the PHABLABS 4.0 activities. Thanks to the many Europe wide distribution of the Photonics Explorer kits to more than 2500 teachers, EYEST vzw has also a good database of contacts in schools to promote the activities for students through their teachers in the Fab Labs.