In this research, the development of the Optics Interest and Experience Scale (OIES) was discussed in the first stage, and the gender differences of prospective teachers in their interest and experience were explored with OIES in the second stage. The data were collected from 228 prospective teachers from eleven universities in Turkey. For content and face validity, a theoretical framework for the OIES was established by a detailed literature review and expert opinions were consulted. For the construct validity, the principal component factor analysis was used. The final form of the scale was composed of 33 items and had two main factors namely: 'experience'and 'interest'. A reliability analysis of the instrument revealed Cronbach-Alpha coefficients of .906 for the whole scale, .886 for the experience factor, .851 for the interest factor. MANOVA analysis was conducted to explore gender differences in interest and experience scores of prospective teachers in geometrical optics. There was a statistically significant difference between males and females on the combined dependent variables. When the results for the dependent variables were considered separately, the only difference to reach statistical significance was experience such that females reported slightly higher experience in geometrical optics than males.