OSA Foundation Announces Newly Funded Programs for 2007


Lyndsay Meyer
The Optical Society

OSA Foundation Announces Newly Funded
Programs for 2007

WASHINGTON, June 12 – The Optical Society of America’s (OSA) Foundation is pleased to announce that its Board of Directors awarded three new grants that will serve students from the primary school to graduate level.  Grants will be given to translate the OPTICSforKIDS and OPTICSforTEENS Web sites into Spanish, expand professional development programming for students at OSA’s Annual Meeting Frontiers in Optics (FiO) and fund student travel to OSA meetings.

Through the generosity of its donors, the OSA Foundation is able to support activities that have a lasting impact. Since its founding in 2002, the Foundation has funded more than 70 programs for the purposes of advancing youth science education, supporting optics and photonics students in developing countries, providing educational resources to underserved populations and supporting OSA’s Awards and Honors program.

“The OSA Foundation Board of Directors approves grants for programs that we know will support the future of our field,” said Gary Bjorklund, chair of the OSA Foundation Board.  “These programs will bring a broader awareness of the importance of optics and photonics by reaching out to students all over the world and attracting some of them into careers in optics.”

Following is a description of the newly funded programs:

OPTICSforKIDS and OPTICSforTEENS Web Site Translation
The OSA education Web sites OPTICSforKIDS.com and OPTICSforTEENS.org are being consolidated and re-designed in 2007. The new consolidated site will provide resources to students, parents and educators and will include interactive experiments that can be conducted from the desktop, other hands-on classroom experiments, definitions, career profiles, lesson plans and more. This grant will fund the translation of the new Web site’s text into Spanish, which supports OSA Foundation priorities related to youth education and outreach to those in developing nations.

Student Professional Development Programming at FiO
This grant will help support professional development programming offered during the OSA Student Chapter Leadership meeting and other special student events at FiO.  The grant will also fund video and audio recording of one or more of these professional development sessions and make these recordings available to chapters and student members via DVD and Podcast.  This program will be funded from 2007 through 2009.  Leadership meeting and FiO student activities focused on professional development will include: career-strategy presentations, networking events with the OSA Board and volunteers, special sessions (e.g., organizational management and hands-on training for youth education outreach), chapter presentations and peer networking opportunities. The OSA Foundation has supported these student activities since 2004.

International Student Travel Grant Program
This grant program will provide approximately 25 student travel grants per year for FiO and OSA-managed Topical Meetings for 2007 to 2009.  The grants will average $1,000 per student and will be awarded to OSA student members working or studying in developing nations.  This grant extends the pre-existing student travel grant program and is designed to improve the access of OSA meetings to students in developing countries.

About the OSA Foundation
The OSA Foundation was established in 2002 to support philanthropic activities that help further the Optical Society of America’s mission by concentrating its efforts on programs that advance youth science education, support optics and photonics in developing countries, provide education and resources to underserved populations and support OSA's Awards and Honors program. The grants funded by the OSA Foundation are made possible by the generous donations of its supporters as well as the dollar-for-dollar match by OSA. The Foundation is exempt from US federal income taxes under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and is a public charity. To learn more about the OSA Foundation or to find out how to donate, please visit www.osa-foundation.org or email foundation@osa.org.

About OSA
Uniting more than 70,000 professionals from 134 countries, the Optical Society of America (OSA) brings together the global optics community through its programs and initiatives. Since 1916 OSA has worked to advance the common interests of the field, providing educational resources to the scientists, engineers and business leaders who work in the field by promoting the science of light and the advanced technologies made possible by optics and photonics. OSA publications, events, technical groups and programs foster optics knowledge and scientific collaboration among all those with an interest in optics and photonics. For more information, visit www.osa.org.