OSA Re-Launches OPTICSforKIDS.org


Lyndsay Meyer
The Optical Society

OSA Re-Launches OPTICSforKIDS.org

Educational Web Site Provides Optics and Photonics Resources for Students, Educators

WASHINGTON, July 7 – The Optical Society (OSA) has unveiled a redesign of its optics education Web site, OPTICSforKIDS.org.  Developed to encourage interest in optics and photonics, the site includes new and updated features such as an optics history timeline, a gallery of optical images, more than 30 experiments, a variety of tutorials and a career quiz.  The new Web site combines content from the former OPTICSforKIDS and OPTICSforTEENS Web sites in order to provide one comprehensive resource for students from grade school through secondary school as well as parents and educators. 

 “The ultimate goal of OPTICSforKIDS is to serve as a fun, interactive resource that encourages students, who otherwise may be intimidated by science, to get excited about optics and photonics,” said Elizabeth Rogan, OSA executive director. “Through interactive features such as ‘Future Scientists,’ which has experiments for all age levels, and ‘Optical Illusions,’ which challenges visual perception, the site helps demonstrate how optics and photonics affect everyday life.”

OPTICSforKIDS is the product of an ad hoc committee of OSA student members working in conjunction with OSA and Florida State University’s (FSU) MolecularExpressions.org management team.  FSU formatted the site and provided many of the external links, as well as the content for the optics history timeline.

Additional support and content was supplied by Project LITE: Light Inquiry through Experiments, an NSF-funded program at Boston University; Vicki and Josh Cobb, authors of Light Actions! Amazing Experiments with Optics; and several Web sites donated the optical illusions.
“In keeping with OSA’s mission to advance scientific knowledge, OPTICSforKIDS is constructed to serve students and educators around the globe,” said Grace Klonoski, senior director, OSA Foundation and Member & Education Services.  “We hope the site’s visitors find it to be a useful and interesting way to explore the field of optics.” 

Features of the Web site include:

  • Optics Celebs -- Introduces the user to the wide variety of career options in optics and the people who have shaped the field.
  • Optics Overload -- Links to other optics- and photonics-related Web sites.
  • Optics Timeline – A listing of important events and developments in the science of optics from prehistory to the beginning of the 21st century.
  • Future Scientists -- Easy, intermediate and advanced optics experiments for students.

About OSA Educational Programming

Educational outreach is one the most important and significant ways OSA supports local communities and inspires tomorrow’s young scientists. OSA has developed a variety of materials and programs to address the needs of students from elementary school through 12th grade. For more information about OPTICSforKIDS and other OSA educational initiatives, visit the Education Resources section of OSA.org.  Comments and suggestions are welcome. Please contact OSA’s educational programming staff at: opticseducation@osa.org.

About OSA

Uniting more than 70,000 professionals from 134 countries, the Optical Society (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.