2015 Recipients


2015 Recipients

The OSA Foundation is backed by 100 years of history in optics and photonics. With help from its quality programs and critical financial support, the OSA Foundation provides students and young professionals from all over the world with opportunities to become tomorrow's leaders in optics. 

Tech Trek Summer School Program for Middle School Girls

Organization: The American Association of University Women (AAUW)

Background

The American Association of University Women (AAUW) is the nation’s leading voice promoting equity and education for women and girls. Since our founding in 1881, AAUW members have examined and taken positions on the fundamental issues of the day — educational, social, economic, and political.

Impact

The OSA Foundation Program Grant will fund a Science & Math Camp for eighth-grade girls in 2015. This summer camp – Tech Trek – is designed to develop interest, excitement, and self-confidence in young women who will enter eighth grade in the fall. It features hands-on activities in math, science, and related fields. All sleeping, eating, instructional, and recreational facilities are located on a university campus where camps are held. 10 camps throughout the US will be held in 2015 that will impact more than 560 eighth-grade girls.

Optics Suitcase

Organization: The Optical Society

Background

Developed by the OSA Rochester Section (ROSA) in 1999, the Optics Suitcase is an innovative, interactive presentation package designed to introduce middle school students to the dynamic and exciting range of concepts within the study of light.

Impact

The OSA Foundation Program Grant will fund the development of 100 Optics Suitcases for learning environments world-wide. Each suitcase includes a teaching guide (also available for download at this bottom of the page) and materials for demonstrations and experiments that teach about optics in a fun, hands-on atmosphere. Topics include: polarization, diffraction and selective reflection. A demonstration requires 40 - 60 minutes on average, and provides materials for up to 50 students. View a full list of the components.

Quality Lighting Teaching Kits for the International Year of Light

Organization: National Optical Astronomy Observatory

Background

NOAO is the US national research & development center for ground-based night time astronomy. In particular, NOAO is enabling the development of the US optical-infrared (O/IR) System, an alliance of public and private observatories allied for excellence in scientific research, education and public outreach.

Impact

The OSA Foundation Program Grant will fund the development of 30 Quality Lighting Teaching Kits that will be delivered to OSA student chapters around the world. These kits will emphasize the use of proper optical design in achieving quality lighting and energy conservation through efficient lighting design and practices. Each kit comes with an activity guide and online tutorials that will assist with answering questions related to the activities. These kits are a great way to introduce the basic principles of optics to students and teachers alike.

Youth Education Grants

Organization: The Optical Society

Background

With over 300 OSA Student Chapters around the world, the OSA Student Chapter Youth Science Education Grants are a highly effective way to teach and inspire young students on a global scale.  Student Chapters apply for grants to support local education activities. The applications are evaluated by a sub-committee of the Membership & Education Services (MES) Council and staff. Chapters are required to submit a report after their event(s) is completed.

Impact

The OSA Foundation Program Grant will fund 150 Youth Education Grants in 2015. Funding will enable 5,000 students to experience optics-focus educational activities like classroom demonstrations, meetings, and science fairs.

LITE: Learning light through Inquiry, Teaching, and Experimenting

Organization: The University of Central Florida (CREOL)

Background

CREOL, the College of Optics and Photonics at the University of Central Florida, is one of the world’s foremost institutions for research and education in optical and photonic science and engineering. CREOL started in 1987 as the Center for Research and Education in Optics and Lasers, and became a College in 2004, the first US graduate college in this area, offering interdisciplinary graduate programs leading toM.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Optics and Photonics. An undergraduate program offering a BS degree in Photonic Science and Engineering began in 2013 in partnership with the College of Engineering and Computer Science.

Impact

The OSA Foundation Program Grant will fund the creation of education materials and activities used to introduce classrooms to the principles of optics and photonics. These materials and corresponding lesson plans will strive to improve teachers’ content knowledge about light related topics and engineering practices, increase awareness about the field of photonics, improve their ability to teach this content to their students, and write 40 lesson plans that will be published as a book and distributed electronically in celebration of the International Year of Light.

Travel Grants

Organization: The OSA Foundation

Background

This program provides travel grants to students working or studying in developing nations to attend OSA Topical Meetings (in the U.S. or abroad) and Frontiers in Optics, the OSA Annual Meeting. The program will improve the access of students in developing nations to OSA meetings as well as provide networking and professional development opportunities.

Impact

The OSA Foundation Program Grant will fund 20 Travel Grants to students world-wide looking to attend OSA-managed meetings. These grants provide students in developing nations with access not only to a remarkable educational experience but to networking and professional development opportunities as well.

IYL Exhibit at the Ontario Science Center

Organization: The Ontario Science Center

Background

An iconic cultural attraction, the Ontario Science Centre is home to interactive experiences with science and technology. We not only develop and source the world’s best exhibitions – supplemented with relevant programming to provide engaging experiences – but aim to make a fundamental difference in the lives of our visitors. How: by providing them the skills and attributes to create a better future for the planet.

Impact

The OSA Foundation Program Grant will fund the development of an optics exhibit at the Ontario Science Center that will be on display during 2015, the “International Year of Light”. This exhibit will have various hands-on activities that focus on: 1) introducing light as a wave phenomenon, 2) the application of photonics to art restoration, and 3) the application of photonics to biology and medicine. This exhibit will reach students, parents, and teachers from among the 1 million visitors the museum receives per year.

Student Webinar Series

Organization: The Optical Society

Background

OSA Members receive a wide range of exclusive benefits and services. From scientific discoveries and industry advances to members-only events and focused technical groups, an OSA Membership gives you everything you need to stay informed, connected and at the top of your field.

Impact

The OSA Foundation Program Grant will fund a webinar program for student members that focuses on topics discussed at OSA-managed meetings. These webinars will allow invited students who are unable to attend OSA meetings with exclusive access to certain discussions taking place. This program helps expand the knowledge base that students in developing nations may be unable to attain.