2016 Recipients


2016 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 2016. 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.

WiSTEE Connect

Organization: Rochester Institute of Technology

Background

WiSTEE Connect is an organization which serves to connect female students, faculty members, and engineers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Entrepreneurship (STEE) from regional universities and private companies in upstate New York.  The vision of WiSTEE Connect is to promote women leadership in STEE and assist women involved in these areas to gain regional and/or global connections and recognition.  This organization helps to bridge the gap between science and entrepreneurship while providing a forum though which women in these fields may learn, connect, and lead.

Impact

WiSTEE Connect is planning to host an international event:  “Women of Light.” This one-day mini-conference may be held either separately or in conjunction with OSA's 2016 Annual Conference/Frontiers in Optics.  We plan to invite several, internationally-renowned women leaders from both STEM and entrepreneurial backgrounds to give talks describing their individual careers, the fields in which they work, and the role and presence of women in STEM/STEE. Both a women leadership workshop and an open discussion will be hosted at this event. Additionally, a networking session for women in STEE will be held. The overall goal of this event is to shine light upon women's careers in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and entrepreneurship, recruit women across career ranks and disciplines, and build a sustainable community of women in both academia and industry from which career growth, mobility, and leadership opportunities may be sought out.  

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.

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.