2017 Recipients


2017 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

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 2017. 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.

Women of Light Symposium, hosted by WiSTEE Connect

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 will be contintinuing its “Women of Light” program in conjunction with the 2017 OSA Annual Meeting in Washington, DC. This symposium seeks 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. Over 100 individuals are expected to attend this session and gain valuable insight as to the opportunities for women in the field. 

Early-Career Professional Support

Background
The OSA Foundation will be hosting a suite of digital and in-person professional development training programming in 2017. These programs will be focused on mentorship, writing and presentation skills, leveraging job market opportunities, enhancing networking and business basic skills. 

Impact
Over 1,000 early-career professionals are expected to be impacted by this programming. Digital opporunities like webinars will allow for maximum reach and provide a forum for international discussion. 

2017 Optics and Photonics Winter School and Workshop

Background
The College of Optical Sciences houses one of the largest and most comprehensive educational and research programs in optics & photonics. The goal of hosting the Optics and Photonics Winter School will be to give undergraduate students an overview of foundational areas in optics, and how they are related to specific fields of optics & photonics research, in hopes of encouraging more students to pursue a career in those fields. During each day of the Winter School, an introductory lecture will cover core material from a specific area of optics & photonics. The goal is to introduce key concepts and outline the curriculum necessary for a career in the field. The introductory lectures will be followed by presentations on selected topics, with the goal of connecting the core material to examples of cutting-edge research. Each day will involve lab tours of nearby facilities, including the world famous Richard F. Caris Mirror Lab.

Impact
Optical Science and Engineering are areas of growing importance that are too often missing from traditional undergraduate science and engineering curricula. Often, aspects of optics & photonics are picked up as side topics in undergraduate and graduate courses along the way to obtaining more traditional STEM degrees. The 2017 Winter School (Jan. 4-6) will bring together a select group of undergraduate students for an overview of foundational topics in optics and their relation to current research. The 2017 Workshop (Jan. 6-8) will provide a forum for both faculty and students from predominantly undergraduate institutions to share results, approaches and methodologies in optics and photonics research and education that are unique to the undergraduate setting.

Optics Suitcase

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.

Youth Education Grants

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
Funding will enable 5,000 students to experience optics-focus educational activities like classroom demonstrations, meetings, and science fairs.