Angela Stark
The Optical Society

OSA Foundation Provides Classroom Resources for America’s Top Math and Science Teachers

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OSA Fellow Charles Clark presents information on OSA educational resources to the U.S. Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching
WASHINGTON, March 6, 2014—One way to ensure future scientists develop a love of optics at an early age is to provide their teachers with necessary resources to foster that interest. The Optical Society (OSA) participated in a panel this week titled “How physics disciplinary societies can support teacher preparation and professional development” for the 2012 recipients of the U.S. Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST).  The PAEMST awards, which are administered by the U.S. National Science Foundation on behalf of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, recognize the top K-12 math and science teachers from all 50 U.S. states and 4 territories.  An event honoring the awardees was held in Washington, D.C., USA, March 3.
The OSA Foundation, the philanthropic arm of OSA, provided each of the 102 PAEMST awardees with a complimentary Optics Discovery Kit—a classroom tool featuring 11 experiments demonstrating the basic principles of optics.  They also received a set of OSA’s educational posters for the classroom, featuring striking images highlighting the science of optics with brief explanations of the optical phenomena, accompanied by a downloadable guidebook with detailed explanations, experiments and other information.  The teachers were also entered into a drawing to win an Optics Suitcase—an interactive presentation package designed by the OSA Rochester Local Section to introduce middle school students to a variety of science concepts.
OSA Fellow Charles W. Clark of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology and the University of Maryland, spoke on behalf of OSA to the awardees about the society’s resources available to educators, including OSA’s award-winning educational website, the classroom kits, educational DVDs and more.
“For most students, their first introduction to science is by their primary school teachers,” said Michael Morris, OSA Foundation board chair. “Ensuring teachers have access to high-quality resources can make the difference between a student developing a love of science or not. The OSA Foundation is proud to offer such resources not only to the 2012 PAEMST awardees, but to teachers around the globe. We thank Charles for representing OSA this week at such an important program.”
The OSA Foundation also presented awardees with a complementary one-year membership in OSA’s Youth Educator category.
“I was very glad to hear OSA’s presentation today at the White House,” said PAEMST awardee Jamie Garner, a 6th grade teacher at the Walnut Elementary Education Center in California. “I am eager to use the Optics Discovery Kit in the classroom and take advantage of the OSA membership.”
For more information on OSA’s educational resources for teachers, visit
About The OSA Foundation
The OSA Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit foundation established by The Optical Society (OSA) in 2002 to carry out charitable activities that support OSA’s mission of promoting the generation, application, archiving and worldwide dissemination of knowledge in optics and photonics. The foundation helps cultivate the next generation of leaders and innovators in the optics and photonics community as they move through advanced degree programs and become active members of research and engineering communities around the globe. To date, The OSA Foundation has awarded more than 800 grants, scholarships, and prizes benefiting thousands of individuals in more than 55 countries. For more information, visit
About OSA
Founded in 1916, The Optical Society (OSA) is the leading professional society for scientists, engineers, students and business leaders who fuel discoveries, shape real-world applications and accelerate achievements in the science of light. Through world-renowned publications, meetings and membership programs, OSA provides quality research, inspired interactions and dedicated resources for its extensive global network of professionals in optics and photonics. For more information, visit