OSA Foundation Furthers Commitment To Optics Youth Education


Lyndsay Meyer
The Optical Society

OSA Foundation Furthers Commitment To Optics Youth Education

New Funding for Grant Programs Announced

WASHINGTON, June 14 – The OSA Foundation (OSAF) today announced the details of programs it will fund in the second half of 2012. The initiatives include new and continuing grants that support optics education and outreach activities and forward the OSAF’s goal to inspire future generations of science, engineering and business leaders.

Three programs approved by the OSAF Board in May 2012 are highlighted below. A complete list of OSAF activities is available at www.osa-foundation.org.

National Society of Black Physicists (NSBP)/National Society of Hispanic Physicists (NSHP) Student Prizes

New this year, the OSAF will provide grants to five outstanding student presenters at the Physics Diversity Summit and the Joint Annual Conference of the National Society of Black Physicists and the National Society of Hispanic Physicists. The conference – which brings together more than 500 African American and Hispanic American physics students and professionals – includes a technical program as well as student professional development, mentoring and recruitment activities.

Optics Suitcases

Support of the Optics Suitcase program continues with funding to distribute 100 Suitcases during the next 12 months. The Suitcase, developed and fabricated by OSA’s Rochester Local Section, is an innovative, interactive presentation package designed to introduce middle school students to a variety of science concepts.  Suitcases are made available to OSA Student Chapters as part of the OSA Activity and Youth Education Grant Program. The OSAF’s partnership with the Rochester Section has helped distribute hundreds of Suitcases and theme packets to students and teachers around the world. A step-by-step guidebook has been developed to help Suitcase demonstrators and has been translated into Spanish, German, Portuguese and Mandarin Chinese.

OSA Student Chapter Youth Education Grants

OSA has more than 260 Student Chapters worldwide. Youth Education Grants fund these Chapter outreach programs and promote science learning by working directly with local grade school students at events such as classroom demonstrations and science fairs. The renewed funding will support approximately 40 programs in the second half of 2012.

“These programs, along with our other 2012 initiatives, help the Foundation carry out its mission to support and inspire the next generation of optics and photonics leaders, as well as to provide additional resources to underserved communities,” said OSAF Chair Michael Morris. “I am pleased the Board voted to approve these projects and I look forward to seeing them put into action this year.”

About the OSA Foundation

The OSA Foundation (OSAF) was established in 2002 to support philanthropic activities that help further the Optical Society's (OSA) mission. The OSAF is concentrating its efforts on programs that provide career and professional development resources and support awards and honors that recognize technical and business excellence. The grants funded by the OSA Foundation are made possible by the generous donations of its supporters as well as the dollar-for-dollar match by OSA. The Foundation is exempt from U.S. federal income taxes under section 501(c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code and is a public charity. To learn more about the OSA Foundation, please visit www.osa-foundation.org.