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SPIE honors 19 with Education Outreach grants

30 June 2010

BELLINGHAM, Washington, USA -- Nineteen non-profits from around the world have been awarded 2010 SPIE Education Outreach grants to increase awareness about the importance of optics and photonics. 

Faculty at the University of Newcastle in Australia are using their grant to offset expenses of producing a traveling science show that will focus exclusively on the laser. An undergraduate at the university is expected to present the show, Science NONfiction: The History and Science of Lasers," as part of the university's Science, Maths, and Real Technology (SMART) program that tours throughout Australia.

Students in southern New Jersey will also benefit from an SPIE grant to Sean Kearney, founder of Laser Guy Productions. Kearney has been providing laser demonstrations to elementary school students in and around Marlton, NJ, for 12 years. The SPIE grant will allow him to buy new lasers and upgrade projectors and other equipment to expand and customize his offerings and the reach of his programs. At the heart of the upgrades will be a professional software suite for designing custom laser shows that educate and entertain.

Other grants from the SPIE program will be used to train teachers, buy supplies and awards for science fairs, and support summer camps that teach kids about lasers, refraction, and other optical phenomena.

The 2010 Education Outreach Grant recipients are:

· Academy of Natural Sciences (USA)
· Baylor University (USA)
· Centro de Investigaciones Opticas, CIOp (Argentina)
· Centro de Investigaciones en Optica (Mexico)
· Discovery Science Center of Orange County (USA)
· Extreme Ultraviolet Light Engineering Research Center (USA)
· Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) SPIE Student Chapter (Mexico)
· Koc University (Turkey)
· Laser Guy Productions - Non-profit educational road show (USA)
· OSA, National Capital Section (USA)
· OSA, New England Section (USA)
· Pennsylvania State Electro-Optics Center (USA)
· Texas State Technical College (USA)
· Three Rivers Community Colellege (USA)
· University of Latvia SPIE Student Chapter (Latvia)
· University of Laval SPIE Student Chapter (Canada)
· University of Newcastle, SMART Program (Australia)
· Women in Optics, University of Arizona, (USA)
· Zachary (LA) Community School District (USA).

To view photos and descriptions of all Education Outreach grant recipients go to http://spie.org/x36707.xml.

As part of its education outreach mission, SPIE provides support for optics and photonics related education outreach projects. The award process is competitive; applications are judged on their potential to impact students and increase optics awareness.

Qualifying not-for-profit organizations such as universities, optics centers, science centers, primary and secondary schools, youth clubs, industry associations and international optical societies are eligible for project support. Find out how you can help encourage the next generation of scientists advancing light-based technologies.

Please submit your Education Outreach Grant Application Form to outreach@spie.orgoutreach@spie.org.

Applications are judged based on their potential to impact students and increase optics awareness. Please contact outreach@spie.org Applications are judged based on their potential to impact students and increase optics awareness. Please contact outreach@spie.org if you have any questions.

SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, was founded in 1955 to advance light-based technologies. Serving more than 180,000 constituents from 168 countries, the Society advances emerging technologies through interdisciplinary information exchange, continuing education, publications, patent precedent, and career and professional growth. SPIE annually organizes and sponsors approximately 25 major technical forums, exhibitions, and education programs in North America, Europe, Asia, and the South Pacific, and supports scholarships, grants, and other education programs around the world.

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