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Proceedings Paper • Open Access

Optometry outreach for diverse middle school students

Paper Abstract

A need exists to diversify the optometry field in the United States. Males reflect 50.4 percent of the profession and approximately 97% of optometrist professionals are White and Asian1. This paper will describe Imhotep Academy’s program model, implementation efforts, and preliminary findings of the “Imhotep Academy: Optics of the Eye” session designed to promote optics content, optometry careers, engagement with diverse professionals within the field, and optics hands-on experiences to ethnically and racially diverse middle school students. The paper will analyze students’ awareness and knowledge of optics, science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields, their proficiencies, and innovations in the optometry field that impact personal health outcomes as well as parent data. Lastly, the paper will provide findings related to students’ self-reported 21st-century learning skills, future STEM engagement in school, and career aspirations. Informal science outreach programs have been found to develop students' awareness and knowledge of STEM careers.

Paper Details

Date Published: 2 July 2019
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 11143, Fifteenth Conference on Education and Training in Optics and Photonics: ETOP 2019, 111430L (2 July 2019); doi: 10.1117/12.2523998
Show Author Affiliations
Pamela O. Gilchrist, North Carolina State Univ. (United States)
Alonzo B. Alexander, North Carolina State Univ. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 11143:
Fifteenth Conference on Education and Training in Optics and Photonics: ETOP 2019
Anne-Sophie Poulin-Girard; Joseph A. Shaw, Editor(s)

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