SPIE has awarded over $59,000 in education outreach grants to 16 organizations in 11 countries in the first round of SPIE education outreach funding for 2014.
The awards were made to six SPIE Student Chapters, an astronomy club, a summer camp, science centers, holographic arts center, and other nonprofit organizations that conduct optics- and photonics-related education outreach projects.
The SPIE Student Chapter at the Indian Institute of Technology Madras in India, for instance, will use its SPIE education outreach funding to provide eye checkups and prescription eyeglasses to economically disadvantaged children.
Chapter members did just that in Chennai last December for 150 6th- to 8th-grade students and provided free spectacles to nearly half of the youth who needed vision correction.
Northwestern Michigan College plans to use its SPIE funding to help purchase an optical table needed for photonics seminars for high-school students and teachers in Michigan.
Venkataramana Kalikivayi, an optometrist and SPIE Student Member, provides vision services to disadvantaged children in India during the SPIE Student Chapter School Outreach Activity Program (SOAP).
The award winners so far this year, and the projects they plan, are:
- Center for the Holographic Arts (USA), to establish an education outreach workshop program in the New York area using holography to teach students about light, optics, and photonics.
- Engineering School of Communication of Tunis (Sup’Com) (Tunisia), for supplies and materials necessary to present optics and photonics outreach events to students and teachers.
- Huntingtown High School Astronomy Club (USA), to purchase materials necessary to complete a 3-phase STEM project centered on optics and the observation of celestial objects by the Astronomy Club students.
- Indian Institute of Technology Madras SPIE Student Chapter (India), to raise optics and photonics awareness among schoolchildren and provide vision screening.
- Indiana University of Pennsylvania (USA), to partially support outreach activities related to the Electro-Optics and Laser Engineering Technology summer camps.
- Nicolaus Copernicus University SPIE Student Chapter (Poland), to organize several outreach events promoting optics and photonics to high-school students.
- Northwestern Michigan College (USA), for outreach and to help buy materials to recruit high-school students into photonics programs.
- Osaka University SPIE Student Chapter (Japan), to raise awareness and interest in optics and photonics.
- Pratt Institute (USA), to provide materials for the "Focusing on Strings" outreach project for K-12 students.
- Puerto Rico Photonics Institute, Universidad Metropolitana (Puerto Rico), to demonstrate optical phenomena for students and the general public.
- St. Petersburg State University of Aerospace Instrumentation SPIE Student Chapter (Russian Federation), for optics or photonics education outreach activities to pre-college students.
- Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv SPIE Student Chapter (Ukraine), to partially support the 15th International Young Scientists Conference on Optics and High Technology Material Science to learners aged 14 to 18.
- Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo Leon SPIE Student Chapter (Mexico), for materials supporting optics and photonics workshops for all ages.
- University of St Andrews (UK), to partially support the "Seeing Life Through a New Light" outreach program.
- University of the West Indies, Mona (Jamaica), to stimulate interest in optics and to encourage high-school students to pursue degrees and careers in the optics or photonics field.
- Whitman-Hanson Regional High School (USA), to partially support science night at the Massachusetts school and to promote optics and photonics to parents and K-5 students.
This first round of 2014 grant awards was for groups that had applied by 31 January. The second round of awards for 2014 has closed for submissions, and grant winners will be announced later this year.
The next deadline for grant applications is 31 January 2015.
International Year of Light activity grants from SPIE
In addition to its annual Education Outreach Grants, SPIE will offer SPIE Student Chapters grants specifically for outreach activities during the International Year of Light in 2015 (IYL2015).
Applications for the first of two rounds of IYL2015 grants will be due 30 September 2014, and the first group of awards will be made in December.
Also see "SPIE and IYL2015" in this issue of SPIE Professional for information on SPIE-sponsored activities and materials for IYL2015.