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SPIE Professional: Bonus Web Content

Summer Optics Camps

Several institutions are offering summer programs that expose youth to careers in and the science of optics.

In a new collaboration among Pima Community College, the University of Arizona, JobPath, and Tucson-area businesses, 40 high school students will get the opportunity to take free technology classes to learn about optics, electric cars, and solar energy during their 2008 summer vacation.

Students will work hands-on with technologies such as fuel cells and photovoltaics. Along with the free classes, students will be able to earn college credit and even a $500 stipend for passing their classes, making this a viable alternative to working a summer job.

Directors of the Technology Summer Institute hope it will encourage high school students to become optical engineers, technicians, or research scientists.

Businesses involved include Veeco Metrology, Zygo, Global Solar Energy, Texas Instruments, Analog Devices, and Honeywell.

Full article from the Arizona Daily Star

The University of Arizona also has other summer camps for kids and teens, including its Optical Sciences Camp offered through the UA College of Optical Sciences, and one intended to immerse young people in astronomy.

  • On the East Coast, the University of Central Florida's Center for Research and Education in Optics and Lasers (CREOL) within the College of Optics and Photonics will also host nine weekly camps this summer for students in grades 3 through 12. Organizers hope to inspire the campers to pursue careers in science and engineering because of the need in the workforce. Press release from UCF
  • The Penn State Electro-Optics Center, Indiana University of Pennsylvania at Northpointe, and Lenape Technical School will partner to hold its 2+2+2 Electro-Optics Summer Camp for its third year. Students who will enter grades 10 to 12 this fall will take part in daily activities on topics such as wave optics, thermal IR technology, nanotechnology, and the color spectra. The summer programs in Freeport, PA, are free. More in this PDF.


Posted May 19, 2008. Updated, May 30, 2008 and June 2, 2008.

DOI: 10.1117/2.4200804.42