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SPIE Professional: Bonus Web Content

SPIE Awards More Education and Outreach Grants

Award winners conduct programs to increase awareness about optical technologies and solar energy and to help teachers bring optics education alive.

By Beth Kelley

The SPIE Université Laval Student Chapter and SPIE Montreal Student Chapter, Canada, received one of the annual SPIE Education and Outreach Grants. The members will present an outreach activity in November 2008 for high school students and their physics teachers in Quebec City and Montreal and provide hands-on workshops on optics instruments.

High school students may then sign up for a second full-day workshop at either university, where they will be given optics challenges to solve with the aid of a SPIE student member. The physics teachers will also get to participate in an optics workshop of their own.

Gabrielle Thériault of Université Laval and David Riouxfrom Universitéé Ecolee Polytechnique de Montreal receive a grant from SPIE President Kevin Harding.

SPIE provides support to members for photonics related education and outreach projects that increase awareness about the field of optics and photonics. In its second round of Education and Outreach Grants for 2008, SPIE gave support to members in China, Australia, Canada, and the USA for activities to increase awareness about optical technologies and solar energy.

The Optics Institute of Southern California (USA) received money to fund several different projects throughout the year, including the Optricks for a Greener World program and a Hogwarts School of Optricks, outreach programs delivered to primary and secondary students throughout southern California.

CUDOS (Centre for Ultrahigh bandwidth Devices for Optical Systems) at Macquarie University in Australia received a grant to complete the interface and graphical components for an online "Photonics Simulator" to be made freely available as a photonics education and outreach tool. The open-ended Photonics Simulator employs photonic components as building blocks to form a communications system and help students build their own networks.

Judy Donnelly, program coordinator of Laser and Fiber Optic Technology at Three Rivers Community College in Connecticut, (USA) will use her SPIE educational outreach grant to mount the third annual Laser Camp this summer. Forty high-school students at the four-day camp will learn about laser engraving, holography, polarized light and other subjects and take field trips to museums and industry sites. Three participants of the first Laser Camp subsequently enrolled in Donnelly's program. 

The complete list of second round of 2008 SPIE outreach award winners are:

  • University of Arizona (USA) (Two awards to Carl Maes and Charles Falco)
  • Three Rivers Community College (USA)
  • Université Laval (Canada)
  • University of Colorado at Boulder (USA)
  • Optics Institute of Southern California (USA)
  • Changchun Institute of Optics, Fine Mechanics & Physics (China)
  • Spring Independent School District (USA)
  • Macquarie University (Australia)

Nearly two dozen organizations received funding earlier in 2008. See other winners.

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 through an application process. Grants are awarded twice a year. The next deadline for SPIE Education and Outreach Grant applications is 15 January 2009.

Grant Winners Host Workshop in March

The Centre d'Optique, Photonique et Laser (COPL) at Université Laval will host a new event for graduate students in optics-photonics from the eastern side of North America in March 2009.

Called Photonics ToolkiT 2009, it will consist of three days of conferences and workshops to give grad students tools to help in their careers. Activities will include an introduction to LaTeX, a presentation on effective oral and written presentations, information on starting a company, and more.

Attendees will get to meet representatives from Quebec-area optics companies at a cocktail event and will also have the chance to present their research projects in a posters session.

The event is 5-8 March, 2009, at the Pavillon d'Optique Photonique (POP) at Université Laval, Québec City, Canada. More information.

Have a question or comment about SPIE Professional magazine? Write to us at spieprofessional@spie.org.

Posted September 2008 (Updated November 2008)

DOI: 10.1117/2.4200809.16

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