WASHINGTON, Nov. 30 -- The OSA Foundation has approved funding for 2005 to support optics programs including international student travel, Web site translation, youth science education outreach and student professional development. OSA said international outreach is a priority of the foundation, established in 2002, which last year granted $35,000 for programs targeting developing countries, students and underserved populations and youth science education.
Under a 2004 international student travel grant, more than 30 students from around the world presented their research at OSA-sponsored conferences. In another global initiative, the education-focused Web site OpticsforKids.org will be translated into several languages in 2005 to provide young people from developing countries with more access to optics resources and tools. The Student Professional Development Program, held at CLEO/IQEC in 2004 and slated for CLEO/QELS 2005, encourages graduate and undergraduate students to develop skills in presentation, networking and job searching.
The foundation also provided more than $10,000 in youth science education grants to 12 of OSA’s local sections in 2004 for educational outreach programs for teaching basic optics and photonics principles to pre-college students around the US and in many other countries, including Columbia and Malawi. OSA said the 2004 program will be expanded to its student chapters.
The foundation will also fund development of teacher resource packs to encourage pre-college education in optics and photonics and will provide teachers with multilanguage Optics Discovery Kits that include optical fiber, a flexible mirror, lenses, color filters, a hologram, polarizers and experiment cards.
The OSA Foundation began its first annual fund campaign and launched the Optics Trust with 25 founding members in 2004. The 2004 fund drive is accepting donations until Dec. 31. For more information or to make a tax-deductible donation, visit: www.osa.org/foundation/