Photonics Grants Awarded to Four Colleges
WACO, Texas, Jan. 8, 2014 — The chronic nationwide shortage of new photonics technicians has prompted the National Center for Optics and Photonics Education (OP-TEC) to provide grants to four US colleges, with the goal of attracting high school students to photonics-related associate degree programs.
A recent OP-TEC study found that two-year colleges are producing annually fewer than 300 graduates of photonics technician programs, a level well below the need. Supported by the National Science Foundation, the organization aims to build the capacity and strengthen the quality of photonics education in two-year institutions.
OP-TEC grants will be given to:
- Cincinnati State Technical and Community College. CSTCC's laser program will use its grant to hire a recruiter and to host a three-day photonics institute for high school science and technology teachers this summer. The funds will also provide 10 portable photonics kits for teachers.
- Maui College, Kahului, Hawaii. The school will hire a recruiter to increase enrollment in its laser-related programs. Outreach services are planned for eight targeted high schools and their feeder middle schools throughout Maui.
- Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Indiana, Pa. The school will hire a recruiter to connect with local area high schools. IUP will also work with high schools to develop dual-credit courses and articulation agreements for the associate degree program.
- Northwestern Michigan College, Traverse City, Mich. NMC will hire a recruiter for its engineering technology program. It will also provide scholarships to 11 high school seniors who enroll in the college’s dual-credit introductory photonics course in the fall. NMC will provide matching funds to purchase lab and safety equipment for the program.
For more information, visit: www.op-tec.org
- The technology of generating and harnessing light and other forms of radiant energy whose quantum unit is the photon. The science includes light emission, transmission, deflection, amplification and detection by optical components and instruments, lasers and other light sources, fiber optics, electro-optical instrumentation, related hardware and electronics, and sophisticated systems. The range of applications of photonics extends from energy generation to detection to communications and...
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