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SPIE support: global reach in outreach

Date Announced: 24 Apr 2024

In 2024, SPIE Outreach Grants will support optics and photonics related activities across the world, from Pakistan, Italy, India, Spain, and Madagascar, to Armenia, Australia, South Africa, Mexico, and the United States.
SPIE outreach support in action: Young students at 2023’s “Physics in Your Own Hand” project, run by the Optický Spolek Matfyz organization in conjunction with the SPIE Student Chapter at Czechia’s Charles University.
SPIE outreach support in action: Young students at 2023’s “Physics in Your Own Hand” project, run by the Optický Spolek Matfyz organization in conjunction with the SPIE Student Chapter at Czechia’s Charles University.

Bellingham, WA, USA -- A Science Open Day in Madagascar, focusing on optics-related educational activities. In Australia, a bevy of informative sessions on photonics technologies and careers, pegged to the International Day of Light. A program that bridges optics education gaps in Pakistan. And — demonstrating an impressive level of zeitgeist awareness — an optics and photonics themed escape room in the United States.

These are just a handful of the 14 winning proposals from SPIE Outreach Grant recipients in 2024. This year, a dynamic mix of not-for-profits, student chapters, cultural centers, and photonics industry networks will keep elementary-school, high-school, university students, and the general public engaged and enlightened about all things optics and photonics thanks to SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics.

SPIE Outreach Grants are provided annually and are used to support and promote awareness of light-based technologies through general or International Day of Light-specific events and activities. These might include classroom outreach kits and educational community displays, as well as more interactive, multi-day events. Initiated by SPIE Members — whether they are students, professionals, or retired — the grants also offer Society Members an exciting way to collaborate within, and with, not-for-profit organizations, universities, optics centers, science centers, primary and secondary schools, youth clubs, industry associations, and international optical societies.

The SPIE Outreach Grants-funded projects inform and inspire diverse international audiences of all ages in a wide variety of ways. The aforementioned escape room, for example, aimed at high-school students, will offer an immersive, optical-metabolic-imaging experience (via project partner Optical Microscopy in Medicine Lab at the Morgridge Institute for Research), that will also promote teamwork, problem-solving, and a hands-on approach to learning.

In Mexico, a two-day event at the Universidad de Guanajuato, will celebrate the International Day of Light, with workshops, lab tours, educational games, and a particularly tasty pairing: daytime solar observation to complement an astronomy-focused night-camp.

And in the Southern Hemisphere, an SPIE-funded project will be hitting the road: Since 2009, the Postgraduate Student Society and Stellenbosch Laser Student Chapter of the Department of Physics at Stellenbosch University has organized an annual physics outreach road trip aimed at raising awareness among high-school pupils from different backgrounds in South Africa about the enriching opportunities of a career in physics and science in general. Successful since its inception, the optics and photonics focused road trip will be heading out again this year, thanks to SPIE.

Buckle up! And plan to attend — and enjoy — an SPIE-funded event near you.

About SPIE

SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, brings engineers, scientists, students, and business professionals together to advance light-based science and technology. The Society, founded in 1955, connects and engages with our global constituency through industry-leading conferences and exhibitions; publications of conference proceedings, books, and journals in the SPIE Digital Library; and career-building opportunities. Over the past five years, SPIE has contributed more than $22 million to the international optics community through our advocacy and support, including scholarships, educational resources, travel grants, endowed gifts, and public-policy development.


Daneet Steffens
Public Relations Manager
Bellingham WA
Tel. +1 360 685 5478

E-mail: daneets@spie.org

Web Site: www.spie.org

© 2024 SPIE Europe
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