Huge Success for “Wonders of Light,” a Cornerstone U.S. IYL 2015 Event

Hundreds of children and their parents attended daytime event at the National Museum of the American Indian in September for hands-on activities and fun — and to learn about light and light technologies.

Earlier this month, as I crunched the crushstone and pounded the pavement on a sticky, late-summer Saturday, the singular thought occurred to me that the day had finally arrived. Nearly an entire year’s worth of preparation, countless contributions by a dizzying number of volunteers, weekly meetings over the phone for months, late night wrangling over last minute details, and it had all come down to this: hundreds of children having fun as their parents and caregivers watched.

As the half-day event called “Wonders of Light: Family Science Fun” was getting started at the National Museum of the American Indian, I was wandering the adjacent promenade, handing out fliers to families. Some of the same families I saw again later that afternoon, participating in the event.

Credit: Jason Bardi.

Credit: Jason Bardi.

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Light for a Better World – A Celebration of U.S. Innovation at the National Academy of Sciences

Hundreds of people attended an evening event this past Saturday titled, “Light for a Better World: A Celebration of U.S. Innovation” at the National Academy of Sciences. This was one of two flagship events anchoring International Year of Light and Light-Based Technologies (IYL 2015) celebration in the United States, and it featured several delightful lectures by a distinguished panel of speakers followed by a nice reception.

The evening was sponsored by the U.S. IYL 2015 organizing committee, which includes the National Science Foundation, National Academy of Sciences, The Optical Society, American Institute of Physics, American Physical Society, IEEE Photonics Society and SPIE.

An earlier, daytime event called “Wonders of Light – Family Science Fun” at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian where more than 500 people, largely children and their parents, were treated to more than a dozen booths offering hands-on activities. I will describe more about that daytime event in a separate blog. First, let me describe the evening event and how well the speakers there captured the dual themes reflected in the title: light innovation and working toward a better world.

Musicians are bathed in LED light from the Radiance Orb, which responds to their playing before the start of the Light for a Better World celebration in Washington D.C. On September 12, 2015. Credit: Jason Socrates Bardi.

Musicians are bathed in LED light from the Radiance Orb, which responds to their playing before the start of the Light for a Better World celebration in Washington D.C. On September 12, 2015. Credit: Jason Socrates Bardi.

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Changing how we Recruit Photonics Technicians and Engineers

I am new to the field of Photonics. Currently, I provide outreach services at Cincinnati State Technical and Community College. We are a two-year college, located in Cincinnati, OH, USA. I work specifically for the Electro-Mechanical Engineering Technology (EMET) program, under a grant from the National Science Foundation.  My specific role is to increase enrollment into the EMET program’s Laser Major. I attend recruiting events to engage high school teachers, and spark the interest of students and parents.

Credits: James Webb Space Telescope

Credits: James Webb Space Telescope

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