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Exciting Laser Roadshow Brings Optics and Photonics Lessons to Even More Students in 2013
Date:12/26/2013

pectations. Our students were not only actively engaged, they were excited to learn.”

Students in Rockaway Park were impressed with the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) acronym, which helped them see how closely the fields work together, Dougherty said. She noted that the Laser Roadshow was the school’s first enrichment activity after the auditorium was damaged in Hurricane Sandy in October 2012.

Besides increasing general awareness of optics and photonics, the Laser Roadshow’s message includes a vocational element, said Chris Volpe, a Ph.D. physicist and president of Prismatic Magic.

“The message is, ‘You can grow up and do something like this, or even cooler, in optics and photonics,’ ” he said. “We're trying to reach these kids at a critical phase is their development and introduce an exciting career path option.”

Volpe said that he and his team find it very gratifying to hear from students, teachers, and parents that the roadshow has staying power. “Lasers and light continue to be an active topic of discussion both in the classroom and in the living room weeks after the event,” he said.

A recent report from the U.S. National Academies titled “Optics and Photonics, Essential Technologies for Our Nation” highlights the pervasiveness of optics and photonics technologies in everyday life, the substantial potential for economic growth, and the need to increase the number of STEM graduates to take on high-value jobs in the rapidly expanding fields.

The SPIE vote earlier this year channeling additional funds toward the Laser Roadshow also resulted in donations of:

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