OPEN Optics and Photonics Education News
Newsletter of the Optics and Photonics College Network
June 2020
Responding to the challenge of keeping students engaged and getting them interested and ready for STEM college programs, LASER-TEC, the Children Services Council of St. Lucie County, and Indian River State College have partnered to provide a summer-long opportunity for middle and high schoolers to explore the world of emerging technologies safely from home in an online Summer Learning Program.

Participating students will interact, collaborate, and connect with others as they learn about computer literacy, coding and artificial intelligence, modern electronics, photonics, robotics, automation, website development and design.
Each student will investigate light through demonstrations and experiments, create and program over 20 different fun projects using Arduino, and build several robotic systems.

Please contact Natalia Chekhovskaya if you would like to learn more about this program.
Virtual Content and Engagement from the Optical Society of America
From virtual professional development lectures, expert opinions on advancing careers in optics, and exploratory educational tutorials, the Optical Society of America is providing many helpful virtual resources during these turbulent times. Visit the OSA website to browse upcoming and recorded events. 

Our colleagues, Judy Donnelly and Nancy Magnani, hosted a series of very engaging video lectures called “Optics Magic” where they investigate the nature of light with tools and components that are readily available at home. This is a great resource for children, families, science teachers, and college faculty. Watch the recorded lectures on the OSA website.
LASER-TEC Resources
Whether you are looking for support with your college program's outreach, curriculum design, academic-business partnerships, or student placement, LASER-TEC has resources for you. Visit the Resources tab on our website to browse textbooks, kits, laboratory manuals, and informational and outreach materials. The current collection is comprised of both LASER-TEC and OP-TEC materials. Don't forget to check this page often, as we will constantly upload additional resources.
Featured College: Spokane Community College - Spokane, WA
Offers Associate in Applied Science Degree as an Electronics Engineering Technician. The program has four pathways: Applications, Avionics, Mechatronics, and Biomedical Equipment. In 2018, SCC added a Photonics Lecture and a Photonics Lab class to their Electronics Engineering Technician – AAS curriculum. These classes are based on the OP-TEC Fundamentals of Light and Lasers Course 1. The first cohort of this new curriculum graduated December 2019.
Associate in Applied Science degree as an Electronics Engineering Technician

This lab intensive program provides practical, hands-on experience with a variety of equipment used in industry. Classes are designed to develop the skills necessary for the technician to help engineers develop new products and to evaluate, test, troubleshoot, and repair existing equipment.

Graduates find employment in a wide variety of industries including electronics equipment manufacturing, medical equipment manufacturing, the service industry, and hospitals.
Skills of AAS degree graduates:
  • Ability to perform laboratory experiments and create projects using electronic breadboards, optical breadboards, 3D-PCB printing, IPC standard soldering, single board computers (Raspberry PI©), and embedded systems (Arduino©)
  • Hands on experience with electronic test equipment including photometers, multi-meters, oscilloscopes, signal generators, and power supplies
  • Practiced in aligning optical components
  • Understand the proper methods to handle, clean, and care for optical components
  • Familiarity with industry grade optical components, laboratory mountings, and positioning equipment 
  • Document procedures and data using Microsoft Word© and Excel©
  • Calculate expected results to compare with measured data 
  • Apply laser safety rules
Photonics lab experiments cover topics such as:
  • Law or Reflection
  • Speed of light in Optical Grade Plastic
  • Snell’s Law
  • Determining Wavelength
  • Spectrum of Colored Light
  • Using an Inexpensive Spectrometer
  • Optical Filters
  • Prisms and Lenses
  • Polarization
  • Diffraction
  • Interference
  • Optical Alignment Techniques
Contact Information
Name: Judy Irwin
Telephone: (509) 533-7133
Address: 1810 N Greene Street,   Spokane WA  99217
How can I recruit from this college?
Please contact the person above to arrange for a recruiting visit. Graduates are available every December. 
OPCN Member Colleges

The Optics and Photonics College Network (OPCN) is an association of postsecondary photonics technician educators operated by LASER-TEC. To learn more about the OPCN and to view the list of member institutions, please visit
Please feel free to forward this newsletter to anyone who may find it's contents valuable.
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OPEN is published by the LASER-TEC Center for Laser and Fiber Optics Education
This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. DUE-1700352. Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.