OPEN Optics and Photonics Education News
Newsletter of the Optics and Photonics College Network
March 2021
Helpful Resources for Teaching and Outreach
Series of Free Fiber Optics Webinars from Corning

See the Light Training Program offered by Corning Optical Communications includes a library of pre-recorded webinars on a wide variety of topics in fiber optics technology: from Basic Fiber 101, to Wavelength Division Multiplexing, to Demystifying 5G, the library contains over 30 webinars. This could be a good supplemental teaching resource for college courses in fiber optics. 
Educational Webinars by Problem Based Learning Project 

During 2020-2021, the PBL project and The Optical Society are hosting a series of educational webinars. During these webinars, Judy Donnelly and Nick Massa discuss topics in geometrical, wave optical, lasers, fiber optics, and concepts in problem based learning. The pre-recorded events and schedule can be found on the PBL Project website. These webinars can be added to photonics and optics course materials in high schools and colleges.
Edmund Optics TikTok Educational Videos

A couple of weeks ago, Edmund Optics launched their TikTok account. What is polarization, how 3D moves work, the science behind VR and AR, and other topics are covered in videos that are no longer than 1 minute long. The goal is to teach the basics of optics and other areas of science in a way that is easy to understand and engaging. This can be good material for public and student outreach programs.
International Day of Light 2021
The international community is preparing for the 2021 International Day of Light. The IDL steering committee has released resources, guidelines, and recommendations which are listed below. We encourage all of our collaboratorsboth industry and academiato participate in the celebration of this important day.

  1. An article on organizing hybrid and online events:
  2. Some general advice on event organization:
  3. Updated social media graphics, logos in different languages, and other resources:

Please note that if you are planning to organize an event, even if its format is not yet certain, please let the IDL Secretariat  know by registering it via the online calendar platform.
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: Pasadena City College (PCC) - Pasadena, CA
Technicians with hardware experience are among the most challenging employees to find and recruit in technical industries. At Pasadena City College (PCC), a curriculum in Laser Technology has been established to teach the skills required to work with precision optics, lasers, detectors, electronics, and nanotechnology. The creation of these courses has been supported by local industry and national laboratories to ensure that students learn modern, relevant laboratory techniques and technologies. Local industrial partners with interest in PCC LaserTech students come from sectors such as aerospace, advanced manufacturing, biomedicine, entertainment, communications, and military, among others that develop and apply cutting-edge technologies.

Located in the heart of Southern California, PCC offers programs of study many fundamental and in-demand technical disciplines, such as Geographical information Systems, Computer & Information Technology, and Biotechnology. By enrolling in the PCC LaserTech program, students can earn skills via a comprehensive Associate of Science (AS) degree of Laser Technology or via a certificate of Laser Technology that consists of four focused, applied courses. This program can be completed in as little as two years and has no prerequisites, thereby reducing barriers to entry. These laboratory-oriented optics courses were established over the past decade at Irvine Valley College (IVC), where over 150 students enrolled in LaserTech courses, 84% of whom are still employed in a technical job that involves the hands-on skills learned in the laboratory classroom.

PCC's Associate of Science degree in Laser Technology
Students completing the AS in Laser Technology from Pasadena City College will learn the scientific principles fundamental to the many applications of precision optics, lasers, detectors and cameras, fiber communication, advanced manufacturing, electronics, and optical displays. This includes a focus on the manufacture, inspection, and test of precision optics to established standards, as well as studies of optical components and devices fabricated via nanotechnology.

All courses are taught in a laboratory setting, where students are evaluated not by weekly homework assignments, but by their ability to document industry-quality laboratory reports that demonstrate their mastery of the phenomena or technology being studied. PCC LaserTech courses start with the fundamentals of light, and progress to teach students how to use optical devices, ranging from lenses, mirrors, and prisms to lasers, fibers, and cameras.

Further study instructs students how these devices are fabricated and tested to the highest industrial standards, including topics like cleanroom cleanliness and properly toleranced drawings. Finally, advanced technologies in optics are covered so that students can learn how to operate the measurement equipment required to test and troubleshoot optical assemblies and instruments.
PCC LaserTech graduates will...
  • Demonstrate applied comprehension of the basics of optical physics, including phenomena such as imaging, refraction, polarization, interference, and diffraction.
  • Be able to trace the path of light through basic optical assemblies and systems.
  • Understand the internal components and assembly of optical and electronic devices including laser systems, detectors, and optical displays.
  • Safely operate and maintain laser systems.
  • Be comfortable configuring and articulating optomechanical and optical hardware in a safe manner on a laboratory breadboard or in a clean flowhood.
  • Maintain, clean, and handle safely optical components, such as lenses, mirrors, and diffraction gratings in a cleanroom environment.
  • Write and interpret optics drawings to the ISO 10110 international standard.
  • Demonstrate a basic knowledge of electronics that includes both analog and digital components, as well as common circuit architectures.
  • Analyze and troubleshoot technical issues with industrial electronics and optical hardware.
  • Communicate technical concepts and document procedures and measured results via written, oral, or electronic format.
Contact Information
Name: Brian Monacelli
Title: Laser Technology Professor
Address: 1570 E Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91106
How can I recruit from this college?
If your company is interested to recruit students from Pasadena City College, please contact our Laser Technology professor to present your company and its employment opportunities. Please recognize that this program will not begin hands-on education until August 2021 at PCC, but since it was recently transferred from the Laser Technology program at IVC, experienced graduates will have completed Laser and Electronics Technology courses at IVC. The first PCC student cohort is expected to graduate with AS degrees in Laser Technology in May 2023.
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
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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.