SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY EDUCATION: New OSA Foundation Web site launched

Nov. 22, 2010
Spotlight on inspiring the next generation of scientists and business leaders.

Spotlight on inspiring the next generation of scientists and business leaders.

The OSA Foundation (OSAF), a charitable organization dedicated to carrying out philanthropic programs that further the study of science, has launched a new Web site that makes it easier to find information about OSAF grants, programs, competitions, and prizes.

The site features expanded content and resources to provide donors, volunteers, potential grantees, students, and the general public with access to information about current and recently accomplished programs. Highlights include quick links to current news and award updates, guidelines about grant and application procedures, and information about successful programs taking place all over the world.

The site reflects the primary focus area of the OSAF—providing top-quality educational resources to students and educators around the world. Special emphasis is given to programming that benefits underserved populations. The Foundation has funded nearly 300 programs and awarded 733 grants, scholarships, and prizes that have benefited thousands of individuals in more than 55 countries since its establishment in 2002.

The Web site highlights the array of classroom and online education resources offered by the OSAF and the Optical Society of America (OSA); most of these materials are free of charge. These include videos, lesson plans, and workbooks. Featured are a multi-lingual poster series, Optics Suitcase and Optics Discovery Kits, Lighten Up! Discovering the Science of Light Workbook, an Optics and Photonics Education Directory, videos, and DVDs.

University-level students can access information about career development workshops, travel grants to attend OSA-hosted meetings, and paper competitions. These programs acknowledge and encourage our future leaders, and ensure they are able to attend important conferences.

The new site also includes expanded program descriptions and photos from OSAF-funded initiatives. Areas of focus include:

  • Discovery Fund Programs that support interactive classroom and extracurricular activities that provide children with access to science educators and learning materials to spark their interest in science and math.
  • Future Innovators Fund Programs that focus on career and professional development resources to help university students from around the world build successful and rewarding careers in optics and photonics
  • Global Outreach Fund Programs that provide learning resources and financial support to students, teachers, and scientists residing in developing nations
  • The Galileoscope Challenge, an initiative that provides high-quality, “build your own” telescope kits to students and teachers around the world.

To provide visitors with a multimedia experience, the OSAF has also launched a presence on Facebook and established a YouTube channel, which features videos of outreach programs.

The interactive features of the site include secure online donation forms that enable donors to direct their gifts to specific campaigns, and a Grant Requester Quiz that helps funding applicants to determine if their requests align with the Foundation’s criteria and focus areas.

The OSA Foundation (OSAF) was established in 2002 to support philanthropic activities that help further the Optical Society's mission by concentrating its efforts on programs that advance youth science education, provide optics and photonics education to underserved populations, provide career and professional development resources, and support awards and honors that recognize technical and business excellence. The grants funded by the OSA Foundation are made possible by the generous donations of its supporters, as well as the dollar-for-dollar match by OSA. The Foundation is exempt from U.S. federal income taxes under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and is a public charity.

GRACE KLONOSKI is the Senior Director, Foundation, Membership & Education Services for the Optical Society of America, 2010 Massachusetts Ave, NW, Washington, DC 20036; e-mail: [email protected];

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