Light BLOX Motivates Students to Study Light

The OSA Foundation commenced the Optical Society’s (OSA) 2015 Winter Leadership Meeting with International Year of Light Education Kit demonstrations at a local Washington, DC NGO this weekend. OSA volunteer leaders introduced the Light BLOX kit to a classroom of 50 For the Love of Children (FLOC) students. Each student in attendance was given his or her own kit to take home.

Light BLOX provides students with hands on activities that introduce them to the science of light, and over 1,200 kits have been distributed to date. Containing high tech LED light sources, a set of frosted lenses, a diffraction grating, and more, the experiment kit helps teach young innovators how to bend, bounce, and blend light. This program is estimated to have impacted a total of 30,000 students thus far! You can help support your community by donating a kit at www.osa.org/IYLKit

OSA at FLOC. (Photo: Business Wire)

“The Light BLOX Education Kit does a marvelous job at introducing the properties of light to children in addition to igniting their interest in science overall,” said OSA Foundation Chair Alexander A. Sawchuk.

NASA and the Italian National Research Center (INRC) supported this program by sending speakers to work with the students. OSA National Capital Local Section members, Margaret Dominguez (NASA) and Kevin Miller (NASA), along with the 2015 Young Professional Award recipient, Antigone Marino (INRC), spoke to the students about their diverse science backgrounds and how their love of science first began.

Student quotes from the event:

·         "This was so much fun. I didn't know you could study light."

·         "This was the best science class I have ever been too."

·         "When I grow up I want to be an engineer."

·         "Can I take this kit home? I want to show it my friends."

“We are delighted to partner with OSA to introduce our students to the science of light, with hands-on, engaging activities and lessons that develop their intellectual curiosity and understanding of the scientific method,” said FLOC Deputy Director Robyn Lingo. “At FLOC, we believe that every child should be given the opportunity to reach their full academic potential. We are so grateful for the volunteers from the OSA who came to inspire our students to explore, learn new things and imagine themselves as the next leaders in the scientific world.”

For Love of Children (FLOC) provides services free of charge to low-income families in the District of Columbia and West Virginia. Since 1965, they have served more than 10,000 children in the classroom and beyond. Today, roughly 25 staff and 300 volunteers serve nearly 600 students from first grade through college and career per year in local schools.

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