Central Carolina Community College and OP-TEC Present Photonics Math Text Report at NCPN Conference

Central Carolina Community College and OP-TEC Present
Photonics Math Text Report at National Career Pathways Network (NCPN) Conference

By Katherine McDonald
News & Feature Writer
Central Carolina Community College

LILLINGTON – Gary Beasley, Central Carolina Community College Laser & Photonics Technology lead instructor, co-presented a paper Oct. 2 at the National Career Pathways Network (NCPN) Conference in Atlanta.

The paper was co-authored by Beasley and Dr. John Souders of OP-TEC, the National Photonics Educational Center funded by the National Science Foundation. It presented to other community college and high school technical educators the success that the college’s laser program at its Harnett County Campus has had using the textbook “Mathematics for Photonics Education.”

The book is a supplemental math text developed by OP-TEC and pilot-tested by Central Carolina’s Laser & Photonics Technology program in 2004. It is designed to help students overcome their initial fear of math and learn to use it as a tool to solve photonics application problems. The pilot use was so successful and well received by the students that the college has used it every year since.

According to Beasley, many talented students who would be very successful in an exciting and rewarding technology career are afraid to follow that career path because of a fear of math.

“One of the top questions coming from high school students interested in lasers and photonics is whether or not the math is hard,” Beasley said. “I reassure them that only a basic understanding of algebra and trigonometry is all that is necessary and this math book can help them achieve that.”

The conference trip for Beasley and Souders was funded by OP-TEC.

To learn more about the Laser & Photonics Technology program at Central Carolina Community College, contact Beasley at (910) 814-8828 or by email at gbeasley@cccc.edu.

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