OP-TEC Workshop on Optics and Photonics Education
Purpose of the Workshop:
To inform participants about career opportunities and the growing need for optics and photonics technicians and the secondary and postsecondary programs options to prepare them.
To explain the opportunities for participants to create new secondary-to-postsecondary programs in photonics and/or to infuse optics and photonics instruction into existing technical programs and courses in math, science and technologies enabled by photonics.
To inform participants of the OP-TEC curriculum materials and services available for planning and implementing photonics education at their institutions.
Optics and photonics applications are rapidly transforming the way we work and live. Photonics, and its applications, involve the cutting-edge use of lasers, optics, fiber-optics and electro-optical devices. Photonics has many applications in manufacturing, medicine, aerospace, communications, security, solid-state lighting, and other high-tech fields. Thus, it represents a broad, commercially viable area in which American employers require a steady supply of well-qualified technicians.
The demand for photonics technicians in the United States is great and that demand is growing faster than the pool of qualified candidates. Since most of the skills needed for photonics workers at the technician level are obtainable through AAS degree programs, community and technical colleges provide the optimum environment for significantly increasing the number of qualified personnel available to U.S. employers in technical fields. Two-year colleges must also partner with high schools to design photonics career pathways to lead students through well planned secondary course sequences and into articulated two-year postsecondary programs. The creation of this secondary-to postsecondary “pipeline” of students is critical to the success of producing enough qualified technicians to meet industry needs.
In an effort to support and promote the inclusion of optics and photonics applications in secondary and postsecondary programs, OP-TEC, the National Center for Optics and Photonics Education, offers a free two-day Workshop on Optics and Photonics Education.