What’s New?

Co-PI Judy Donnelly Publishes a PBL article in Photonics Spectra.

March 2013

You can view the article, Problem Based Learning in Photonics Education, here!


PHOTON PBL Co-PI Judith Donnelly Receives OSA Esther Hoffman Beller Medal for Excellence in Optical Science and Engineering Education

April, 2012

The PHOTON PBL team is pleased to announce that the Optical Society of America (OSA) has selected Co-PI Judith Donnelly, professor of physics/laser and fiber optics at Three Rivers Community College in Connecticut, as the winner of the 2012 Esther Hoffman Beller Award. Donnelly is the first community college instructor to receive the award, presented for outstanding dedication to engaging middle, high school and college students in optical science and engineering education.


January 31st FUNDING OPPORTUNITY DEADLINE for SPIE Education Outreach Grants

SPIE provides support for optics and photonics related education outreach projects. The award process is competitive and applications are judged on their potential to impact students and increase optics awareness. The key criterion in evaluation and ranking applications is the potential to impact students and to increase optics and photonics awareness.

Qualifying not-for-profit organizations such as universities, optics centers, science centers, primary and secondary schools, youth clubs, industry associations and international optical societies are eligible for project support. The deadlines for grant applications are January 31, 2012 and May 31, 2012.

SPIE is using ScholarSelect to provide an easy and secure way to submit your education outreach grant application.

Please visit SPIE’s website to learn more about the submission process and upcoming funding opportunities.



STEM PBL Advisory Committee Chair Elected to SPIE Senior Membership

July, 2011

Congratulations to PHOTON PBL Advisor and STEM PBL Advisory Committee Chair, Barbara Darnell, who was elected in July to SPIE Senior Membership! Click here to read her profile, published last month in SPIE Professional.


Windham Works: STEM PBL Co-PI and Challenge Partner Discuss Optics and Photonics Industry on Charter TV, CT

June 22, 2011

Windham State Representative Susan Johnson invited Judy Donnelly, STEM PBL Co-PI at Three Rivers Community College (center), Nathan White, an engineer with RSL FiberSystems, a STEM PBL Challenge Partner (right), and Todd Farrell, an electronics teacher at Windham Technical High School (left), to discuss the CT-OPA (Connecticut Optics & Photonics Association) and the optics/photonics industry in Connecticut.


Congratulations to Nick Massa, Co-PI for the PHOTON PBL Project and the new STEM PBL Project, who has been awarded SPIE’s 2010 International Educator of the Year award! Read the SPIE press release.


A new survey from the University of North Texas Survey Research Center has been released – Photonics Technician Jobs in the United States: A 2009 Industry Survey of Current and Future Demand for Education and Training Programs.


A new webpage was added containing interview articles on people with careers in Photonics.


Our Fall 2009 edition of or newsletter is now finished! Read the online PDF version here. Or, request paper copies to distribute to your school or training program.


Educational standards for the Challenges are now available!


Eight draft versions of the PHOTON Problem Based Learning (PBL) Challenges plus a complete user manual are now available to the general public. Click here to view them!


We have an updated version of our PHOTON participant map!


Below are articles published by industry press that mention the PHOTON projects and participants:

Congratulations to Fenna Hanes and Judy Donnelly!

Fenna Hanes is winner of the SPIE 2009 Educator Award for all her contributions to photonics and optics education. Read the award announcement by SPIE. And Judy Donnelly was named as one of the first Senior Members of SPIE. Read the the February/March 2009 edition of Bridges for more details.


SPIE Awards Grants For Education and Outreach
SPIE Professional magazine, July 2009, page 36.


2009 SPIE Awards
SPIE Professional magazine, July 2009, page 41.

Learning How To Learn With Real-World Problems written by Grace Klonoski for Laser Focus World Magazine, February 2009.

Expanding Photonics Education written by Caren B. Les in PHOTONICS Spectra Magazine, January 2009.

Desperately Seeking Photonics Technicians written by Caren B. Les in PHOTONICS Spectra Magazine, January 2009.

Past Events

2009 International Honors and Awards
2009 Dissemination Activities
2008 Summer Workshop Photo Gallery
January 2008 Distance Learning Course
2007 Summer Workshop Photo Gallery
2007 Summer Workshop Article
2006 Summer Showcase Workshop

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