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IUP Joins SciTech Exhibits to Engage Students to Explore STEM Careers

The IUP Electro-Optics program participated in SciTech Exhibits, held at Carnegie Science Center on November 8–11, 2011. The exhibit provided a unique opportunity to engage in informal learning through different demonstrations presented by local scientists and industry leaders, not only to school teachers and students, but also to the general public.

Thermal Image

The IUP Electro-Optics program has been participating in both the spring and fall SciTech Exhibits with Penn State EOC since 2006. More than one thousand pairs of diffraction glasses were distributed during this four-day event. The most popular demonstrations were the diffraction glasses and thermal imaging (at right), compared with others such as laser barcode, optical communication, solar panel, and solid-state lighting.

“SciTech provides an excellent opportunity for students to learn the career opportunity in electro-optics, which represents one of the fastest growing technologies in our economy,” said Dr. Andrew Zhou, coordinator of IUP electro-optics program. “According to OP-TEC (the National Center for Optics and Photonics Education), approximately 2,000 photonics jobs are added every year, while the existing photonics programs in the U.S. graduate less than 15 percent of the demand. Our mission is to let students explore the latest technology through interactive exhibits at SciTech Exhibits, to excite and to prepare them for tomorrow’s workforce.”

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