MCC News

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Science Camp Gives Monroe County Youths a Taste of Optics Careers (06/20/2013)

WHAT: A total of 26 students from East High, Gates Chili High and Greece Olympia schools will explore the science of optics by designing various experiments under the guidance of local optics professionals and educators at a one-week Summer Optics Sizzler camp. In addition to gaining an understanding of optics concepts and principles, participants will hear about local college degree programs and career paths in optics and have an opportunity to tour company worksites.

The purpose of the free camp is for students to gain an appreciation for optics and consider pursuing careers in optics. Currently, Rochester-area businesses are in urgent need of qualified workers and are bracing for further labor shortage as more than 50 percent of the current optics workforce will retire over the next decade.

WHERE: Gleason Hall of Science and Technology on Monroe Community College’s Brighton Campus, 1000 E. Henrietta Road; parking available in Monroe Loop.

WHEN: 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m. June 24-28

DETAILS: Using a variety of technologies, the students will work in teams on assigned projects:

Use a $200 lens and a $15 LCD digital photo key chain to build an LCD projector that will give similar results as a $1,000 projector; build an interferometer, a device that uses light to measure the thickness of objects thinner than a sheet of paper; build a spectrometer to study different colors of light that come from various types of light bulbs; explore how lenses with identical shapes and sizes but made from different materials behave differently; create 3-D optical images using two conventional photos; and create three-dimensional holograms of objects using photopolymer film technology.

On the final day of the camp, students will present their projects and research to their peers and to a panel of local optics professionals and educators.

Sponsored by MCC and the Rochester Regional Photonics Cluster, the camp is run by a team of volunteers, including Damon Diehl, MCC assistant professor of engineering technologies; James VanKouwenberg, training coordinator at Optimax; Donna Smith, a Gates Chili High School physics teacher; and Tom Fasoldt, a Greece Olympia school physics teacher. More than 15 optics businesses have donated staff, equipment and funds.

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