The Optical Society Intern
The Optical Society
Outreach is the provision of materials and opportunities to groups that do not have access to them. Science outreach typically involves demonstrations, workshops, or lectures designed to get people interested in science or provide opportunities to learn more or become more involved. This summer I was able to work with the outreach team for The Optical Society where I was exposed to the behind-the-scenes practicalities that go with running outreach programs. I have worked with special program grants on many levels, helped with preparation for OSA events, updated the member database with individual’s events and awards, and created content for both the OSA Discover blog and Optics4kids website. This experience has allowed me to develop skills that will follow me through my career and has given me a look into what a career in science outreach is really like.
I am a Junior studying physics at Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. I was raised in a small town in Florida and have always been interested in science since I was a little girl. I knew I wanted to be a physicist after I took my first physics course in high school and fell in love with the subject. This ultimately brought me to Coe where I do research producing scintillating glasses and model various glasses with Lammps.
I have always been passionate about science outreach. I work as the outreach coordinator for a women in STEM group at Coe College and help organize demonstrations and lessons in middle schools in the community as well as larger experiments at Coe College for young students. Nothing gives me a greater sense of pride than seeing someone’s eyes light up with curiosity and amazement as a result of these demonstrations. It makes my heart full to be able to pass on my love and sense of wonder for science to someone else and I hope to continue my work in outreach and expose many young minds to a whole new field full of amazing phenomena.