The OP-TEC Advanced Technological Education Center was launched in August 2006 with funding from the National Science Foundation.
Under the direction of Dan Hull, the Center engages a consortium of
two-year colleges, high schools, universities, national laboratories,
industry partners, and professional societies. The participating
entities have committed to join forces in creating a
secondary-to-postsecondary “pipeline” of highly qualified and strongly
motivated students and empowering community colleges to meet the urgent
need for technicians in optics and photonics.
OP-TEC serves two types of one- and two-year postsecondary programs:
- Those devoted to lasers, optics, and photonics technology; and
- Those devoted to technologies that are enabled by optics and photonics.
is building support through curriculum, instructional materials,
assessment, faculty development, recruiting, and support for
institutional reform. OP-TEC will serve as a national clearinghouse for
teaching materials; encourage more schools and colleges to offer
programs, courses, and career information; and help high school
teachers and community and technical college faculty members develop
programs and labs to teach technical content.
The project has four goals:
- Serve as a national resource center for optics and photonics education and training.
assemble, align, and distribute coordinated curriculum materials
designed to support optics, laser, and photonics education in high
schools, two-year colleges, and retraining of adult workers.
established and new photonics education programs in high schools,
community and technical colleges, universities, and professional
- Provide education and training for
administrators, counselors, high school teachers, and community college
faculty members to prepare them to:
- design new photonics technology programs that meet their local needs;
- infuse photonics into programs in photonics-enabled technologies; and
- teach optics, photonics, and lasers using curriculum materials distributed by OP-TEC.
is establishing a national infrastructure for developing and supporting
widely disseminated educational programs in cutting-edge, high-demand
technologies that require photonics. That infrastructure encompasses
both the secondary and postsecondary levels and will involve
collaboration between educators and industry personnel.
his team are doing excellent work. In July I had the chance to
interview him (on his birthday!) at the SAME-TEC 2008 Conference in
You can get more information on the OP-TEC National Center located in Waco, TX here