International Dark Sky Annual General Meeting

The International Dark Sky Annual General Meeting will be held on November 14 and 15, 2015 at the Embassy Suites Hotel Phoenix | Scottsdale, Arizona.

Please see this website for the program details and schedule:


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AOIA Luncheon Event at the Arizona Inn – September 29, 2015

AOIA Luncheon Event at the Arizona Inn
There will be an AOIA Luncheon Event at the Arizona Inn on Tuesday, September 29th, 2015 from 11:30am to 2:00pm. The event will feature LUXeXceL presenting: “3D Printed Optics.”

The cost per attendee is $10.00.
Please RSVP by September 24 to:
[email protected]

Space is limited, so don’t wait too long.
Click here to see the event flyer:
Event Flyer

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James Webb Space Telescope Models

A Kickstarter campaign for reduced-scale models of NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope (JWST)!

JWST- a NASA-European Space Agency (ESA) collaboration.

We’ve used the prototypes at NASA-sponsored events around the country, demonstrating to large groups of adults and children the complex engineering that unfolds the Space Telescope after it releases from the ESA’s rocket fairing.

We’ve decided to make these models publicly available to educators, aerospace and astronomy enthusiasts, and anyone who has interest in the engineering and science that this US-EU collaboration is creating.

Please help us by backing our project with a small donation.

Thanks very much,


The main video is entertaining (those two are my colleagues!). They’ve reached young minds everywhere!


More About It:
Eric Grosso
After graduation, I started both as an engineer working on parts of JWST, and as a mentor for a talented group of student interns working on the design and build of a 1/6 scale deployable model of JWST. This project led us to the above 1/20th and 1/40th scale models. Just to say it, I’ve never seen a university senior design project that compares to the 1/6th scale model that this group made, all while working as interns outside of their studies.

It realistically demonstrates the complex deployments JWST has and is properly scaled to the size of a medium sedan. Separated into two parts, it ships in secure crates at a weight of two tons. It has been to Johnson Space Center (JSC), Goddard Space flight Center (GSFC), Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC). In October, it is being shipped to Kennedy Space Center (KSC) for nine months of public demonstration.

Each of the students who made that project great have since graduated as engineers. All but one are now my colleagues, and share the growing amount of engineering work we have on JWST.

Our Kickstarter is STEM outreach (Science Technology Engineering Mathematics). Please help by watching the three-minute video and spreading the word.

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Cluster Lunch – Impact of Proposed Export Controls

Cluster Lunch
Arizona Inn
April 20th

Presentation by
Matthew Goldstein

On the impact of proposed U.S. Export Controls on Fundamental Research and Scientific Publications

All Optics Researchers and Scientist should attend this 2 hour luncheon at the Arizona Inn on April 20.  This will be an important meeting for the Arizona Optics Industry Association (AOIA).

The Arizona Inn has reserved the following space for AOIA:

    Date           Start Time      End Time      Function         Room
4/20/2015       11:30 AM            2:00 PM             Lunch          Safari Room

We currently have only 30 seats.  The fee is $35 per person for the hot meal and presentation.  Through April 5th, AOIA’s paid up members and OSC researchers will be accepted first and then Optics related/Cluster industry members will be accepted.  On April 6th we will open it up to all scientific research fields.  Others are already asking to be in on it.  They can make room for up to 100 if we have the commitments.

Please RSVP to:  [email protected]

Presentation by
Matthew Goldstein
On the impact of U.S. Export Controls on Fundamental Research and Scientific Publications

On April 20, 2015, Matthew Goldstein, a Washington D.C. attorney with a law firm focused on international trade law, will discuss the implications of proposed changes to the scope of U.S. Export Controls on fundamental research and scientific publications.  The proposed changes, soon to be published in the Federal Register, are expected to adversely impact private and university-based research and impose significant restrictions on the right to freely publish scientific information.  The changes as proposed also would affect publications that are entirely funded by a private sector company, even if the research was independent of any Federal contract.  The focus of the discussion will be on the scope of the proposed changes, their expected impact on research and development activities, and steps that private industry and academia can take to oppose unwanted agency rule making.


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Racing the Sun

Racing the Sun
Saturday, April 25
9:00am – 3:00pm

The Racing the Sun competition captures the imaginations of high school students and challenges them over the course of the school year to work as a team to design and test basic engineering and science concepts to build a solar go-kart.

The family friendly event is open to the public and will be held at Musselman Honda Circuit located at 11800 S. Harrison Road, Tucson, AZ 85747

For tickets and additional details visit


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2015 International Year of Light

The United Nations has proclaimed 2015 the International Year of Light.

IYL2015 is a global initiative adopted by the United Nations to raise awareness of how optical technologies promote sustainable development and provide solutions to worldwide challenges in energy, education, agriculture, communications and health.

More information here: 


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St. Michael’s School Science Challenge Celebrates Light!

Our Tenth Annual Science Challenge – Focus on Optics
February 19, 2015

Did you know that the United Nations has proclaimed 2015 as the International Year of Light?

Each year the United Nations designates an entire 365-day-long period as an “international year.”  The year 2015 has been designated as the International Year of Light. “This celebration of light-based technology and art aims for a global impact at all levels of society.”  (Optics and Photonics News, Jan. 2015) By chance, this coincides with St. Michael’s School’s ten-year anniversary of its Science Challenge – Focus on Optics.

The Science Challenge is designed specifically for fourth and fifth graders.  Children in these grades will have the opportunity to learn about and “play” with light.  During this event, students will be challenged to create a circuit that will uniformly light three bulbs, to build a light-house that will have an LED bulb at the apex, and to hit a target with a laser gun via a mirror.  All this is aimed to make science, especially optical science so important in our Tucson community, real for these children.

The event, Science Challenge – Focus on Optics, is put on each year at St. Michael’s School in conjunction with the National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO) at the University of Arizona, which supplies the targets, laser guns, and adult supervision. Participation in this event is free and open to teams of two, both of whom must be current fourth or fifth graders.  The Science Challenge will take place on Thursday, February 19, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at St. Michael’s School, 602 N.  Wilmot Rd. For more information or to register, call 722-8478 or go to and click on “Register for Science Challenge” on the banner at the top.

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