Why is this project needed?
In 1986 I attended my first Conference on Lasers & Electro-optics. As I recall there were about 10,000 technical attendees, of which 5, yes FIVE, were women.
As the years passed, more women have gone into optics, but there are still few women studying laser physics and working in laser industries. Lasers have been key to a number of American success stories in products as diverse as bar code scanners in the supermarket to LASIK eye surgery. A laser is at the heart of 3D printing, a hot manufacturing area right now.
It is innovation by our young people, in areas like lasers, that will bring economic success worldwide. And studies have demonstrated that diversity in teams have significantly more innovation in their work than homogenous teams.
What’s more fun than a game to kids? Based upon the success of the successful Geckoman Nanotechnology video game developed by the NSF-funded Center for High-Rate Nanomanufacturing, this project is to develop a video game aimed toward middle school girls, giving them some background in laser physics, in a way that is fun and engages groups. Obviously, there will be cute, cuddly creatures! Plus the girls will be able to work cooperatively, eliminating stigma about playing a science game.
While women and girls don’t usually like the violence in most video games, women do enjoy their challenge and many people don’t realize the game PacMan’s main audience turned out to be female! This game will involve girl characters, who have to complete fun tasks that will create laser light.
For example, one task will involve aligning light waves so they are “coherent”, the characteristic that is so evident in colored beams in laser light shows.Your support will help give girls a positive science experience, while ensuring future generations of women go into fields that are key to our world economies.
We need your help!
We need to design the game which wil cost $10,000 for the graphical interface and back end programming. We also want to create an online group challenge that will bring in girls to work together.
The perks we’re offering include getting
girls to see some cool laser stuff....
such as dolls 3D printed from photos of themself! How cool is that?Just supply us with a photo and we'll turn it into a doll!
AND the special t-shirt design that was Crowdsourced on social media:
The machine washable t-shirt is available in S-M-L-XL sizes!
The Laser Safety Warning Sign reward is made of durable plastic as shown on the left. IF you have a laser and want a specific Class of Laser warning sign such as the one of the right, that can be specified when we get your fulfillment information. If you need help determining which class of laser you own, we can walk you through the Laser Institute of America guidelines.
PLUS, 10% of our proceeds will go to the Laser Institute of America, a great organization that helps spread laser information, but is also the all-important secretariat of
the ANSI Laser Safety Standards.
Exposing girls to lasers in a way that is fun and engaging and meant JUST for girls increases interest in a topic area that has been almost exclusively male. I was lucky enough to be a pioneer in the laser industry, as well as one of the Laser Institute of America’s few women Fellows.
I want to share that opportunity with girls today!