The National Center for Optics and Photonics Education--known as OP-TEC--is a consortium of two-year colleges, high schools, universities, national laboratories, industry partners, and professional societies funded by the National Science Foundation’s (NSF's) Advanced Technological Education (ATE) program. Located at the Center for Occupational Research and Development (CORD; Waco, TX), OP-TEC formed to meet the constantly growing need for technicians in optics and photonics, according to the organization.
OP-TEC serves secondary science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) programs and postsecondary programs devoted to lasers, optics, and photonics technologies. It provides support through curriculum, instructional materials, assessment, faculty development, recruiting, and support for institutional reform; offers teaching materials; encourages more schools and colleges to offer programs, courses, and career information; and helps high school teachers and community and technical college faculty members develop programs and labs to teach technical content.
The organization prides itself on its ability to bring optics and photonics outreach to people of different walks of life as well, again noting its overall goal of making the study of optics and photonics more widely accessible.
For more information, please visit http://www.op-tec.org/.