The International Year of Light comes to Washington D.C. on Sept. 12

To promote the progress and promise of light research and education, leading U.S. science organizations will host two events on Saturday, Sept. 12, 2015, in Washington, D.C. The programs will mark the International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies 2015 (IYL 2015), a yearlong celebration of light science and its applications, as proclaimed by the United Nations. The events are organized by the National Science Foundation (NSF) in conjunction with the American Institute of Physics, the American Physical Society, the IEEE Photonics Society, the National Academy of Sciences, the Optical Society and the International Society for Optics and Photonics (SPIE).

These events will feature the latest in light-based technologies as well as leading scientists and educators to promote improved public understanding of the central role of light in the modern world.

Wonders of Light: Family Science Fun

What: An educational event for school-age children with activities demonstrating the science of light

When: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. E.T. on Sept. 12

Where: The Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian

Who: Public and media are welcome; no RSVP required

The first 1,000 visitors will receive an International Year of Light tote bag.

Hands-on activities to include:
 A LED-orb that changes color with music
 Build-your-own kaleidoscope
 An interactive video game
 A green screen to be a reporter for a day
Light for a Better World: A Celebration of U.S. Innovation

What: A public symposium and invitation-only reception

When: 6 – 9 p.m. E.T. on Sept. 12

Where: National Academy of Sciences

Who: Media and invited guests

Interested members of the media, please email

This symposium will feature:
 Eric Betzig, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, 2014 Nobel Prize Winner
 France Córdova, National Science Foundation Director
 Gerald Duffy, GE Lighting Manager
 Michael Liehr, AIM Photonics CEO
 Shuji Nakamura, University of California Santa Barbara, 2014 Nobel Prize Winner

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