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Celebrate the first International Day of Light with resources available from SPIE

Organized by UNESCO, the International Day of Light (IDL) is a global initiative for the continued appreciation of light and the role it plays in science, culture and art, education, and sustainable development. Light enables a vast amount of our modern technology, in fields as diverse as medicine, communications, and energy. IDL will be held on 16 May each year, the anniversary of the first successful operation of a laser in 1960. The laser is a perfect example of how a photonics discovery can yield revolutionary benefits to society.

The International Day of Light Logo
Created by SPIE
The broad theme of light will allow many different sectors of society worldwide to participate in activities that demonstrate how the science, technology, and artistic expression of light can help achieve the goals of UNESCO — education, equality and peace. SPIE enthusiastically supports these goals and this annual celebration of lifesaving, life-enhancing light.

The inaugural celebration of the International Day of Light will take place in May at the Headquarters of UNESCO in Paris with presentations from Nobel laureates, scientists, industry leaders, and partners representing art, architecture, lighting, design and NGOs. There will also be hundreds of events around the world arranged by local organizers. SPIE wants to encourage these local events and has created a suite of resources to assist organizers in creating their own celebration.

Available Resources

French Lesson Plan
An example of a French Lesson Plan
Worksheet: Diffraction Glasses

  • Demonstrate the science of light with SPIE IDL Outreach Activities. In partnership with SPIE Student Chapters, and various optics educators, we have created a variety of lesson plans to engage young would-be scientists in the study of light. Lesson plans are available in multiple languages including English, French, Spanish, Chinese and more. More translations in more languages are uploaded to the SPIE.org/IDLResources page regularly.

  • Explain the International Day of Light with the SPIE IDL PowerPoint Presentation. Then distribute the SPIE IDL Fact Sheet or Press Release to your community to further their awareness.

  • Hand out SPIE IDL Bookmarks featuring images from the SPIE IDL Photo Contest. There are eight images on eight different bookmarks capturing the beauty of light and the talent of our contest participants.

  • Decorate your event space with our three SPIE IDL Banners that feature the winning images from the 2017 SPIE IDL Photo Contest. Hang up our informational SPIE IDL Poster as well or give out copies for your attendees to take home.

  • Download the IDL logo (above), created by SPIE, to embellish your own materials for your event.

  • Kick off your event with a viewing of our SPIE International Day of Light promotional video:

To access these materials, and for more information on IDL or our upcoming 2018 SPIE IDL Photo Contest, visit spie.org/IDL.

And on 16 May join SPIE and others around the world to celebrate the impact of light on our lives.

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