November 12, 2012 Brunswick, ME: 

Laser Institute of America Past President launches an Indiegogo Campaign to fund a video game designed specifically to instill interest in lasers among girls.

Sarah Boisvert, previously at Potomac Photonics, Inc., was President of LIA in 1998, and was one of only two women to serve in the post.  Her experience has led to work in STEM education, especially for girls.

The Indiegogo Crowdfunding Campaign can be found at
http://www.indiegogo.com/LaserVideoGame?a=1018979

The project will develop a video game for middle school girls, teaching fundamental laser physics, in a way that is fun and engages groups.   While women and girls don’t usually like the violence in most video games, they do enjoy the challenge games present and many people don’t realize the game PacMan’s main audience turned out to be female.  The laser video 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” in order to get to a prize and advance in winning the game. Girls will also be able to play in groups that will encourage acceptance of science activities.

Building upon the success of a game about nanotechnology done at the National Science Foundation Center for High Rate Nanomanufacturing that has had over 50,000 plays, we anticipate high interest for the project.

Like other Crowdfunding, contributions include cool rewards. Back “Making Light Coherent for Girls” for just $15 and you can receive a download of a song “Don’t Be Mean to Machines”, or for $25 a backer-only T-shirt.  Some of the rewards will also allow girls to see some cool stuff made by laser processing, like dolls 3D printed from their own image.

We need to raise $12,500 to create a professional-level video game.  PLUS, 10% of the proceeds raised will go to the Laser Institute of America.
Consequently, we’re hoping to raise significantly more funds to promote the project widely.

Exposing girls to lasers in a way that is fun and engaging increases interest in a topic area that has been almost exclusively male.  Says, Sarah Boisvert, “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!”

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.

Media Contact

sboisvert@greenwoodtechstrategies.com