College News

Students participate in CCCC Laser & Photonics workshop

11.21.2017 • Admin, Faculty & Staff, College & Community, College General

LILLINGTON - Five Central Carolina area middle and high school students recently participated in a Laser & Photonics workshop on the Harnett Main Campus of Central Carolina Community College. Workshop participants were Nataly Aguiar, Aleesa Graves, Lane Hobson, Drew De Unger, and Aaron Wagman.

Gary Beasley, CCCC Leader Instructor in the Laser & Photonics Department, conducted the workshop and was assisted by his current students.

The Laser & Photonics workshop is one of a series of workshops that are part of the college's Workshops on Weekends (WOW) program. The workshops are designed to show students new technical concepts, to challenge them to make use of those concepts, and to explore future laser-related career opportunities.

The workshop, held on Saturday, Oct. 28, started with a discussion about light energy. That was followed by tours through the high-energy laser labs, where current Laser program students demonstrated operation of the lasers. The workshop continued with students performing hands-on laser labs with a LASER-TEC photonics experimental educational kit. At the end of the workshop, participants were given a kit ($100 value) to continue doing fun, light-based experiments at home.

During the high-energy laser lab tour, workshop participants observed demonstrations and participated in mini-sessions -- Isabelle Karis in the Electronic Lab, where she demonstrated how electrical components are used to build circuits people use every day in various types of electronic equipment, such as mobile phones; Gary Beasley, in the Nd: YAG Laser Lab, who demonstrated a high-powered pulsed laser; Michael Kropp, in the Fiber Optics Lab, who intrigued students demonstrating how crystals and fiber are incorporated into the telecommunication technology they use every day; and Jamal Robinson and Nickolas Jorgenson in the CO2 laser lab, who allowed each student to watch as their name appeared on a name tag with the use of the CO2 Engraving Laser.

The workshop was partly funded through a National Science Foundation (NSF) Laser and Fiber Optics Grant (LASER-TEC), which CCCC participates as a Co-Principal Investigator. The LASER-TEC Grant supports trying to prepare more students for the fast growing fields of lasers and fiber optics technology. Dr. Chrys Panayiotou, from Indian Rivers State College, is the Principal Investigator of LASER-TEC. Photonics is the study of the use of light, such as lasers, for industrial and other purposes.

For more information about Central Carolina Community College's Laser & Photonics degree, visit the college's website,, or contact Gary Beasley, Lead Instructor, at 910-814-8828 or For more information on CCCC's WOW workshops series, contact Wrenn L. Crowe at To learn more about LASER-TEC, visit

Students participate in CCCC Laser & Photonics workshop

Participating in the Central Carolina Community College Workshops on Weekends Lasers workshop were, left to right: Aleesa Graves, Michael Kropp, Nataly Aguiar, Jamal Robinson, Lane Hobson, Brandon Pasley, Drew De Unger, Nickolas Jorgenson, Aaron Wagman, and Seth Kuenzler.