Monday, February 25, 2008

It came and went

First of all, THANK YOU to everyone who made Enspire possible: the volunteers, TESC board, Dean's Office, ESS, corporate sponsors, teachers, eighth graders, judges, faculty, and of course, the incredible outreach committee! The event was VERY successful!!! I'll go into more of this later, I want to tell you about the days leading up to Enspire first.

I apologize for being MIA lately - it's been crazy with midterms and then also getting ready for the event. There were sooo many little things we had to take care of before and during the event. So, on Sunday (2/17), the entire TESC board along with a bunch of committee members went on a huge Costco run! (see pic below- we were all meeting in front of EBU1 to drive together)
The outreach committee had a huge list: 700 water bottles, granola bars, fruit juice, muffins, croissants, orange juice, coffee, design competition materials, etc. Luckily, Stefanie has a huge truck, so we were able to transport all the drinks with no problem (see pics from our Costco run below)

It was my first time going on such a big Costco run. I've never got so much water before ;) After we bought everything we needed, we came back to EBU1 to store our stuff. Unfortunately, we found out that all our rooms and storages were full, so we ended up storing everything in the basement hallways of EBU1.

On Monday (2/18), the outreach team met around 9 am to put together a bunch of stuff for Enspire: goodie bags (all 350 of them!), design competition materials, and prizes for the winners of the design competition. It probably took us 4 hours to put everything together. We had a great line going too - one person doing department flyers, another doing LED flashlights, stickers, frisbee, and other goodies. And EACH student got all these goodies!

Tuesday evening, we ran a volunteer workshop in CSE 1202 around 7:30 pm. It was an informal event where we discussed the details for Enspire and answered any questions anyone had. We also gave t-shirts to anyone who came. We had a great turnout! I was surprised at the number of volunteers who came. We even had new sign-ups as well! After the workshop, a few of us came back to the board room to finish up last minute tasks. We especially had to put together all the volunteer packages. We printed out so many different types of sheets - I bet the volunteers were a little overwhelmed when they saw all the information that was available to them. I can't blame them though, but we wanted to make sure they had everything they needed. Me, Stefanie, and Michael T. ended up staying until 1 am!!! LOL, we had this funny moment too, at one point we ALL started laughing hysterically, AND for no reason! Heehee, I guess we all went a little crazy at that point and decided we needed to go home and some rest.

The next morning we met up around 7:30 am. I actually got there a little late because I had slept longer than I anticipated. Things were pretty hectic on the get-go. We gathered up all the drinks and breakfast items to bring to PC ballrooms. Apparently there were around 30-40 volunteers waiting around in PC already. We forgot to make the volunteer sign, so we had to get that done ASAP! I was very amazed at the amount of work that got done in so little time. All the volunteers were very hard-working and quick to get any tasks we had at the moment. On the right is a picture of the ballroom before the students arrived. At each table, a student received an Enspire t-shirt, water bottle, and a granola bar. Things ran a little late due to the rain. We had such an excellent team - especially our outreach committee and ESS! I admit, this was my first real event and I never ran one with so many participants. It was definitely a great experience. I was nervous at times, but Stefanie, Sonia, and Barbara knew exactly what to do. The students seemed like they had a great time, especially during the design competition. Their task was to build one of three structures: the taller tower, the longest bridge, or a free-choice structure. We had one group winner from each category. The students were so into the competition that they did not stop building even after the building was supposed to be over. Additionally, the judges seemed like they had a great time as well! After we announced the winners, we lead the students back to their buses. Before we knew it, the event was already over!! Seeing all the students enjoy themselves was the main reason for our event. We hope they now know a little more about engineering and what exciting career paths it can lead them to. Yay, great job everyone! We couldn't have done it without you!!

I also wanted to say that E-Week overall was a huge success! All the events turned out really, really well. E-Games was a lot of fun -- TBP took home the grand prize: the golden calculator! DECaF was great - it was sooooooo crowded in the ballroom that I could barely move around. All the recruiters seemed very happy about the turnout, but were tired from standing the whole time. Finally, Impulse was a LOT of fun! We had good food and great friends. I was happy to see so many engineers getting their groove on. We basically danced the whole night. To the TESC board, committee members, and volunteers: we did it!!!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Holography Workshop during Enspire

Between 10:00 and 11:30 am, 8th grade students will be guided by Enspire volunteers to various labs across UCSD. Some will participate in the "Make a Hologram" workshop hosted by SPIE, an optical engineering student org at UCSD.

The process involves exposing holographic slide film to laser light from a HeNe laser on the above optical bench. A portion of the beam will reflect off a target object behind the plate. Because the light is coherent, these reflections create an interference pattern which is recorded in the plate as a three-dimensional image.

The following video clip shows a hologram completed on the above apparatus:

The entire process of taking the photograph, and developing the slide must take place in the dark, with only a very very dim blue flashlight to see (the plates are sensitive to red light). The kids will help out in the process by pressing the buttons to expose the film, operating timers, and helping us set up the objects to be photographed.

It is the hope that Enspire, through workshops and lab tours such as this one, will be able to promote interest in all disciplines of engineering, including optics.

If anyone else is interested in this Hologram workshop, it will be open to UCSD students between 11:30am and 2:00pm, in EBU1 B706.

-- Mike Gordon (TESC Outreach, SPIE)

Thursday, February 14, 2008


Engineering Outreach Officers and Committee Members

I finally found my camera! I hadn't seen it around for a couple weeks, and tonight, it mysteriously shows up! Well, I'm very glad I found it because I really wanted to post these pictures up for some time now. As far as I know, I always forget to take pictures! For once during this quarter's Outreach Officer's Meeting (Third Week), I finally remembered to snap a picture before almost everyone left! Unfortunately a couple outreach officers did leave before I could say anything. Above are TESC, TBP, SCSE, BMES outreach officers and committee members. We're missing IEEE and SHPE, I'm sorry guys! Hopefully I'll remember to keep taking more pictures from now on. Anyways, I just thought I'd share these photos with you...

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Enspire Volunteer Tasks

I wanted to post a tentative volunteer schedule. Volunteers will be coming in and out at different hours during Enspire, so hopefully this will help answer some questions regarding what volunteers might be doing at specific times.

  • 8 am – 9 am: Breakfast, volunteer check-in, transporting water bottles, Enspire shirts (for both volunteers and students), goodie bags (for students), volunteer packages, and other needed items from EBU1 to Price Center Ballrooms
  • 9 am – Set-up table stations for students to check-in: name tags and pens, water bottles, and t-shirts
  • 9:30-9:45 am – Welcome students. Guide students from Rupertus Way (where busses will drop off the students) to Price Center Ballrooms
  • 9:30-10 am – Students will sign in at the stations: each student will receive a water bottle, t-shirt, and name tag. Will need volunteers to cover stations and hand out these items to students.
  • 9:55 am – Students will be in groups of 10 and will meet with their prospective Campus/Lab Tours Leader (leaders will be assigned in advance). We have about 38 groups – each leader will be holding a large number so students can find their leader
  • 10-11:25 am – All groups will go through one campus tour, engineering lab tour, and Engineering Courtyard (to see engineering student organization stations, industry sponsors, and a robot from SPAWAR!). Each group will be assigned specific locations for about 20 minutes per location.
  • 10-10:30 am – Prepare design competition materials for each group (about 76 groups total) in PC ballroom
  • 10:45 am – Lunch delivered behind PC Ballrooms à will need volunteers to help transport them to PC ballrooms.
  • 11 am – Have lunches and drinks ready for both volunteers and students
  • 11:25 am – Campus/Lab Tours Leader should start guiding their groups back to Price Center Ballrooms
  • 11:30 am – Welcome back students along with judges and industry. Students will be split into groups of five and will meet up with their competition mentors
  • 11:30– 11:50 am – Hand out lunches to all. Have competition mentors eat lunch with their students and explain the objective and rules for the design competition. Students can start building as soon as they’re ready (TBA)
  • 11:50 am-12:30 pm – Students building and testing their design
  • 12:30-12:45 pm – Judging and tallying up points
  • 12:45-1 pm – Announce winner and distribution of prizes. Closing remarks
  • 1 pm – Hand each student a goodie bag as they walk out of PC Ballrooms. Guide students back to busses (from PC Ballrooms to Rupertus Way).
  • 1 pm -? – Clean-up and transport back all materials from PC ballrooms to EBU1

**NOTE: There will be a volunteer check-in station present at all times in PC Ballrooms

If you signed up to volunteer for Enspire but did not get an email from me containing the above information, please let me know!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

In-class announcements

Yesterday we tackled more in-class announcements, by "we" I mean a couple outreach committee members, a fellow TESC board member, and myself. All in all, we were able to recruit an additional 11 volunteers! We were all very excited to see the positive outcome. We will definitely be doing more in-class announcements for the rest of the week. Our volunteer numbers are getting up there and it looks like we will most definitely reach the optimal number of volunteers!!! This is great because we want the middle school students to have the best student-to-mentor ratio that we can give them.

Here's a breakdown of what we have planned:
8:00 am - 9:30 am - Breakfast, volunteer check-in, set-up
9:30 am-9:45 am - Student check-in
9:45 am - 10 am - Opening remarks, students group with their mentors
10:00 am - 11:30 am - Campus/Lab Tours
11:30am - 1:00pm - Lunch, Design Competition, Prizes
1:00pm - 3:00pm - Lead students back to busses, clean-up

Stefanie and I went over logistics today. It looks like everything will be OK! We were a little worried at first because we were afraid that we would place too many people in one area at once, but looking at Stefanie's organized file, it was very easy to see where the flow of each group would be going. During the campus/lab tours, each group will have a chance to see a small part of the campus, visit one engineering lab, and then see the Engineering Courtyard. In case I didn't mention before, the Engineering Courtyard will consist of engineering student organizations (with COOL experiments), industry representatives, and a robot from SPAWAR! We want the students to have a well-rounded experience, and it looks like they will have it!

We're also in the works of putting together a volunteer package so that each volunteer will have everything they need in order to lead the students. In this package, each volunteer will have an emergency contact list, detailed schedule, maps and directions to where they need to go, information sheet containing suggested things to talk to the students about, a competition rules sheet, and other little important information.

Enspire is EIGHT days away -- crazy!! It's a little scary when I think of all the little things we still have to do, but I know we will get them done! Until next time!

Sunday, February 10, 2008


I did my first in-class announcement on Friday. I ended up not having to go into work that day, so I had some free time. It was a MAE class with about 40 students present -- I actually got 3 people to sign up! I will work hard to make as many in-class announcements this week as I can. Hopefully we can get more sign-ups! It is still very critical for us to recruit more volunteers, we still don't have as many as we would like. PLEASE consider volunteering! Even if it is only for an hour, it will help more than you know. Plus you will get free breakfast, lunch, an Enspire t-shirt (with the t-shirt, you must sign up by Wednesday), and have so much FUN!

I did not mention that we visited Pershing Middle School a couple weeks ago. We were invited by this school to be panelists at the Eighth Grade Science Fair Exhibition. A total of 10 of us attended including TESC board members, outreach committee members, and Tau Beta Pi members. We all had a blast! We were all so impressed with each student's project and presentation -- the students were well dressed, had excellent posters, and really knew what they were talking about! It really showed that these students put a lot of effort and thought into each of their projects. These are the same students who will be attending Enspire on the 20th. We now know that we will need to work harder to impress these students when they come for Enspire ;)

Enspire Update (from committee meeting)
We will be having a big Costco run next Sunday. We have about 5 cars volunteered so far! We need to purchase food and drinks for the breakfast and lunch. We plan to get everything from muffins to finger foods to utensils and such. The water bottles will definitely take up a lot of space. Michael T. was able to get a bunch of UCSD bags donated from the UCSD Bookstore! We will use those bags to put goodies and information to give to each of the students who attend Enspire. Engineering Student Services was so kind to donate all sorts of UCSD souvenirs to give away to the students. The outreach committee all agreed how cool it is to receive college-related stuff back when we were young (even NOW!), so the students attending will definitely appreciate these gifts.

Stefanie is working to reserve the area under Geisel Library for the design competition. We will also split half of the design competition and hold it in Warren Mall under the "snake path." Stefanie is also hoping to have Associate Dean Ferrante speak at this event -- hopefully Associate Dean Ferrante will be able to attend! An update on the sponsorships we have received: $1300 from Lockheed Martin, $1000 from ViaSat, $1000 from BAE Systems, $250 from Swinerton, and $5000 from the Dean's Office! Addtionally, SPAWAR will be paying for bussing costs for Gompers Middle School. A big applause to Jeff M. for all the hard work he did in obtaining these sponsorships! Enspire definitely could not happen without all this support!

We're looking to get faculty involved in Enspire, too! We will need judges for the design competition and thought this would be a great way to have faculty be a part of our event. Also, the companies who sponsored our event will also be tabling in the Engineering Courtyard along with engineering student organizations. The engineering student organizations will have mini experiments for the students to play with, which should be a lot of fun! Wow, this is so exciting --we will have college students, faculty, and industry all involved in this event!!

I would like take a moment to recognize our Enspire Leaders:
Michael Tartre: Middle School Liaison/fundraiser/prizes
Jeffrey Chi: Alimentary Coordinator
Nick Adams: Design Competition Lead
Wiseley Wu: Student Org Liaison
Sherry Wu: Public Relations Director

Friday, February 8, 2008

How it all started...

I decided to dedicate most of this post to telling you about how this huge event started. Back in the beginning of fall quarter (around October), I organized the first Outreach Officer's Meeting. This meeting united all the outreach officers along with presidents and our outreach committee members. This meeting gave us a chance to meet face-to-face and to talk about outreach! The meeting was a great success -- we had over 20 students come together eating great food and having informative conversation. It was wonderful to hear the various outreach activities that each organization was involved in. Some organizations participated in weekly outreach outings where they would visit a specific school and perform experiments with the students there. Some organizations hosted big events on campus and brought students to see engineering labs and what college is like.

Stefanie and Jeff brought up the idea of all outreach officers working together to put on one big outreach event during winter quarter. This idea brought a lot of excitement to the room -- what could be more fun than working together to teach younger students the enjoyment of engineering? This idea was perfect because we haven't had much opportunities to work together, and there was actually one day during E-Week that had no event planned. So, the outreach event would unofficially take place Wednesday (Feb. 20) of E-Week. We decided to target middle school students because we felt that we currently did not have an event dedicated to these students. During spring quarter, Stefanie hosts Engineering Explorations which brings high school students to UCSD to explore different disciplines of engineering. Some of the other organizations focused on fifth graders and some middle schools. We also felt that eighth grade was a great time to leave an impression.

A little over a month later, Jeff had gone to a SPAWAR Outreach Meeting because Stefanie and I could not go. At the meeting, Jeff spoke to teachers, industry and government representatives, and many of them felt very excited at the outreach plans we had for E-week. One teacher from Pershing Middle School said that she would happily bring her entire eighth grade class! This was perfect because we were looking for potential schools that would be willing to bring their students to our event. Jim Rohr from SPAWAR also wanted to bring students from Gompers Middle School. Before we knew it, we had approximately 400 eighth graders coming! Since then, we worked on sponsorships and what kind of an experience we wanted the students to have. We felt it was important for them to see the campus and different types of engineering labs. Of course we HAVE to have a hands-on design competition because the students would get a better feeling of what engineering is about. We are eagerly awaiting the arrival of Enspire, we cannot wait!

On another note, our committee member Wiseley posted up some pictures from our committee meetings! Enjoy! I hope everyone has a great weekend :)