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 :)

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