We will send these out periodically, with information, updates, and observations from throughout the Division of Undergraduate Education. UE is a large collaboration of people and units working on many projects that affect not just every undergraduate on our campus, but also future students throughout the state, alumni, graduate students, faculty, staff, and the broader community.
One of my favorite ongoing events has been the informal discussions with units and college pairs. This gives me the chance to hear what is going on – accomplishment and satisfaction; stories and backgrounds; and pain points and issues. The last group especially becomes a focus of opportunity: What can we do to address the issues? How might policy or process be changed? Communication improved? Organization rethought? Resources found? I’m looking forward to these events continuing through the year; and if you have already attended one, feel free to email me additional questions.
One of my favorite annual events was this past weekend: MESA Day. On Saturday, hundreds of 7th through 12th graders converged on our campus as part of the Educational Partnership Center’s Mathematics, Engineering, Science, Achievement program. These prospective students have been working on Rube Goldberg hacky sack launchers, egg drops, popsicle stick and balsa bridges, mousetrap cars, models of the gastrointestinal tract, and prosthetic arms, among other projects. All of the projects focus on design with constraint, communication, and teamwork. MESA Day is a competition for all the students and teams that, of course, starts with a math test, but continues on to measure distance the hacky sack travels, the force that bridges withstand, the distance the car travels up a 30-degree incline, the knowledge and presentation of the GI team, and the functionality of the arm. The energy and excitement among all these students and the multitude of student and professional volunteers is amazing.
This year is one of the times that Santa Cruz will host the MESA Regional, an event that rotates among UC Santa Cruz, UC Santa Barbara, and CSU Fresno State, highlighting the winners of the MESA Day competitions. So, if you were not able to attend this past weekend, think about stopping by on April 22 to see the results!
Best wishes for a dry spring, and best of fortune to the many exceptional projects being promoted for Wednesday’s Giving Day.