It has been an exciting first six weeks for us! After displaying our projects at recruitment events such as Enormous Activities Fair, Engineering Welcome Day, and ASCE Open House in the initial weeks of the quarter, our project involvement is at an all-time high! Our project members have kicked up the intensity with aggressive schedules and have provided multiple opportunities for teaching younger students with brief presentations on engineering components of the projects at the start of each workday. This high level of involvement and hard work will prove extremely beneficial in preparation for our competitions at the Pacific Southwest Conference in Long Beach, CA, the EERI Student Seismic Design Competition in San Francisco, CA, and the Associated Schools of Construction Regions 6&7 Competition in Sparks, NV.
For the first time this fall quarter, ASCE has integrated its projects as part of the curriculum requirements for the freshman civil engineering introductory course. Project leaders conducted instructional workshops in multiple areas of civil engineering to give freshmen a taste of the topics they will encounter in their upper division classes and in the industry. Workshop topics have included construction estimating and scheduling, concrete mix design, retaining wall design, earthquake engineering, water purification systems, and the basics of 3D rendering in AutoCAD. Additionally, students in this course are required to attend a professional development event hosted by a civil engineering student organization, such as a company information session, so that they may interact with industry members and expand their professional network.
Besides our competitive projects, we have been very busy with Seismic Outreach. In this project, we encourage middle school students to pursue a career in math and science. This is done by integrating structural and seismic engineering concepts into the sixth grade curriculum and by assigning students a hands-on K’NEX project. This quarter, UCLA Seismic Outreach is working with over 280 middle school students from Paul Revere Charter School. Our Seismic Outreach team members have been attending middle school workdays throughout the quarter to make sure students finish the project. When the structures are completed, the middle school students will come to UCLA to test their structures on our very own state-of-the-art shake table and get a tour of the beautiful UCLA campus.
The goal of our ASCE student chapter is to promote knowledge of civil engineering concepts and opportunities available within the UCLA Civil and Environmental Engineering department as well as a sense of community among the civil engineering students. Fortunately, we have been successful with our goal so far, seeing that we already have about 180 paying members who continually come to project workdays, workshops, info sessions, and social activities, like Family Field Day, Pumpkin Carving, and our first We Are Civil event, where members from all the civil engineering organizations at UCLA got together to enjoy dinner and watch The Martian. We are truly blessed to have a wonderful start to this year, and we hope to continue our success in the months and years to come.