About Seismic Outreach
Seismic Outreach is an annual program that gives the opportunity for UCSD students from all majors to reach out to local San Diego 6th grade classes through volunteering and the opportunity for younger students to learn about earthquake science and engineering. The main objective of Seismic Outreach is to develop these kids, being our next generation, into more effective communicators and more engaged citizens, and perhaps inspire them to choose engineering careers in the future.
SCSE’s Seismic Outreach Team hosts the program during the Fall, Winter, and Spring quarters of each academic year and consists of the following events:
1. Classroom Presentations (Week 1 and 2): Volunteers take off-site trips to sixth grade classrooms and supplement the sixth grade students’ learning about earthquakes and introduce them to the idea of engineering. The students are also introduced to the K’NEX Design Competition in which they form teams to build a structure to test on our shaketable. In this Design-Build process, sixth grade students prepare the following: structure of a skyscraper made out of K’NEX, basic construction drafts, architectural drawings, and a short presentation of their work.
2. Field Trips (Week 7 and 8): The sixth graders join volunteers at UCSD for a half-day event to test their structures on a miniature shake-table, have their structures and documents judged by UCSD students, and get a tour of our college campus.
Each academic year we host about 15 schools and over 1,800 students -- therefore, this program is ONLY made possible through the time and effort put in by the volunteers. Volunteers are not expected to have any knowledge of earthquakes in order to help, so everyone and anyone is encouraged to take part in this program. Why else should you get involved? The experience looks good on your resume. Employers are impressed with those who participate in outreach programs and reach out to younger students. It shows that they are willing to take on the challenge of working with a difficult group of people and that they are interested in benefitting others at no cost. For underclassmen and incoming freshmen, this is definitely also a great chance to get involved and meet other fellow engineers. In terms of time commitment, you should expect to devote roughly 8 hours per quarter. Every volunteer who participates in the program over the quarter gets a Seismic Outreach volunteer shirt! (Please note that due to the nature of our current budget crisis and it's affects on our program's funding, there will be a limit on volunteer shirts. These shirts will be given to volunteers on a priority basis. Priority will be given to volunteers who offer their time and help towards the program over the course of the quarter in all phases).
Although the program attempts to accommodate all schools interested in partaking in the program, it places special emphasis in its attempts to reach out to underrepresented minority schools. Last year, Seismic Outreach hosted 15 schools. This year, the program is hoping to add three more schools to the list. In the spring of 2015, Triton Engineering Student Council (TESC) honored Seismic Outreach with the Best Outreach Event Award. Seismic Outreach’s goal for this year is to gain more recognition in its positive purpose and beneficial educational effects, while continuing to add more underrepresented minority schools to the program.