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ENGINEERING SERVICE LEARNING

The Magazine of the Engineering Service Learning Program at University of California, Merced Fall 2015-Spring 2016

MAKING IT HAPPEN SINCE 1|

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2005


Spring 2016 |

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Opening Thoughts https://ucmerced.box.com/v/eslmagazine

In 2004, The Foster Family Center for Engineering Service Learning was created to provide the students of the University of California, Merced opportunities to gain valuable experience needed for the job market and to give back in meaningful ways to the community that they call home. Engineering Service Learning students understand that through this service to their community, they are preparing themselves to join that community in the near future. As time has shown, there is no better way to build the future than through the students that will make it up in the coming years. Our students find that through engaging in real-world design projects, they gather the experience needed to take their place in society. Engineering Service Learning students demonstrate the commitment that our campus has towards serving our community. For the 2015-2016 academic year, over 1985 students have enrolled in Engineering Service Learning and contributed over 140,000 service hours. During the 2015-2016 academic year, four of our Engineering Service Learning teams completed their projects: Community Development Analytics, San Joaquin River, Instructional Labs 1 and Instructional Labs 2. The two instructional lab projects designed hardware and software interfaces that are presently helping UC Merced engineering student experiences in the Strength and Materials course, as well as in the Heat Transfer course. The San Joaquin River project delivered and installed an interactive kiosk in the San Joaquin River Parkway and Conservation

Trust River house outside of Fresno, CA. The Community Development Analytics team delivered a working GIS webmap to help interested businesses find land use information for available land at the Castle Commerce Center in Atwater, Ca. Additionally, The Foster Family Center for Engineering Service Learning is providing UC Merced students with the training necessary to make real-life changes in their community through our Skill Session workshop series. Student growth in both technical and professional areas have never been higher. With nearly 500 students attending Skill Session workshops each semester, students in and outside of Engineering Service Learning are receiving professional and technical training necessary to enter the job market prepared. Workshop topics range from MATAB, and GIS programs to public speaking and presentations. Through this incredibly diverse workshop series, UC Merced students are gaining the skills they need to succeed. Each semester brings a new batch of students who are eager to work on a real-life project, and with a little encouragement, they are able to make great contributions to their projects and to their own professional development. I invite you to see the positive effects we are having on students and our community. Christopher Butler Assistant Director The Foster Family Center for Engineering Service Learning

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Contents 5

Skill Sessions: Making it Happen | The Skill Session workshop series provides technical and professional training for the UC Merced community.

9

Sustainability | The Culture of Sustainability created by Engineering Service Learning students to help achieve UC Merced triple net zero net goals.

15 22 28 32

Stewardship | Engineering Service Learning students become stewards through their projects.

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Technology | Engineering Service Learning students deliver technology that matters to the Merced Community. Community | UC Merced’s Engineering Service Learning students serve the community through meaningful projects. What’s Next | Upcoming new teams and projects for Engineering Service Learning

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Engineering Service Learning Fast Facts

Fall 2015 - spring 2016

Students by Gender

Number

Percent

Male

184

71%

Female

76

29%

Students by Class level Number

Percent

Freshman

61

24%

Sophmore

46

18%

Junior

62

23%

Senior

91

35%

Number

Percent

Engineering

202

77%

Natural Sciences

27

10%

Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts Undeclared

21

8%

11

5%

students by School

Students by Ethnicity Number African-American

18

Percent 7%

Asian/Pacific Islander 75

29%

Hispanic

122

47%

White

35

13%

Unknown

11

4% Spring 2016 |

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Service Learning Students by

Region

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Region

Number Percent

Northern California Bay/Coastal California Central California Southern California

20 39 117 85

8% 15% 45% 32%


Skill Sessions Spring 2016 |

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Skill Sessions:

Making it Happen

The Foster Family Center for Engineering Service Learning sponsors the largest technical and professional workshop series at UC Merced: Skill Sessions. The Skill Session workshop series provides supplementary training to develop technical and professional skills of UC Merced students to support their work on real-world projects. Skill Sessions are by nature hands-on learning opportunities for students to practice the skills needed to develop professionally. Skill Session workshops include technical training in topics from Excel to MATLAB, and from soldering to circuits. Professional topics range from public speaking and presentations to resume building workshops. Workshops are presented by subject experts who are willing to share their practical knowledge and insights with students, and provide positive examples of success. Subject experts range from UC Merced faculty, staff, and students, as well as industry professionals.

Engineering Service Learning gave me the opportunity to practice how engineering projects are conducted in the real world. Armin Ghavim, Vernal Pools Team Member

Top Skill Sessions

Professionalism Workshops by Center for Career and Professional Advancement

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Soldering Workshops by AIAA

Public Speaking Workshops by SHPE

GIS Workshops by Spacial Analysis and Research center


Skill Session Campus Impact

62

944

Skill Session workshops were ran in 2015- 2016

Students participated this past year

Skill Session by type Number Percent Hands-On Software Professional Development

18 21 23

29% 34% 37%

Thank you to our Skill Session Partners!

SHPE

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2016 Fall Skill Session Schedule Open to the UC Merced Community Basketball Analysis through SQL

Arduino

Basics

September-21st

4:00pm - 6:00 pm

SE1-138

Intermediate

September-28th

4:00pm - 6:00 pm

SE1-138

Advanced

October-5th

4:00pm - 6:00 pm

SE1-138

Graphic Design: Create a Professional Flyer Photoshop Done Right

September-19th

6:00pm-8:00pm

KL-202

Let’s put it all together with InDesign

September- 26th

6:00pm-8:00pm

KL-202

Topcon Workshops Python Basics

September-23rd

1:00pm-3:00pm

SE1-160

Classic Mechanics

September-30th

Advanced Python

October-7th

1:00pm-3:00pm

SE1-160

Junk Yard Wars

October-14th

1:00pm-3:00pm

SE1-160

1:00pm-3:00pm

SE1-160

CAD Modeling

Basic to Arduino

September-30th

4:00pm-6:00pm

SE1-160

Build a Weather Station

October-14th

4:00pm-6:00pm

SE1-160

Build a Weather Station

October-28th

4:00pm-6:00pm

SE1-160

Build a Robot

November-4th

4:00pm-6:00pm

SE1-160

Circuits and Soldering Intro to Circuits

October-4th

5:00pm-6:00pm

SE1-160

Basics to Soldering

October-21st

4:00pm-5:00pm

SE1-160

Intro to Circuits

October-25th

5:00pm-6:00pm

SE1-160

Basics to Soldering

October-27th

12:00pm-1:30pm

SE1-160

Basics to Soldering

November-17th

12:00pm-1:30pm

SE1-160

Professional Development Public Speaking

September-28th

2:00pm-3:00pm

SSB-170

The Basics

October-4th

3:00pm-4:00pm

SSM-154

Creating a Part

October-11th

3:00pm-4:00pm

SSM-154

How to Sell Your Experience

November-30th

12:00pm-1:00pm

COB-110

Assembly Modeling

October-18th

3:00pm-4:00pm

SSM-154

Speed Resume

November-16th

12:00pm-1:00pm

COB-110

Expect the Unexpected with these Tools

Excel Workshop Series Basic Functions

September-27th

4:30pm-6:00pm

KL-208

Advanced Excel

October-4th

4:30pm-6:00pm

KL-208

Macros

October-11th

4:30pm-6:00pm

KL-208

Improve your Presentations with R!

October-19th

1:00pm-2:00pm

COB-281

Tools to Solve Optimization Problems

October-19th

1:30pm-2:30pm

SSM-154

Geographical Information Systems

MATLAB

GIS Essentials

September-15th

11:00am-1:00pm

SSM-209

Using ArcGIS Online

September-29th

11:00am-3:00pm

SSM-209

Mobile App Development

October-20th

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11:00am-3:00pm

SSM-209

Intro to MATLAB

September-6th

2:00pm-3:00pm

SSM-154

Intermediate MATLAB

September-13th

2:00pm-3:00pm

SSM-154

Advanced MATLAB

September-20th

2:00pm-3:00pm

SSM-154

MATLAB like a Pro!

September-27th

2:00pm-3:00pm

SSM-154


Sustainability


Sustainability Culture Created By Engineering Service Learning

Students

By Kathrine Teresi, Engineering Service Learning

U

ndergraduate students make it their mission to create a culture that addresses misunderstandings about sustainability.

Sustainability encompasses so many topics and issues. The misconception is that “sustainability” equals “environmental,” but UC Merced Director of Sustainability Colleen McCormick tells us it’s a lot more than just that.

“It’s economic, it’s environmental and it’s community and social justice.” - Colleen McCormick

But a new class in the Engineering Service Learning program is helping immerse UC Merced students in the sustainable culture. Through the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Lab, created this year by McCormick and other campus sustainability leaders and Engineering Service Learning, students are helping UC

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Merced’s commitment to create change and inspire others to do the same. They are also learning a valuable skill that could translate to future careers, and helping the campus remain one of the leaders in green building and operations in the nation. UC Merced has earned the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED certification for construction on every building so far. Now, the campus can earn operations and maintenance certifications, too, and that’s where the LEED Lab comes in. Engineering Service Learning students are working with sustainability leaders to audit UC Merced buildings to document the points earned toward Building Operations and Management (O+M) certification. UC Merced LEED Coordinator Mark Maxwell manages the campus’s green building program, ensuring that all new buildings LEED certified. “The buildings are already sustainable and they consume less than half the energy than a typical building consumes.


The recycled man, far left, is part of UC Merced earth day. Stakeholders, middle, Mark Maxwell and Christopher Butler, celebrate the first semester of LEED Lab. Project Manager Andrew De Los Santos and Assistant Project Manager Taylor Mizusawa, above, are commited to the sustainability moveme

Through the O+M certification the students make sure the buildings are operating as intended,” Maxwell said. The students serve a campus purpose, but Maxwell said the most valuable aspect of the course is educating the students about the LEED process. Students can share their knowledge with friends, family and future colleagues to help stimulate a culture change. “LEED Lab educates the students on our living laboratory that we have here,” Maxwell said. The experience changes the way we are affecting the environment and it comes to educating the next generation of students in the community to continue my work.” Through the course, the students are also prepared to take the LEED certification exams, which could help them in their future careers. But the LEED process is only one way students are learning to understand sustainability in greater detail. The campus immerses students in a sustainable culture from the ground up, from the buildings they live and study in and the landscaping around them, to the campus’s Triple Zero goals and the curriculum that emphasizes big-picture thinking about global issues.

Sustainability affects everyone, everywhere. It can affect entire cities; such as East Porterville where the water residents are paying for is not safe to drink. There are other cities in the United States such as Flint, Michigan that do not have access to clean drinking water. Problems like these take many different perspectives to solve. “Humans are burning through nonrenewable resources and are not allowing the resources to replenish,” McCormick said. Resources are dwindling away and without a culture change, “future generations will be in trouble.” UC Merced, however, is committed to its Triple Zero goals, which means creating zero net waste, using zero net energy and creating zero net greenhouse gas emissions. It was this commitment to sustainability that attracted McCormick to come to UC Merced to help make a difference. She’s not alone in her sustainability efforts, either. Matthew Hirota is tasked with accomplishing zero net waste and he believes the solution is to make every single campus community member takes sustainability personally.

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“We have to create a culture here to get people to produce less waste, and the challenge is how to stimulate every UC Merced community member to be responsible for their own personal waste,” Hirota said. Stimulating a culture can be difficult, but LEED Lab participants are beginning to form a sustainability network to share what they know with others. One student, Andrew John De Los Santos, worked for Hirota on the campus’s garbage-sorting line and then was inspired to establish the groundwork for the LEED course in Engineering Service Learning. De Los Santos served as the first project manager for LEED Lab at UC Merced. “Creating LEED Lab was difficult and no one told me what to do. They told me our end goal but no one told me steps on how to start up the project,” he said. The first semester’s challenges led to a new method that simplified a complicated process. De Los Santos and his team created a credit summary template that set the groundwork for future teams.

Students at UC Merced are given a tree for Earth Day.

“The credit summaries take 20 to 30 pages of information and condense them into five pages specific to a credit,” De Los Santos explained.

Engineering Service learning teaches students how to talk to stakeholders and understand terminology like project charters and return on investment, teaches leadership skills and teamwork.

Each LEED certification requires a certain number of credits, which the team has to document. Having a simplified summary forms help students know what they are looking for when collecting data on a building.

“I don’t think I would have gotten the internship without Engineering Service Learning because they wanted project manager and leadership skills. Thanks to service learning I had those,” De Los Santos said.

De Los Santos and Maxwell had the opportunity to present this at a sustainability conference, and De Los Santos said the feedback was positive. The conference showed how other schools run their LEED Lab courses, but De Los Santos said UC Merced is by far the most hands-on.

“I’m constantly making sure that I have good communication with my stakeholders, because I have to coordinate with other sites like Modesto and Bakersfield to finish my project. Service Learning taught me how to effectively communicate and set goals in an achievable time.”

“Our LEED Lab course is the most driven out of the ones from other campuses. At UC Merced, students are actually doing the LEED certification,” De Los Santos said.

His experience is further evidence that Engineering Service Learning helps students reach their goals and fosters passion for real-world projects. But in the case of sustainability, it could also help change the world.

His experience with Engineering Service Learning opened up bigger opportunities for De Los Santos in the form of an internship with Frito Lay.

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Instructional Lab 2

Sustainability Projects The Instructional Lab 2 Engineering Service Learning team focuses on the design and construction of a next-generation, high-efficiency solar collector. The collector is to be used by multiple Engineering Instructional Labs and UC Merced research groups. The high-efficiency collector could improve efficiencies 40 percent over models in use today. The high-efficiency solar collector will utilize significant technical engineering, commutation, and planning and operational skill sets. Students from different majors work together to solve real-world dilemmas while developing professional, technical and leadership skills.

Instructional Lab 2 completed its high efficiency solar collector prototype Dec. 10, 2015. The Engineers for a Sustainable World (ESW) Engineering Service Learning team develops sustainable solutions that can be applied to our university and beyond. ESW partnered with Kiva, a micro finance firm focused on micro-loans for developing economies. To promote small business growth in the region, ESW teamed up with Bobcat Brewery, a local Merced business, to review and provide suggestions to improve the sustainability of their brewing operations.

Current Status

Engineers for a Sustainable world

As of May 2016, the ESW team has completed their project and made recommendations to Bobcat Brewery. Recommendations cover topics from water purification, delivery options, Hops cultivation, and fermentation practices. Based on the recommendations by the students, Bobcat Brewery is reviewing the recommendations and preparing to move forward with a relocation to a new brewing facility.

We came up with the idea to have Bobcat Brewery grow their own hops. It helps protect the environment while the brewery gets a fresh supply of hops - Team ESW Spring 2016 |

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LEED Lab 16|

In partnership with the UC Merced sustainability council, the LEED Lab Engineering Service Learning team will be performing the Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance (O&M) certification for the Classroom Office Building (COB) at UC Merced. Utilizing technical and design principles, the LEED Lab team will be gather technical data on operations, and the maintenance activities as part of the application process. Participation in this project satisfies LEED Accredited Professional certification requirements.

Engineering Service Learning gives an opportunity to spread our knowledge with the rest of the university.

Current Status

Ricardo Vasquez,

The Fall 2015 team was the first semester for the team. The team focused on understanding the certification process and what is needed to obtain credits for the certification. The work done in Fall 2015 was used to begin and complete a 90 day period in which all data must be collected for the O&M of Classroom and Office Building 1. Students worked closely with faculty and staff to gather data and submit reports to acquire credits. Next semester, the students will respond to any comments from reviewers and begin the O&M process for the Science and Engineering 1 building.

LEED Lab

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Stewardship

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Becoming Stewards t h r o u g h Service Learning

By Kathrine Teresi, Engineering Service Learning

B

ack when UC Merced first began, a group of educators, including founding faculty members, wanted to introduce students to the ideas that science and engineering can solve real problems and that students can have fun and learn while helping others. The founder of the Engineering Service Learning class — founding School of Engineering Dean Jeff Wright — saw the value of partnerships between college students and the community. “He had a vision on a scale I wished more people had. It’s rare to find people like him,” materials science Professor Christopher Viney said. Through the Engineering Service Learning class, undergraduates team up to take on the challenges faced by area nonprofits, from enhancing curriculum for the next generations of students to helping other people learn to be environmental stewards. The results have been nothing short of amazing.

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As a founding faculty member, Viney joined in Wright’s vision from the beginning, and has mentored Team Get S.E.T. since 2010. The team works with elementary, middle and high school teachers who face challenges in teaching specific subjects, such as science and math. The team creates hands-on projects for K-12 education based on California educational standards. “In an ideal world, the teacher says ‘my students are having trouble grasping this topic’ and Team Get S.E.T. would design an activity that helps students understand that particular topic,” Viney said. In the end, the Engineering Service Learning students become educational stewards by taking active roles in the educational development of the next generation. “It was easy for me to get on board with the idea of Team Get S.E.T. and it proved to students that fun can be found in engineering,” said then-Superintendent of the Merced County Office of Education Lee Anderson.


Beatriz Morales Perez, left, the Assistant Project Manager for Team Get S.E.T. demonstrates how the mouse trap race car works. Above, Professor Viney talks to students.

Engineering Service Learning was originally intended for freshmen to learn engineering applications. Freshmen are still encouraged to take Engineering Service Learning, but now are often joined by sophomores, juniors and seniors. “Engineering Service Learning is a way to motivate students and network with upper clansmen,” Viney said. In addition to the mix of class levels, students begin to experience the interdisciplinary nature of UC Merced, because any student in any major can take the class. The projects in this class expose students to real-world scenarios with real nonprofit clients. This isn’t a practice run for these students — they really get to see the connections between their coursework and how helping society. That’s what Engineering Service Learning is all about. Get S.E.T. has completed a “number of projects that have

been delivered” and all of those projects have a tremendous effect on the classrooms. Team Get S.E.T. members love making the projects for the students and so does Viney. “The most fun project was the trebuchet project,” Viney said. The trebuchet is similar to a catapult but more powerful. Teachers and students love the projects that come out of Team Get S.E.T., but the projects and class “add value to our own students.”

“If a project comes out of Team Get S.E.T., that’s great, but growing our own people is very important.”

- Professor Viney

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Engineering Service Learning is a transforming experience for most students. Viney remembers many of his past team members and recognizes their growth into professionals.

The general science curriculum is called From Quanta to Quasars (FQTQ), and explains really small and really big concepts for different ages.

One of his students, Azucena Robles, started out as a team member, then became a team leader and finally a project manager.

“I turned everything I learned in Engineering Service Learning and made it into a business. Everything I did in NISE Net is what I’m doing now to make a living,” Urner said.

“She became so involved that even her mom offered to drive up from Bakersfield to help us,” Viney said.

Environmental Stewardship

Viney also remembers a “funny coincidence” involving a university request. The university asked Viney to speak to a group of donors with some students.

The Foster Family Center for Engineering Service Learning hosts wide range of projects, not just those focused on education.

“It was such fun, because three of the four student speakers were also past Team Get S.E.T. members and it was superb,” Viney said. All Engineering Service Learning undergraduates become articulated professionals because the class exposes them to real-world challenges such as teamwork, working on deadline for a real client and problem-solving. “Team Get S.E.T. and service learning give students the opportunities to develop those skills you see in accomplished people,” Viney said. “Engineering Service Learning teaches you how to give a presentation, look people in the eye when you talk and communicate professionally.” The class, participants say, exposes students’ full potential and the students discover the full potential of their projects. One Engineering Service Learning alumnus saw the potential of a business. He turned his NISE Net project into B.E.A.T., an educational company that designs hands-on curriculum presented as an after-school academy. The lessons explore topics from coding to mechanical engineering. Michael Urner was the project manager for NISE Net, a team that is similar to Get S.E.T., except NISE Net focused on nanotechnology. B.E.A.T. has three curriculum packages available for schools to purchase. The coding curriculum is called From Bits to Scripts (FBTS), and is laid out in three lessons.

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Project Manager Sang Sue Thao tests out the kiosk on Bobcat Day at UC Merced.

Other teams are environmental stewards. For instance, Professor Thomas Harmon’s San Joaquin River team partnered with the San Joaquin River Parkway & Conservation Trust, a nonprofit that aims to increase the


amount of parks or green space that surround the river for recreational use and increase the number of river users and stewards, especially young people. Part of that challenge involves educating the public, so the team designed an interactive educational kiosk that brings together a wide range of information, including hydrology, ecology and environmental public policy knowledge. The students had to design and engineer the kiosk, and, after two years of hard work, delivered the final product in December 2015. So far, the kiosk is working well, and visitors are enjoying it. Harmon said his interest in restoring the river led to forming the team. “I was interested in San Joaquin River restoration, and had applied for a grant to study it, so it was a no–brainer to start the San Joaquin River Engineering Service Learning team to involve students in the project,” Harmon said.

“The Central Valley has its challenges in terms of public green space, and many people who live here aren’t very outdoorsy. One purpose of the kiosk is to draw young people to the parkway’s River Center, where they may discover that there is more to life than air conditioning and video games.” The Vernal Pools Reserve (VPR) Engineering Service Learning team is another environmentally focused project, creating a mobile users’ guide that teaches people about the land and wildlife on the reserve, adjacent to campus. In addition to learning about the land, the VPR team members have learned about themselves, too. VPR Communications Officer Juanita Sprowell worked closely with Merced Vernal Pools and Grassland Reserve Director Monique Kolster, which helped her create connections and discover a focus she hadn’t had before.

The kiosk is getting people’s attention and has moved some visitors to become donors or partners.

Sprowell ended up joining the Yosemite Leadership Program because of her experience with Engineering Service Learning, and is now a student ranger, teaching others about environmental stewardship.

The San Joaquin River is long, traveling from the Sierra Nevada to Millerton Lake and northward to the San Francisco Bay. The river provides hydropower, agricultural water and a natural habitat to many species. Presenting an overview of the importance of the waterway, more people are attracted to support it.

“Whether it is education, or the environment, once our students become involved in these projects, they engage and become stewards of their community. That is why I love working with these students,” Christopher Butler, Assistant Director of the Foster Family Center for Engineering Service Learning said.

The kiosk took two years to build and will stand at the Parkway’s museum for much longer to help educate thousands of visitors. The undergraduate students who worked on this project also gained an in depth understanding about the San Joaquin River restoration project.

“The kiosk catches the eye and appeals to a lot of different people. That helps raise awareness about water and it helps raise money for the parkway” - Professor Harmon

Thomas Harmon and Community Partner, Sharon Weaver celebrates delivery of San Joaquin River kiosk.

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Stewardship Projects The San Joaquin River (SJR) Engineering Service Learning team developed a means to educate the public on the connections between water usage and the restoration efforts of the San Joaquin River. Through a partnership with the San Joaquin River Parkway and Conservation Trust, the SJR team designed an interactive kiosk to help inform and educate users of the complexities of managing the San Joaquin River and its resources. The SJR team sought to inspire positive change by educating the public on the connections between water usage and the restoration efforts of the San Joaquin River. Through the kiosk users are exposed to the complexities of managing the San Joaquin River and its resources through public communication, visual arts, policy compliance, and resource management.

Current Status

San Joaquin River

On December 10, 2015 the kiosk was delivered to the San Joaquin River Parkway and Conservation Trust, where it is on permanent display to the public at the San Joaquin River Parkway and Conservation Trust River House.

The Naturalist App Software team, above, at the Spring 2016 Innovate to Grow competition.

I learned that when dealing with projects, reality hits you and you have to drop what you are doing to help the team. Understanding your team members is key. You need to know your team to get stuff done. Patrick Isaac Coldivar, >> Vernal Pool Assitant Project Manager and a Environmental Engineering Major with a minor in Public Health at UC Merced

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Naturalist App Vernal Pool Reserve

The Naturalist App Engineering Service Learning team, in collaboration with the UC Merced Vernal Pools and Grasslands Reserve is creating a mobile application that contains a searchable field guide of collected scientific information and observations about the Reserve. The field app highlights the area’s flora, fauna, geology, history, and climate. Additionally, the app will be able to accept crowd sourced tagged descriptions and photographs from the Reserve into a growing research library of observations.

Current Status

At present, the Naturalist App team is in the process of identifying and developing the backend of the application features such as a searchable database. By the end of November 2016, Naturalist App team plans to have a beta app ready to be field tested by Reserve visitors.

The Vernal Pool Reserve Engineering Service Learning team is continuing their efforts to improve the sustainability efforts of Merced Vernal Pools Grassland Reserve, neighboring the UC Merced campus by converting diesel powered groundwater pump to more environmentally friendly options. Currently the Vernal Pool Reserve team is restoring the windmill adjacent to the iconic barn of the reserve to pump groundwater needed to help with ecosystem management. Through detailed engineering design and planning, the windmill will be an environmentally sustainable tool for the reserve.

Current Status The Vernal Pools team is close to delivering their project plans to the Vernal Pools Grassland Reserve. This past semester the team completed detailed design of a new windmill structure, with usage calculations to ensure the windmill will meet the needs of land use managers, and began receiving site approvals for a new structure. The windmill restoration is scheduled to be completed in late November of 2016.

I obtained more appreciation for my writing ability. My Interpersonal relations are better and I made friends with people from different majors. << Leigh Ann Cull, Vernal Pool Reserve Team Member and a Cognitive Science Major at UC Merced

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Technology 24|

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Technology that

matters

M

aking a difference through technology isn’t just a goal, it’s a reality for Engineering Service Learning participants.

Nonprofit partners from around the region come to UC Merced seeking solutions to the challenges they face. Our undergraduates are ready and able to help them. Students in Engineering Service Learning team up with the nonprofits to develop technology to solve those challenges. Results so far range from improving the Strengths and Materials Lab at UC Merced and helping Merced County generate $2.2 million dollars in lease revenues; to precision agriculture and improving the way wine is packaged. For example, Merced County’s Economic Development department needed a way to present information about space for lease at the former Castle Air Force Base to prospective tenants. Working with Merced County Economic Development Director Mark Hendrickson, Engineering Service Learning students formed the Community Development Analytics (CDA) team to devise a new Geographical Information System (GIS) tool to provide data on the buildings at the Castle Air Force Base every day. The GIS is interactive and shows users all the buildings while providing information prospective renters will need to make decisions. The technological tool is “a practical resource that is used on a daily basis, and we can use it to retain and expand business,” Hendrickson said.

Businesses need the information provided by the GIS so that site selectors can determine if a specific location will be the best place for their client, Hendrickson explained. “These decisions are science-based and data-driven — they are looking at educational development and evaluating the workforce,” he said. Hendrickson said the GIS information has been a key factor in closing deals with new leases. “Being able to show the buildings on the front end helps make closing deals easier,” he said, and in the past year, the GIS “contributed to 12 to 15 leases and/or property sales.” One of the best parts of working with the students, many community partners say, is that they really care about getting the best possible results. That commitment was evident for the CDA team, Hendrickson said, as they wound up with a tool he can use every single day. “The students came in and they were professional and enthusiastic,” he said. “Each of them has a bright future ahead.” While Engineering Service Learning projects solve problems for our community partners, they also open doors for students. >> Continued on Page 24

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One such student is Eric Sosa, who served as project manager for the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) team in Spring 2016. After graduating in May, he was hired at General Motors — in part because of the experience he gained through Engineering Service Learning.

vice Learning program. Butler mentors the students along with each team’s faculty and community partner. “Not only did the students achieve autonomous flight but they created an image-stitching software. The drone take pictures during its flight and puts them back together like a puzzle,” Butler said.

Sosa is a first-generation college student and the first engineer in his family, so finishing college was a big achievement for him and his loved ones.

The UAV technology will help grape farmers find dying plants before the rest of the crop can be affected.

“There was a lot of pressure, because I was the first in my family to go to college. If I could graduate and get a good job, then I could be the person to take care of my family,” Sosa explained.

Community partner Larry Burrow, from the Merced Cooperative Extension Office, a Central Valley native, has a particular interest in developing technologies to assist agriculture.

Sosa now works as a technician at General Motors, focusing on keeping the production line moving.

A lifelong Valley resident, Burrow has worked in agriculture since he was 5 years old. He helped form the Engineering

Engineering Service Learning trained me for the job that I have now and there is no other class that could have prepared me better. Eric Sosa >>

The Engineering Service Learning program focuses on student development, but it’s not structured to tell the students how to solve the problems they are presented with — their success relies on their innovation and ingenuity, with plenty of faculty support to keep them going. Sosa’s Team UAV focused on creating a drone that could detect a dying plant in a grape field. “The team achieved autonomous flight which means the UAV flies without a pilot over a specified area,” said Christopher Butler, assistant director for the Engineering Ser-

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Service Learning team with Butler. The project started because of another partnership between the Cooperative Extension and the Mechatronics, Embedded Systems and Automation (MESA) Lab at UC Merced, run by Professor YangQuan Chen. Chen and his student researchers are working on a water projects, and, at Burrow’s suggestion, expanded to include agriculture-related projects, too. Burrows’ perspective helped guide the UAV team through this project, but the end goal has bigger implications.


“Our Engineering Service Learning students are working on a technology to identify a disease, but the application will apply to a broader scope,” Burrow said. Future applications could include improving water efficiency by detecting leaks and plugs in orchards. Water efficacy is critical for farmers in the Valley because of the ongoing, historic drought. Burrow understands how the team’s autonomous drone will help farmers, who have lots of land and crops to maintain. Team UAV’s next step will be to make the correlation between the images the drone takes and predicting the health of the plan— which has never been done before. “The students have done a really good job keeping up with other businesses that are also looking at this problem,” Burrow said. “The service learning team and entities like this are really important because it’s a meeting place for people with the scientific knowledge to develop processes and technologies for the agriculture industry and many other industries. The work of Engineering Service Learning students can really benefit the community and transform this region.”

The Drone Team: From Left, Hayden Perez, Julio Perez and Arnold Santiago.

Unmanned Aerial Vehicle

The Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Engineering Service Learning team is working with the Merced County Cooperative Extension (MCCE) to design solutions for the agricultural community in Merced County. Currently, they are designing a technology that will scan and detect a disease found in grapes called pierce’s disease. By combining image stitching and spectral analysis of diseased plants they are hoping to be able to identify prospective problems in the grapes before the disease spreads to other vines.

Current Status Currently, the team successfully accomplished autonomous flight and are able to stitch images together like a puzzle. Their next steps will be to perfect the disease detecting software and field test it in the Fall 2016 semester.

My favorite part of the year was getting in touch with past semesters. Overall, Engineering Service Learning has a good community. Nelson Yeap, UAV Team Member

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Community Development Analytics

The Community Development Analytics Engineering Service Learning team worked on a solution to improve customer relations between the Merced County Office of Economic Development and prospective developers at the Castle Airport Aviation and Development Center. By creating an interactive website and mapping tool, customers are able to view land and building use data of available lots at the Castle Development Center. The map allows Merced County officials to provide information to their prospective clients more efficiently than traditional paper methods.

The GIS project was delivered to the Merced County Office of Economic Development on November 20, 2015.

The Instructional Lab 1 Engineering Service Learning team worked to improve student experience with the Strength and Materials course at UC Merced. Engineering Service Learning students create labs to help with essential concepts and enhance the user experience of students. The goal is to make labs more hands on for a deeper understanding of concepts, as well to designing comparative numerical simulations for the labs.

Instructional Lab 1

The Instructional Lab 1 team completed and delivered two labs for the Strength and Materials course in November of 2015.

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COMMUNITY

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Serving the Community through Service Learning

By Kathrine Teresi, Engineering Service Learning

A

project in Engineering Service Learning aims to reduce the communication gap between doctors and patients in Merced County.

The Project Protect Engineering Service Learning team is working on creating a mobile app that can serve as any patient’s personal assistant in a doctor’s office and provide understandable information about medical treatments to people of all cultures and backgrounds. Researchers have found that based on the multicultural population of Merced County, communication between patients and their health care providers can present real challenges. The team’s community partner, Healthy House, focuses on tackling health disparities in the multicultural population within Merced County. Executive Director Candice Adam-Medefind is passionate about providing these services. “Healthy House initially started to bridge the cultural clash between Hmong shamanism and the Western healthcare system which was so poignantly described in the book ‘The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down’ by Anne Fadiman,” Medefind said. The book tells the true story of a girl with epilepsy, who isn’t able to receive the proper care because of cultural misunderstandings. Adam-Medefind and Healthy House work to prevent these

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kinds of outcomes, and with Project Protect on their side, chances are, they will succeed. The Project Protect team of UC Merced students focuses on antibiotics and antibiotic resistance — topics that affect a vast number of people around the world. Working with faculty mentor Professor Miriam Barlow, the team is developing and optimizing technology to inform people about use, overuse and abuse of antibiotics.. Barlow studies bacteria from an evolutionary perspective, and has delved deeply into how and why bacteria are quickly evolving to become resistant to medication. Not only are these superbugs unresponsive to antibiotics, doctors have a limited range of antibiotics to choose from. “The majority of pharmaceutical companies stopped making any new antibiotics in 2005 because they said it was not profitable,” she said. “Recently, some smaller pharmaceutical companies began creating new antibiotics, but the cost of these medications is very steep — in the range of tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars.” It’s important that people take antibiotics only when necessary, and that they take steps to avoid infections as much as possible. “The Engineering Service Learning team is especially important because they can really focus on a solution to this problem,” Barlow said.


There are two extremes the team is trying to address: Doctors who refuse to prescribe any antibiotics at all, and doctors who prescribe the strongest, most powerful antibiotics when a less powerful drug would do the job. The Project Protect students believe a mobile app could help patients be more pro-active about their health care and communicate better with their doctors. The app is designed to prompt questions based on the patient’s situation. For example, if a doctor gave a patient a prescription, the app would prompt a question in the patient’s language, but would also be shown in English so the doctor could read it, too. Even though the app is complex, the team is focused on making an easy-to-use platform. “The app wont be intimidating for people to use and that is especially important because we have so many different ethnic groups in the area,” Barlow said.

app and explored starting a nonprofit that would put the app on the market. Project Protect’s hard work paid off. The team won the engineering competition called Innovate to Grow at UC Merced, in part because the students were prepared and had an excellent product to show the judges. The work these undergraduate students put in has resulted in a product that will have a wide reach — perhaps worldwide. They’ve also showed that anything is possible.

I don’t think there is a job better done than a job done by a person who really cares about what they are doing. Leo Cabrera, Assistant Project Manager for Project Protect and a computer science and engineering major at uc merced

The team already has a working prototype of the app after two semesters, building on the progress made by team members like former Assistant Project Manager Leo Alonso Cabrera. “Within a semester a fully functioning app was built. It didn’t have everything, but it was a great start,” Cabrera said. Previous teams had to collect the information to shape a solution, and made the decision to create the mobile app. The quality of this product is a direct result of a team of students who understood the problem and cared about creating a solution. For Cabrera, this was an easy connection because of his personal background. “I am a Computer Science and Engineering major and I look at computer science as a tool to improve the world that I live in,” Cabrera said. Cabrera and his teammates saw this project as an opportunity to make a difference in the community. A small group of students in particular spent extra time perfecting the

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The Merit ePartners program at the N.A. Chaderjian Youth Correctional Facility in Stockton, CA provides incarcerated wards of the state vocational training in the e-waste recycling industry. The Merit Partners Engineering Service Learning team is identifying the components of the Merit ePartners program that lead to success through detailed sociological studies and engineering strategies and tools that will allow Merit ePartners to increase the number of participants in their program.

Project Protect

Merit Partners

Current Status

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Currently the team is creating plans to examine the reasons that lead to rehabilitation among Merit ePartners participants. In order to conduct the study, the Engineering Service Learning team is working towards receiving permission from the UC Merced Internal Review Board (IRB) that reviews all human subject studies at UC Merced to ensure the study is carried out in a secure and ethical manner.

In Cooperation with Healthy House, the Project Protect Engineering Service Learning team is working to reduce the communication gap between healthcare providers and their patients. By creating a user-centric mobile application, the team is providing users with a list of questions and prompts to aid them in understanding the treatments by their doctors. The app will be in four languages, English, Spanish, Punjabi, and Hmong to help address this need of our multi-ethnic community and will also have basic profiles of symptoms and background information on the most prevalent bacterial and viral illnesses in the Merced community.

Current Status In depth user profiles have been completed and customer requirements have been identified. A beta prototype has been created and is awaiting user testing and revision in the Fall 2016 semester.

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Engineering Service Learning gave me the skillset to create change at a microscopic level and recognize its significance.â&#x20AC;? -Christina Blaul, Communications Officer for Project Protect and Biology Major at UC Merced


The Get S.E.T. (Science, Engineering, and Technology) Engineering Service Learning team works to with local educators within the Merced County Office of Education to develop supplementary science curriculum to support local K-12 teaching efforts in Merced County schools. The educational supplements cover basic math, physics and other sciences and various aspects of technology, such as robotics and rocketry. Team Get S.E.T. designs labs and educational projects that improve learning outcomes with the goal to increase students’ interest in these subjects.

Get S.E.T.

Current Status Get S.E. T. is currently working on 3 main projects, floppy flyer, velocity track and mousetrap car projects. Each help students grasp physics concepts of conservation of energy and the transfer of energy from potential to kinetic energy. From dropping a floppy flyer from to visualize linear and rotational energy, to launching marbles from a track to calculate the distance, and using a mousetrap to make a racecar to show the transfer of energy. Each project has had student worksheets completed and awaiting testing in the classroom in the Fall 2016 semester.

Bobcat Radio

The Bobcat Radio Engineering Service Learning team’s goal is to help improve the dialogue between the UC Merced campus and its surrounding community. Through the creation of a streaming radio station, the team is setting the stage for an improved platform that enables the greater campus community a alternate outlet for communication, in addition to providing students with an artistic outlet for music and conversation.

Bobcat Radio delivered and is streaming live as of November 27, 2016.

“The mobile app that we created in Project Protect can now act like a sidekick for people when they are at the doctor. - Alec Kwiatkowski, Mobile App Team Lead for Proect Protect and a computer science and engineering major at uc merced

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Whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Next Welcome Captivated Thinking Captivated Thinking Engineering Service Learning team will start fresh with a brand new community partner, Tuolumne County Economic Development Authority. Our undergraduate students will be working alongside incarcerated men at the Sierra Conservation Center in Jamestown California, to design a data populating software with easy to use interface for county development agencies throughout the Central Valley. The finished product will save time and money for development agencies by acquiring and charting the information needed for monthly development and economic reports. Engineering Service Learning students will have a unique opportunity to experience distance team building and communication.

Engineers for a sustainable world switching gears The Engineers for a Sustainable World Engineering Service Learning team will be switching gears from creating energy audits to creating a community garden at UC Merced. The garden will be designed to be an interactive space and have all edible plants. The team will be working with UC Merced Office of Sustainability to create a masterpiece that is not only beautiful but also captivating to explore. Undergraduate students will have the opportunity to explore their passion for community engagement, sustainable design, and love of gardening that will leave a lasting impact on the University.

Welcome Food Oasis Team The Food Oasis Engineering Service Learning team led by School of Engineering Dean Matsumoto with a mission to fight hunger and eliminate food deserts in Merced County. This team will be creating a sustainable aquaponics garden for the Merced County Rescue Mission. Aquaponics gardens grow fish and vegetables in the same ecosystem. The first phase of the project will be creating a proof of concept prototype, which may lead to a larger scale product to help the Merced County Rescue Mission help alleviate local food deserts. The aquaponics garden will be a great asset to provide a fresh and reliable food source for the homeless shelter and its clients throughout Merced County.

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Engineering Service Learning Magazine 2015/16