University of California, Riverside

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Kids Shoot for the Stars on April 12


Event Allows Kids to Play in Outer Space Without Even Leaving the Ground

Scouts and students will be guests of UC Riverside and the Society of Women Engineers in a day of solar system exploration.

(March 18, 2008)

Star-gazing is just one of many hands-on activities planned for UC Riverside's Bourns Space Science and Engineering Day. (Judy Chappell photo)Enlarge

Star-gazing is just one of many hands-on activities planned for UC Riverside's Bourns Space Science and Engineering Day. (Judy Chappell photo)

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (www.ucr.edu) —Participants in Bourns Space Science and Engineering Day on Saturday, April 12, won’t just be wishing upon a star, they will be creating their own constellations.

UC Riverside’s Bourns College of Engineering and the Society of Women Engineers is hosting a free hands-on space science event for Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, students of all ages and the community starting at 12 noon April 12 in the courtyard of Engineering II.

Participants will have a chance to explore robotics, create their own unique star constellations in the planetarium, interact with the Mars rover, build a comet and make a crater. The Riverside Astronomical Society will have telescopes set up for star-gazing. Participants will also have the opportunity to meet engineers from the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory and ask them questions.

Registration is required and the deadline for signing up is Friday, March 21. Organizers expect about 350 participants.

“This is one of many ways that UCR helps cultivate young people’s interest in science and engineering,” said Reza Abbaschian, Dean of the Bourns College of Engineering. “It is essential to keep K through 12 students on a path to higher education and further yet on a successful career track in the many fields these subjects offer.”

Gordon Bourns, CEO of Bourns, Inc., has made a donation in support of the Bourns Space Science and Engineering Day. His gift will cover transportation costs in bringing students from Inland school districts, from as far away as Thermal in the Coachella Valley. Funding also has been received from the Girl Scouts who participate annually and who provide a chance for local troops to earn an event patch and credit toward a scouting badge.

Coinciding with the SWE event is a Boy Scout Merit Badge Fair sponsored by IEEE that begins at 8 a.m. and overlaps with the Bourns Space Science and Engineering Day in the afternoon.

“Our event is focused on assisting and mentoring Boy Scouts to earn their badges in subjects such as engineering, electronics, electricity, energy, computers, and space exploration,” said student chair Giovanni Denina.

Bourns Space Science and Engineering Day, which serves as a national model for NASA, is receiving assistance from Angela Phillips Diaz, a NASA executive serving as assistant to the UCR chancellor on educational outreach. NASA is supplying speakers and offers training to UCR undergraduate students about how to organize science activities.

“It is important to note that this is a student-run event,” said Sharon Walker, assistant professor of chemical and environmental engineering. “We have a really devoted team of undergraduate and graduate students, who have been planning this for months. We are committed to making this free and fun for everyone.”

For information, contact www.engr.ucr.edu/~ssed or call Jun Wang (951) 827-2708.







Launching straw rockets has been a popular event during Bourns Space Science and Engineering Day in the past. (Judy Chappell photo)Enlarge

Launching straw rockets has been a popular event during Bourns Space Science and Engineering Day in the past. (Judy Chappell photo)

The University of California, Riverside (www.ucr.edu) is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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