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From Vacationers to Explorers, UC San Diego Will Host a Diverse Crowd This Summer

3D printing, robotic surgery and virtual-reality among topics to engage teens, college students and alumni during summer programs


  • Erika Johnson

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  • Erika Johnson

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Alumni and their families will explore some of UC San Diego’s most innovative programs—including the virtual-reality StarCAVE at Calit2—during the Triton Summer Experience. Photo by Erik Jepsen/UC San Diego Publications

From pre-college students to alumni, there’s something for everyone at the University of California, San Diego this summer. In addition to the more than 600 summer session classes available, UC San Diego will host a wide range of programs designed to stimulate the imagination of local middle and high school students, orient incoming freshmen and transfer students to the campus and engage alumni and their families with a boat tour, interactive surgery demonstrations, virtual laboratory explorations and more.

UC San Diego: An Immersive Getaway

Alumni vacation on campus—July 10-14

Part vacation, part college flashback, the Triton Summer Experience offers alumni the chance to relive their college experience at UC San Diego and explore some of the campus’ most innovative programs amid a relaxing schedule of beach time, fitness classes and dining on local cuisine. A weeklong adventure happening this July, the new program seeks to reunite alumni with their alma mater—especially those who don’t live in San Diego and would like to introduce their family to the place where they spent their early formative years.

“Our goal is to bridge the alumni generation gap and begin a legacy. Although we are still a young university, we are already into our second and third generation of alumni,” said Anita Trevino Neubarth, business development coordinator for Housing, Dining and Hospitality. “This new program presents an opportunity for alumni with young families to introduce their children to UC San Diego, and possibly inspire them to attend when it is their time to choose a college.”

New international students will become acclimated to campus through the International Triton Transition Program. Students will take a writing course, attend workshops and participate in fun social activities to foster new friendships.

The itinerary includes a diverse set of activities designed to both entertain and intellectually inspire. Participants and their families will join experts at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego on the research vessel “Outer Limits” where they will traverse Mission Bay and the La Jolla coast, exploring fish populations with a remote controlled sonar vehicle. On another day visitors will be able to investigate the human body by performing a robotic operation at the UC San Diego Center for the Future of Surgery. Throughout their stay guests will have access to a concierge and information on additional points of interest such as the Birch Aquarium and the Torrey Pines Gliderport.

Alumni will reside in The Village apartments on campus with access to The Village Theater for a family movie night and The Village Spa where guests can get a massage and learn about mindfulness techniques. Also included will be a catered lunch at Do Ho Suh’s “Fallen Star” house on the seventh floor of Jacobs School of Engineering—complete with a rooftop garden and sweeping vistas of the campus and surrounding region.

Exploring New Dimensions

Middle and high school students discover the magic of computer science—June 17-August 23

Science will come alive this summer at the San Diego Supercomputer SummerTech Workshops where local middle and high school students will build their own responsive robot, print in three dimensions and program their own laser outdoor exhibition. In its seventh year, the program’s goal is to introduce students to the importance and practical application of computer science and teach them advanced skills that will be advantageous in their future careers.

The week-long workshops will take place from the middle of June through the end of August and are taught by local high school educators, UC San Diego graduate students and college professors. This year, 250 students have already signed up to participate in the 14 workshops offered, with class sizes limited to no more than 20 students.

Classes include:

  • In“Intro to Music and Computers” students will become immersed in the world of creative programming by designing their own musical instruments and custom synthesizer and developing an audio-visual display integrating music with images and color.
  • Imagination will be taken to a new level in “3D Printing and Design” where students will draw, photograph and print a unique design in three dimensions. Techniques for creating animations along with instruction in manipulating 3D images on computers will also be covered.
  • Students’ creations will literally come to life in “Robotics—Challenge Accepted!” a workshop that combines mechanical, electrical and computer science theory that will allow students to program sequences of movement and functionality for their very own robot.

New Students Get a Head Start

Incoming freshmen and transfer students cultivate friendships, discover resources—August to September

Acclimating to college life can be overwhelming, but programs like the OASIS Summer Bridge (Office of Academic Support and Instructional Services) and the International Triton Transition Program (ITTP) enable new students to make friends, discover resources and establish a strong support network on campus during the summer before their first quarter at UC San Diego.

Summer Bridge 2012 participants connect with visiting Summer Bridge alumnus Juan Astorga, who took part in the program in 1988.

  • OASIS Summer Bridge, now in its 36th year, is a free program for primarily low-income students who will be the first in their family to attend college. For the month of August, 150 students will take two four-unit classes—“Introduction to Principles of Learning” and “The University in Society”—which address important social issues such as diversity and multiculturalism with an opportunity for developing critical thinking and writing skills. During this time, the students will live with program peers in campus dorms and enjoy a fun schedule of social activities including a dance, beach trip, talent show and more to foster friendships. The program will continue throughout the students’ first year with quarterly peer mentor meetings, weekly seminars and tutorial workshops to ensure continued success.
  • “I remember being with students from similar backgrounds; the first people in their family to go to college,” said Dr. Alicia Barba, who participated in Summer Bridge in the summer of 1987 and credits the program with easing her into the rigors of UC San Diego. “I remember the coursework and feeling, I can do this, but wow, it’s going to take a lot of work. Even though I had good enough grades to get into UC San Diego, I lacked certain skills—like writing!” Barba went on to earn her doctorate degree from Harvard University and now owns a private dermatology practice.
  • International students coming from China, South Korea, India and other locales around the globe will have a similar opportunity to engage with the UC San Diego campus and network before beginning their first quarter this August and September. The International Triton Transition Program, which began last summer, will introduce 100 incoming international freshmen to life in San Diego and teaching conventions of American universities. During the four-week program from August 18 to September 13, students will live on campus, enroll in a writing course and attend workshops featuring lectures by current UC San Diego faculty, staff and students about how to navigate the many resources on campus. Social activities will include surfing lessons, a trip to the San Diego Zoo and a Padres baseball game.

These programs are only a sampling of many offered at UC San Diego this summer. From residential math and science camps to teen acting labs, youth writing workshops and jazz seminars, a host of enriching programs for all ages and interests are available.

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