News Release

Jacobs School to Open Doors for First-ever Family Day

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Middle school students watch a research demonstration at the Jacobs School. 

San Diego, CA,June 17, 2011 -- Watch microscopic rockets that can cruise through blood samples and detect cancer. Learn more about wildfires and how they spread. Engage in fun, hands-on activities with your children. Visitors will get the opportunity to do all this—and more—when they take part in the first-ever Family Day at the Jacobs School of Engineering from 1 to 3 p.m. June 26.

“It’s an opportunity to take part in some hands-on activities; it’s an opportunity to ask about getting admitted to UC San Diego; it’s an opportunity for us to ask the community what they would like to see happen at the Jacobs School,” said Terrance  Mayes, director of Student Life and Diversity at UC San Diego’s school of engineering.

The term family is meant to include Jacobs School alumni, as well as San Diego-area families with middle and high school students, Mayes added. The idea for the event stemmed from alumni’s desire to come back to the Jacobs School and learn about cutting-edge research, Mayes said. Then the school partnered with James Rohr, education outreach director at SPAWAR. The company is one of the event’s sponsors, along with the National Defense Education Program and the Jacobs School’s IDEA Student Center.

The event will include lab tours and eight presentations by researchers, graduate and undergraduate students. Michael Gollner, a graduate student in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, will talk about wildfire prevention. Gollner also is looking at how and where fires spread in warehouses.

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A student at Gompers Charter Middle School takes part in a hands-on activity at Enspire, an annual event at the Jacobs School of Engineering.   

Daniel Kagan, a graduate student in nanoengineering, will talk about the microrockets he helped design, which bind to biological targets, including DNA and RNA.  His work will allow scientists to look for and isolate cancer cells, DNA and RNA much faster.Lauren Jepson, a graduate student in bioengineering, will describe her work on activating the retina through electrical stimulation. The goal is to improve the designs of retina prostheses, which have the potential to restore some degree of vision to many people who are blind due to a genetic disease.

Other presenters include Calit2 researcher Saura Naderi, graduate students Ramsin Khoshabeh and Mehmet Parlak, and undergraduates Veronica Lopez and Jeremiah Rushton.

SPAWAR’s education outreach arm will provide hands-on activities.

“It’s important for us to really demonstrate that we are part of the San Diego community, that we are a welcoming place,” Mayes said.

For more information and to register, go to:

Media Contacts

Ioana Patringenaru
Jacobs School of Engineering