STEM trip exposes technologies to students

By Jessica Suico, News Editor

To inspire educational opportunities, the Adelante Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Academy is planning an Autodesk Gallery field trip to San Francisco on Tuesday.

Autodesk unites exceptional design and engineering projects from around the world and features concepts by Lego, Mercedes-Benz and Nike, among others.

“The exhibits treat students to concepts inspired by going from mind to design in minutes,” Senior Administrator of HSI STEM Student Equity Jonathan Lee said.

METAS Parent-Coordinator Ysrael Condori said, “I am excited for this trip. I have been working for STEM (at Contra Costa College) since 2014 and I am intrigued by the knowledge I will be learning on this trip.”

For Condori, his most exciting experience is being involved with students learning something new and also seeing them flourish in something they are passionate about and intrigued by.

CCC students will be participating in a design and make workshop during the field trip.

“They will learn how to use Tinker card, a 3D CAD (computer aided design) design tool. Students will get hands-on experience using Autodesk Fusion 360 software, a 3D CAD CAM and CAE,” Lee said.

CAE is a computer-aided engineering tool that connects a user’s entire product development process in a single cloud-based platform.

STEM Program Coordinator Manal Ayyad said, “The purpose of this trip is to give students exposure to real life opportunities. We want to fuel each student’s passion for wanting to learn new things.”

According to Lee, there are 24 students signed up to go on the field trip and three chaperones, Condori, Chao Liu and Ginelle Perez. A bus has been chartered to transport the students to Autodesk, but space is limited.

Ayyad said, “We wish we could bring more students, but (bus) seats are already full. STEM is trying to make a way for them to have a field trip like this once a month to give students as much exposure to different opportunities as possible.”

STEM has taken a few trips like this in the past, most notably in 2014 when they went to Yelp headquarters in San Francisco and Pandora in Oakland in 2015.

“We try our best to plan field trips and make sure the wait lists go out in enough time prior to the trip. The next trip that will be planned is to EA Games,” Condori said.

Lee said the students will have an opportunity to participate in a workshop to simulate what Autodesk’s own engineering teams experience on a day-to-day basis. They also will receive training related to problem solving and team collaboration.

“Since I am a program lead I would like to get insights on students learning new skills, broaden my perspective and give back to the engineering and computer technology careers,” Condori said.

To plan these trips, Lee must reach out to local tech companies through previous contacts and mailers. Every January he does this to a secure a company site for campus visits during the upcoming fall semester.

“We are trying to schedule a field trip to Twitter headquarters, in San Francisco, this semester as well,” Lee said.

He said, “After the field trip date was secured with Autodesk, our STEM Transfer Program Lead Eleanor Pangilinan and Ayyad have been handling the outreach, recruitment and logistics for the trip.”

Ayyad said, “A lot of students don’t get exposure to opportunities like this. Being able to help students get exposure to what it would be like to work in a technology and engineering career motivates me to want to do more.”