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School of Engineering

Engineering Service Learning Teams

Engineering Service Learning Teams (9) | Spring 2015

Get S.E.T.

Faculty Adviser: Professor Christopher Viney

Tagline: Revolutionizing K-12 instruction in Merced County

Our Project

Team Get S.E.T. (Science, Engineering, and Technology) works to with local educators within the Merced County Office of Education (MCOE) to develop supplementary science curricula 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 and increase students’ interest in these subjects.

Instructional Lab 1

Faculty Adviser:  Professor Sachin Goyal

Tagline: Improving user experiences

Our Project

The instructional lab 1 Engineering Service Learning team works to improve student experiences within the Strength and Materials course by improving how lab equipment is used, and designing comparative numerical simulations for the labs.

Instructional Lab 2

Faculty Adviser: Professor Gerardo Diaz

Tagline: Next generation solar collectors

Our Project:

The instructional lab 2 Engineering Service Learning team focuses on the design and construction of a next-generation, high-efficiency solar-powered water collector to be used by multiple engineering-heat-transfer 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. 

Merit Partners

Faculty Adviser: Professor Tanya Golash-Boza

Tagline: Improving rehabilitation among incarcerated youth

Our project:

The Merit Partners Engineering Service Learning team works to evaluate the successfulness of the Merit ePartners program in improving rehabilitation rates of participants of the Merit program, an e-waste job-skills-development program at the O.H. Close Youth Correctional Facility in Stockton.

This student team works to empirically validate the rehabilitation rates reported by Merit ePartners (a 42 percent increase compared to statewide averages), identify the components of the Merit ePartners program that lead to success and develop strategies that will lead to expanding ePartners’ capacity.

The Merit Partners team is scheduled to complete this project in Fall 2016 and will rely extensively on project planning, management, research, technical social science, and technical engineering and policy skill sets.

Community Development Analytics

Faculty Adviser: Professor Alex Whalley

Tagline: Mapping the Economic Development of Merced County 

The Merced County Office of Planning and Community Development helps attract businesses into Merced County. To aid in land-use management and the future growth of the Castle Airport Aviation and Development Center, the Community Development Analytics Engineering Service Learning team plans to create a Castle Land Use Management tool aimed to allow users to access vital land-use resource data available at the Castle site.

This project will focus on land-use planning and management, engineering, spatial assessments through GIS, local policy, societal impact and project management.  The Castle Land Use tool is expected to be completed in the Fall 2015 semester.

Merced Vernal Pools and Grassland Reserve

Faculty Adviser: Professor Martha Conklin

Tagline: Historic windmill restoration

The Merced Vernal Pools Grassland Reserve and the Vernal Pool Reserve (VPR) Engineering Service Learning team are setting out to improve the visibility of the reserve adjacent to the UC Merced campus.

Building on the success of recent projects, this student-led team is conducting the first phases of the windmill restoration project. The team plans to restore the windmill – which helps in ecosystem management -- by 2016.

San Joaquin River

Faculty Adviser: Professor Thomas Harmon

Tagline: Connecting water use and environmental restoration

The San Joaquin River Engineering Service Learning team (SJR) aims to inspire positive change by educating the public on the connections between water, sustainability and climate as they relate to the lives of San Joaquin Valley residents.

Through a partnership with the San Joaquin River Parkway and Conservation Trust, the SJR Engineering Service Learning team is designing an interactive kiosk to help inform and educate users of the complexities of managing the San Joaquin River and its resources. The kiosk focuses on public communication, graphic and visual arts, local, state and federal policy compliance, engineering, biological sciences, and project and resource management.

The kiosk project is slated for completion in the Spring 2015 semester where it will be displayed at the San Joaquin River Parkway and Conservation Trust river house.


Faculty Adviser: Professor Valerie Leppert

Tagline: Combining nanotechnology and science education

The Nanoscale Informal Science Education Network (NISE Net) is a national community of researchers and informal science educators dedicated to fostering public awareness, engagement in and understanding of nanoscale science, engineering and technology.

The NISE Net Engineering Service Learning team works with local educators to create museum quality nano-themed activities used by K-12 and public educators around the world.  The current cellular-transport project merges nanoscience applications with traditional cell biology curriculum.

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

Faculty Adviser: Professor YangQuan Chen

Tagline: Informing agricultural practices through automated scanning

The developing technologies of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) are systems with broad applications, from defense to film.   The UAV Engineering Service Learning team, along with the Merced County Cooperative Extension (MCCE) is designing and implementing a UAV solution to help local, small-scale farmers solve ongoing precision agricultural problems in from pest management that will result in healthier, higher-value yields.

The Pest Identification project uses many technical engineering, public communication, biological, environmental, policy and legal skill sets. The Pest Identification project is scheduled to deliver results in the Fall 2016 semester.