2016 Stairstep Events

View past events by term, then select a date.

Fall - 2016

9/29 - Southeast Texas Youth Career Expo

On the 29th of September, STAIRSTEP attend the Southeast Texas Youth Career Expo as presenters. We utilized two tables to show off projects from all teams. The program began at 7AM and lasted until 3PM hosting thousands of high school students from dozens of schools including Ozen, Central, Little Cyprus Mauriceville, and others. The students were allowed free range of the entirety of the Ford Park Arena to view booths manned by companies, organizations and programs around the Southeast Texas Area. Entergy, Lamar University, ExxonMobil and Arceneaux Wilson & Cole were only a few of the booths available to the students. During my time at the booth, team members from the Computer Science, Physics and Biology were there. I talked with approximately 70 students over the course of a couple hours, with STAIRSTEP as a whole speaking with hundreds of students.

We encouraged them to consider STEM fields for their career and major choices, showcasing the amazing things you can do with our varying degrees. We distributed pamphlets on career choices and the STAIRSTEP program while also offering interest forms to students who expressed interest in the program. I thoroughly enjoyed attending and seeing the incoming phase of high school students’ eye light up when showcasing the Computer Science’s LEAP Motion device. I believe we made an impact in the minds of those students and hope to see several of them come to Lamar University. Tim Gonzales

Summer - 2016

7/8 - New Student Orientation

On July 8th, 2016 Jason Miller attended the New Student Orientation as a representative of the Mathematics STAIRSTEP program. He manned the table along with representatives of the Physics and Computer Science STAIRSTEP program. There were informative handouts on the related degrees and STAIRSTEP itself that were available for interested students and parents. The Physics and Computer Science sections also had hands-on demonstrations of their respective fields.

The majority of students who approached the table were interested in the fields of computer science or engineering. Some were considering dual majors or minors in the fields represented by STAIRSTEP, like Physica and Math. The number of students intending to pursue a math degree in particular were much fewer, but the overlap of mathematics and other STEM disciplines meant that nearly all of them showed interest. Several parents requested information on behalf of their children and took pamphlets and hand-outs.

Over the course of the event, there was a large amount of interest in STAIRSTEP. Even if only a fraction of the students who stopped by the booth continue to show interest in joining STAIRSTEP, there would still be a large pool of students to approach.

6/25 - New Student Orientation

On June 25, 2016, STAIRSTEP took part in the Lamar University new student orientation, by hosting an informative STAIRSTEP booth. Students from Physics, Math, Computer Science and Biology participated in working the booth.

Working the booth at New Student Orientation is one of the many outreach programs STAIRSTEP participates in. While Hannah Leleux was working the STAIRSTEP booth she interacted with students and parents. 16 students were interested in the Computer Science branch of STAIRSTEP. The forms filled out by students at the New Student Orientation events were tallied. There was a total of 94 filled out forms. Roughly 150 new incoming freshmen visited the STAIRSEP booth that day.  

As the students and parents walked up to the booth they were greeted by a STAIRSTEP Member and asked what topics they were interested in. Based on what topics the students or parents were interested in the STAIRSTEP member supplied them with materials covering those topics.  

The program requirements and perks were explained to the students and parents. Over all the New Students Orientation event was a success. Many students passed by the STAIRSTEP booth and were interested in the program. If the students were not interested in any of the topics STAIRSTEP is involved in they were directed in the correct direction of those booths. 

With the information given to us by the students on the forms STAIRSTEP members plan to reach out. Once the event is finalized the forms will be divided up among the STAIRSTEP members in each discipline and personal emails will be sent to each student.  The research and outreach for the Computer Science branch of STAIRSTEP was led by Dr. Peggy Doerschuk 2007 to 2016 and is now currently being led by Dr. Sujing Wang. 

Spring - 2016

4/29 - Central High School Visits

On April 29, 2016 Central high school sent 50 students to Lamar to participate in a workshop hosted by STAIRSTEP. Undergraduates Diego Fernandez, Colin Smith, Timothy Gonzales, Alexander Strong, and Timothy Holcombe who are members of the Computer Science STAIRSTEP team conducted the workshop.  

Diego Fernandez led them from eleven to twelve that morning in a programming exercise. The students were given an overview of the basic programming fundamentals through a set of instructional slides presented. During the presentation the students proceeded to create their own game, modeling the onscreen build led by Alexander Strong. Colin Smith, Timothy Gonzales, and Timothy Holcombe helped the students who raised their hand with questions or that were falling behind.  The workshop was part of the ongoing research in Computer Science education that the Computer Science STAIRSTEP team is conducting. The research is led by Dr. Peggy Doerschuk and through conducting the workshops the STAIRSTEP students are able to collect data. The goal of the research is to increase knowledge and interest in Computer Science. This research was presented at multiple conferences including the Office of Undergraduate Research Expo at Lamar University and the SIGITE conference in Chicago. This research data is planned to be collected and concluded summer 2016.

4/22 & 4/27 - Central High School Visits

Lamar University’s Students Advancing through Involvement in Research Student Talent Expansion Program (STAIRSTEP) hosted campus visits by 47 Central Medical Magnet High School students, their AP Biology teacher Randy Pemberton, and Assistant Principal Belinda George on April 22 and April 27.   READ MORE

4/20 - Undergraduate Research Expo

On April 20, 2016, undergraduates Hannah Leleux, Diego Fernandez, Colin Smith, Timothy Gonzales, Alexander Strong and Timothy Holcombe who are members of the Computer Science STAIRSTEP presented research at the 2016 Undergraduate Research Expo.

Hannah Leleux and Diego Fernandez lead the presentation for the poster “Programming is a Snap!: increasing knowledge and interest in computing”. The poster displayed a brief summary of STAIRSTEP’s outreach research project. Authors of the “Programming is a Snap…” poster are Hannah Leleux, Alexander Strong, Timothy Gonzales, Colin Smith, Diego Fernandez and Timothy Holcombe.

Alexander Strong led the presentation for the poster “Work in Progress: Improving the Performance of the Radial Basis Function Neural Network”. The poster displayed a brief summary of STAIRSTEP’s machine learning research. The authors of the “…Radial Basis Function Neural Network” poster are Alexander Strong, Colin Smith and Timothy Gonzales.

Colin Smith led the presentation for the poster “Work in Progress: Machine Learning in Robotics”. The poster displayed a brief summary of STAIRSTEP’s robotics and machine learning research. Authors of the “…Machine Learning in Robotics” poster are Colin Smith, Hannah Leleux, Alexander Strong, Timothy Gonzales and Timothy Holcombe.  

The posters were judged amongst other undergraduate research posters presented by Lamar University students. The Undergraduate Research Expo was hosted by Dr. Kumer Das and the Office of Undergraduate Research. The posters are part of the ongoing research in Computer Science education, machine learning and robotics that the Computer Science STAIRSTEP team is conducting. The research is led by Dr. Peggy Doerschuk and through conducting the workshops and experiments the STAIRSTEP students are able to collect data. 

4/15 - STAIRSTEP opens new worlds of science and math

Lamar University’s Students Advancing through Involvement in Research Student Talent Expansion Program (STAIRSTEP) recently hosted a campus visit by 43 Little Cypress Mauriceville High School students, their computer science and engineering teachers Terry Morris and Cory Parson, and Vice Principal Kristine Brown.

The group engaged in one-hour hands-on workshops/demonstrations on April 15 led by STAIRSTEP undergraduates and faculty mentors in mathematics, computer science, biology and physics.  |  READ FULL STORY

4/15 - LCM High School Visit

On April 15, 2016 LCM high school sent 48 students  to Lamar to participate in a workshop hosted by STAIRSTEP. Undergraduates Hannah Leleux, Diego Fernandez, Colin Smith, Timothy Gonzales, and Timothy Holcombe who are members of the Computer Science STAIRSTEP team conducted the workshop.  

Tim Gonzales led them from eleven to twelve that morning in a programming exercise. The students were given an overview of the basic programming fundamentals through a set of instructional slides presented. During the presentation the students proceeded to create their own game, modeling the onscreen build led by Colin Smith. Hannah Leleux, Diego Fernandez, and Timothy Holcombe helped the students who raised their hand with questions or that were falling behind.  

The workshop was part of the ongoing research in Computer Science education that the Computer Science STAIRSTEP team is conducting. The research is led by Dr. Peggy Doerschuk and through conducting the workshops the STAIRSTEP students are able to collect data. The goal of the research is to increase knowledge and interest in Computer Science. This research was presented at multiple conferences including the Office of Undergraduate Research Expo at Lamar University and the SIGITE conference in Chicago. This research data is planned to be collected and concluded summer 2016.

4/1 - Biology Outreach at LSCO and Lee College

The Biology and Environmental Science STAIRSTEP Team conducted outreach visits to Lamar State College - Orange and Lee College in April 2016. Datron Brown led a slide presentation that covered information on the STAIRSTEP program, the Lamar University Biology Degree Programs, career opportunities in the life sciences, undergraduate research and study abroad.  At Lamar State College – Orange the team presented to 8 students in Dr Matthew McClure’s General Biology for science majors course (BIOL 1406) and at Lee College they presented to 18 students in Dr. Tia Hall’s Environmental Science course (GEOL 1405).  The professors were also interested and kind enough to provide encouraging feedback for future presentations. 

2/20 - Mini CAST

Saturday, February 20th, 2016, the West Brook High School hosted the Science Mini Conference for the Advancement of Science Teaching which is a one-day Conference for Science teachers and conducted by the Science teachers. The Mini-CAST facilitates a common ground to share the ideas with fellow colleagues to make class room education more meaning full and up to date to the students. 

Keeley Townley-Smith ,Mohammad Nurul Azam, Suzanne Wheeler , Claudia Marroquin, Diego Fernandez represented Stair Step to the conference with verities of science demos including  Van Der graph, magnetic induction principle demonstrator kit, interference and diffraction of light phenomenon demonstrator, spectroscopy kit and Telsla coil etc. 

READ MORE

2/6 - Texas Alliance for Minorities in Engineering (TAME)

On February 6, 2016, STAIRSTEP member Diego Fernandez volunteered to help run a competition for Texas Alliance for Minorities in Engineering (TAME) at Lamar University. The competition lasted from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. and had about 30 students from various high schools and middle schools attend. TAME’s mission is to increase interest in women and minorities for engineering fields through competitions across the nation.

The day consisted of a complimentary breakfast, an opening ceremony, multiple math and science tests, lunch at the dining hall, an engineering design test, and a closing ceremony. The students who placed first in each test and the team who placed first in the design test earned the opportunity to advance on to a higher level of competition.