nearly every high school student reported knowing more about what life at a UC is like as a result of the event
On Saturday, May 12th 2018, Yalla College Bound hosted its first Major Fair. At the event, eleven UCSD students volunteered to share the day-to-day realities of their majors with the high school students of the program. The UCSD students sat at tables with their notebooks and flyers from their majors. One or two high school students also sat at each table, and the high school students rotated every 15 minutes in a round robin.
The conversations were all going really well. High school students were asking good questions (how big are classes, how much time do you spend on studying or homework, what are office hours) and UCSD students were providing good answers. I took a seat at the Computer Science table to listen to their conversation for a few minutes.
They were talking to one high school student, a junior. They talked about how creating software was a form of engineering, because different people with different specialties all create different pieces of code, then put it together, and it’s supposed to work, and that package is called software. And the high school student asked, “So what are those pieces of code? Like, what do they look like?” So the UCSD students explained what algorithms are, and how they work. And then they talked about video games, how algorithms control how the bad guys react. “And that’s an algorithm?” the high school student would say. The students filled out pre- and post-surveys about the event. Each student’s pre- and post-survey had a matching code on the back, so the survey could remain anonymous while being able to show how individual students’ understandings changed. On one student’s pre- survey, for Question 1 (“What major are you most interested in?”), the student started to answer the question – but then crossed out what he had written. Then, for Question 2 (“What career are you most interested in?”), he wrote “Soccer player.”
Here are results from the all nine students’ pre and post surveys. High school students didn’t necessarily change their opinion about wanting to attend a UC. However, nearly every high school student reported knowing more about what life at a UC is like as a result of the event.
These insights will be invaluable to these sophomores and juniors as they pick classes, sign up for standardized tests, apply to colleges, and pick their majors.