By Emely Bonilla, Nov. 22, 2022
Students, faculty and community members across various departments gathered on Thursday Nov. 17 to celebrate the academic successes of Cal Poly Pomona’s first year students at the annual PolyX First Year Experience Showcase.
The program’s goal is to provide the opportunity for incoming broncos to explore career options within their own major through research, mentoring and personal projects.
The PolyX FYE showcase is a crossover event curated by Dora Lee and Olukemi Sawyerr with the help of supporting faculty to implement PolyX, signature polytechnic experiences, into the first-year experience program.
Sawyerr, associate vice president for academic innovation, spoke at the event and shared how proud she was to be involved in a program that promotes CPP’s polytechnic values and takes steps towards more progressive teaching methods.
“The hallmark of a Cal Poly Pomona education is learn by doing. Most people who choose to go to Cal Poly Pomona is because they want to have the learn by doing experience,” said Sawyerr. “PolyX and FYE wanted to make sure that in your first semester here at Cal Poly Pomona you experience the hallmark of Cal Poly Pomona.”
Currently, all eight academic colleges are involved in the program by providing courses that can act as both hands-on experience and academic units to help with degree progress.
The FYE program works with faculty from each college to curate classes that are geared toward ensuring that first-year students gain experience in research, while supplying mentoring and resources to help the students their academic journey.
According to Kiran Maqbool, an animal science major, programs like FYE and PolyX supply the mentorship needed when trying to understand academic passions and how to create a career out of it.
“The careers and orientations class broke down the step-by-step process of what we can do,” said Maqbool. “We want to be vet technicians, so if we didn’t like one program, they shared other programs; if you want to get your license these are options you can do.”
First year students enrolled in one of the course options created for the FYE program presented their research and share insight into what CPP offers as a polytechnic institute.
Food science majors, Angelina Valencia and Kaitlyn Kim, addressed the lack of exposure to food science within children through surveys and provided a solution to this issue through an interactive element within the presentation. Both students were passionate when addressing this issue, they have become accustomed to explaining to peers and family what they study and why it is important.
Kim revealed how they, “surveyed people here at Cal Poly, the people who did not grow up with any science as a kid didn’t really understand what food science was. We wanted to help give everyone a basic understanding of that but starting at a young age.”
Valencia and Kim were able to curate a lesson plan that uses butterfly pea flower tea and lemons to create a chemical reaction that changes the color of the tea depending on the pH level. The two students hope their idea can be implemented into elementary schools in hopes of getting children who do want to learn about STEM the resources and inspiration needed to do so.
All the students involved in the showcase organized presentations that focused on their own individual interests and share with the community why it is important to them and why it should be important to us.
To learn more about the PolyX FYE showcase visit their website.
Feature image by Emely Bonilla
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