Summer Study: What Did the Phase II Scholars Do?

Phase II Scholars return to the University of Washington campus for their second Summer Study. They meet the Phase I Scholars as they participate in their first Summer Study, learn about college life and career preparation, and participate in a one-week workshop with postsecondary instructors. The following eight articles summarize some of the experiences of the 1998 and 1999 Phase II Scholars.

Outside, Inside, and On

by DO-IT Phase II Scholars Alexi, Brad, Veronica, Sharon, and Josh

Our group of Phase II Scholars learned about Implicit Solid Modeling (ISM). First we learned that functions have a graph and a geometric shape associated with it. We also learned the "Outside, Inside, and On" test which allowed us to determine if an object is solid. In addition, we used Maple, a computer algebra program, to create a 2D and eventually a 3D model of a jack. Our work in developing a 3D model of a jack was so we could build an actual jack with the use of a computer-controlled mill. The purpose of our workshop was to "use math to build objects."

Game of Life

by DO-IT Phase II Scholars Andrew, Ben, Michael, and DO-IT Intern Laura

Who would have thought that small colored dots on a grid could be so fascinating? The Game of Life taught us how. Our group learned about Java programming and, with that as our tool, we caused these small colored dots to do all sorts of neat things. At first we used the rules of the classic game of life which use the number of "neighbors" any "live" (colored) cell had to see whether it "lived" or "died" (became black). Depending on what pattern of dots we started with, they could form a whole range of patterns. After that, we worked with changing the rules of the game and finding out what happened. The variety of things we were able to come up with and how much we learned was surprising. Every morning during the week we got to the computer lab at 9:00 and got down to work. After several adventures and "happy mistakes," everyone developed a few unique creations to present to the others in the lab and later, to all the rest of the DO-IT Scholars. Our final presentation marked the end of our project and some really fun times.


by DO-IT Phase II Scholars Crystal, Abe, Eddie, Matt, Justin, and Arnell

While attending the DO-IT program, six students including myself (Crystal) went to a workshop called MESA. MESA stands for Mathematics Science Engineering Achievement. In MESA we discovered how to do many things, including ways to accommodate each other and ourselves so that we all could get the project done in the best way possible. Our duties ranged from measuring with a ruler to doing mathematics with a calculator. All of us found it difficult to do certain things, so we worked together to solve each problem. We thought of ways to keep the same idea but change the procedures.

The specific unit we studied was Packaging and the Environment. In this unit we learned how mathematics in packaging design could help save cardboard. We learned to reduce the amount of packaging material used in packaging cereal by using mathematical equations. We learned a cube uses less cardboard than a rectangular box to enclose the same volume. We applied this knowledge to several more experiments and reversed it. We took the same surface area and all made our own designs to try and find the most effective shape to hold cereal with the most amount of volume. Our results were that a cube had the most volume.

Within our group there were some people who could not see well, or even at all. Other people had mobility issues and some had reading problems. By all of us working together we learned many ways to accommodate each other. Some ideas we came up with were to have digital rulers for those who have a hard time seeing. These rulers would talk and tell you the exact measurement. This would have been helpful when we were measuring our boxes. Another idea we had was to have a speaking calculator for someone who could not see at all. Some more accommodations we discussed were to have an attachment for a wheelchair that would hold papers - for example, a music stand that could be adjusted up or down according to the specific needs of a certain person. One accommodation idea was as simple as having a partner to help relay information or be the hands of someone who cannot use their own. All of these things are very easy and important in making a lab activity or experiment accessible.

We learned a lot about science while working with MESA. We also discovered different accommodations for those people who need them. I speak for all of us when I say that it was an awesome experience to be able to be a part of the MESA program.

Genetics Research Workshop

by DO-IT Phase II Scholars John, Corey, Katrina, Marissa, Todd, and DO-IT Intern Cheri

The basic theme of the workshop we conducted consisted of learning about cells that react to foreign objects in your body, learning about how they communicate with signals, and the way they actually heal around an object inside of a living organism. We learned the way these cells, macrophage, interact with each other and push a foreign object out of the body, being it a large piece of metal, or something as simple as a splinter.

These macrophage patrol the body all the time, and when they come across something that doesn't belong in the body, one attaches to the object. Other macrophage that come by see that the one is attached to the object, and follow its example. After a certain period of time, depending on how large the object is, the macrophage form a scar tissue wall around the object, to try to push out eventually. We learned so much in the lab from our instructor, Kjell, it was a great experience to learn from such a knowledgeable man.

We conducted a few experiments on oranges that were used to simulate mice. We weren't allowed to use an actual mouse in the experiment, so we had to kind of play pretend. First, we used these gold plates to see what kind of liquid was hydrophilic, or hydrophobic, by putting a drop of water onto the plate. We then used a scalpel to cut an opening in the protective tissue of an orange (simulated mouse) to see what would happen to hydrophilic substances, and hydrophobic substances, when placed in a live mammal. After cutting the orange, we prepared our gold plates in a sort of wire protective cover, to place under the orange's skin, to see what would happen in the three different liquids we used.

Technical Communication '98

by DO-IT Phase II Scholars Jennifer, Minh, Steven, Chris, and DO-IT Intern Trent

Those of us who participated in the technical communications workshop made a Web page describing in detail some of the daily activities of a DO-IT Scholar. On the first day, we decided what we wanted our project to be. We all thought it would make our project unique if we used video. It would give our audience of potential Scholars and parents a better understanding of what we do. From there we decided what we would film and when we would do it. Some of the activities we filmed were sumi painting, the dissecting of a sheep heart, and the computer lab. A few of us would film and all of us worked on the text of the page. The filming and the writing went smoothly. We edited and put the page together. All of us decided where everything would be placed on the page and enjoyed helping. The work was challenging, but it was a blast. It took teamwork and patience. We all left Summer Study knowing a little more about how to make Web pages and how interesting they are to create.

Technical Communication '99

by DO-IT Phase II Scholars Wesley, Hank, Kimberlee, Jessica, Jeffrey, and Isaiah

A group of six DO-IT Scholars, including myself (Wesley), participated in a Technical Communication workshop. The main focus of this workshop was to learn about the different aspects of desktop publishing and document production. With the help of our instructor, we decided that we would publish a best-of-the-web guide. To start with, each group member thought of ten of their favorite sites and grouped them into different categories. These lists were then merged. Each person's sites were then sorted based on specific topics they covered.

Our group learned how easy it was to design and publish a document using a simple desktop computer and a program such as Adobe PageMaker. It is fascinating to see the ease in which a person can select and incorporate the different elements of a document, and then change, reformat, or replace them in an instant. This workshop has been a very educational and fascinating experience for us.

VR Rocks!

by DO-IT Phase II Scholars David, Justin, Dustin, Brian, Ivan, and Buddy

For our Phase II workshop, we did a really cool thing, Virtual Reality (VR). VR technology is just starting to pick up and is one of the strongest emerging technologies in our new world. There are many types of VR and we dealt with all of them. Things such as force feedback, audio realism, 3D modeling, group environments and head-mounted displays are part of emerging technology in this field. Our workshop was mostly hands-on with this technology, with some lectures given by various experts on things such as visual interaction and military VR technology. We had a great time down at VR.

Virtual Reality Lab

by DO-IT Phase II Scholars Shavonne, Nichole, Jessie, Chris, Chanon, and Silas

We began our week of study discussing the visual aspects of Virtual Reality. Augmented Reality is a type of visual aid that applies guidelines which supplement reality. Most pilots use this type of reality to see the highlights and outlines of objects around them when they are flying. This technology would be used more often if ambient light did not interfere with this technology.

Before we were able to explore the lab, we had to learn the vocabulary that applied to each aspect of VR. A few of the terms that we learned were binocular, monocular, depth of field, aspect ratio/distortion, and optical infinity. We also discussed the different types of displays used in the VR field, beginning with the most common technology CRT (tube/regular TV), LCD (Liquid Crystal Display), and VRD (Virtual Retinal Display).

The next topic covered was haptics, which is your tactile awareness. We were able to explore this aspect of virtual reality using force feed back technology called the Phantom at the HIT lab.

In conclusion we would like to thank Suzanne Weghorst, and all the others at the HIT (Human Interface Technology) lab who took their time to come and show us a piece of the virtual world.