CyArk at CSU East Bay's STEM Career Awareness Day

by Katia Chaterji
April 14, 2014
Last Friday, CyArk Technical Lead Alexander Reinhold and I packed up our gear and headed to Emeryville for STEM Career Awareness Day, an all-day event generously hosted by California State University East Bay’s Institute for STEM Education with support from their partners Bayer Healthcare, Berkeley City College, and UC Berkeley. With a 10-foot poster exhibiting detailed perspective images taken from our digital archive, CyArk’s booth was a hit. Students from 6 East Bay high schools, including Oakland Tech and Berkeley High, had the opportunity to see one of our scanners, study a pointcloud of Monte Alban, and hold 3D printed models of Mount Rushmore, Tikal, and Rapa Nui.

For the past 3 years, the Institute for STEM Education has organized a day of company site visits for East Bay high school students to experience a day in the life of a Science, Technology, Engineering, or Math (STEM) professional. Students also have the opportunity to meet professionals in the context of a career fair, where a dozen local STEM companies encourage students to ask questions about their field of interest. CSU’s Institute for STEM Education was founded in 2011 to enhance existing STEM education activities on school campuses, and its annual STEM Career Awareness Day serves to introduce and inspire young students about STEM fields by showcasing the fascinating work and research currently taking place throughout the East Bay.

CyArk was honored to be invited to participate in this exciting event. Approximately 160 high school students attended the career fair, and Alex and I were swept away by their curiosity and questions. The 3D printed models attracted much attention, as did a laser-cut glass cube showcasing pointcloud data of Mission San Jose in San Antonio, Texas, documenting the Spanish mission down to the last crystal chandelier. Students and teachers alike posed thoughtful questions about the future of laser scanning and other technologies, as well as the relevance of our work to conservationists, architects, engineers, educators, and more.

One student asked whether I enjoyed going to work every day – a question I was thrilled to answer yes! It is always a wonderful experience talking to youth about the importance of our history and heritage, and how innovative new technology can help in telling these stories. In the upcoming months, we look forward to hosting a group of interested students at our office for a site tour and more information about summer internships!
Katia Chaterji and Alex Reinhold at STEM Career Awareness Day in Emeryville.
Katia Chaterji speaking with interested students at the CyArk booth.
CyArk's booth showcasing 3D printed models, a laser-cut glass cube, and an example of a scanner and target.