A Message from Stacey Johnson, President, East and Winter Park Campuses
Geode cakes, beer brewing, Barbie bungee jumping and cyber security — there’s always something interesting and educational happening on our campuses, and this semester is no exception. Read below for some of the highlights.
Learning Support Luncheon
East Campus Learning Support staff enjoyed a department luncheon on Thursday, September 27, 2018, and participated in a cake competition. The winner of the cake contest was Deanna McKay, administrative assistant, Title V, who showcased a vanilla caramel latte cake. Second place went to Librarian Diane Dalrymple who baked a stunning geode cake, which consisted of edible rocky crystals.
Learning Assistant II Amanda Lantieri presented a hands-on, beer brewing workshop for students on Tuesday, October 2, 2018. Amanda began the workshop by sharing a short history lesson on the origins of beer, and, during the workshop, students tasted the experiment. Students determined that the heated solution tasted sweet due to the breakdown of starch into glucose. Then they questioned, “Why isn’t beer sweet?” Students learned that beer is not sweet because the yeast metabolizes the sugar and releases it as alcohol. Cheers!
Barbie Bungee Jump Event
Math students played with dolls during the East Campus Barbie Bungee Jump event, which took place on Thursday, September 27, 2018. The goal of this math event was to have students use linear regression to determine a function relating the number of rubber bands to the distance that an object falls. Students modeled a bungee jump using rubber bands to launch the Barbie dolls. The objective was to give Barbie the greatest thrill jump, while still ensuring she was safe, and coming as close as possible to the ground without hitting it.
Students worked together in groups. Some measured length with yardsticks, while others figured out the number of rubber bands to attach, and still other group members determined the lowest point that their Barbie reached on the jump. In the end, the groups participated in a “jump off” competition. The winning group was determined by the Barbie that jumped the furthest distance without touching the ground.
It has been two and a half years since the Valencia Technology Club started its computer repair service. To date, the club has serviced and fixed more than 650 desktops, laptops, tablets and phones. Several students have received their A+ certification from this experience, which allows them to enter the information technology workforce as an entry-level help desk employee. One student said, “It is nice to know that there is a program at Valencia where students can get ‘real-world’ experience before they graduate.” The program is going strong and the Technology Club uses the latest technology available on the market to repair computers. In addition, walk-in service is now available to all students, faculty and staff. The computer repair service is open every Wednesday from 1:30 pm – 4:30 p.m., in Building 8, Room 221.
On Wednesday, October 3, 2018, the Technology Club hosted a TED Talk, featuring Dan McGowan, staff cyber exploitation analyst, from Lockheed Martin. More than 70 students participated in the program, where Dan took the students on a discussion journey from college to becoming a successful hacker.
Dan said, “I don’t see any difference among targets since everything is a potential target. Servers and infrastructure are very easy to hack. Satellites, phones and smart home devices are very vulnerable.”
Dan also discussed the common titles in cyber security, the pay and expected growth as well as the attention to what courses students should take. At the end of the session, many students waited 30 minutes in line to meet Dan and ask him questions. One student said, “Are all TED Talks like this … it was amazing!”