Outstanding Community Service 2011-2012

ACM Student Chapter at the University of Central Florida

Name: ACM Student Chapter at the University of Central Florida

Address: Orlando, FL 32816


Our Chapter and the University of Central Florida:

UCF's Association for Computing Machinery chapter is open to all students interested in advancing computing as a science and as a profession. Our weekly meetings include guest lecturers from UCF, the computing industry, and outside universities, in addition to discussion groups and social activities. We also are driven to encourage students to pursue computing careers through workshops and coding practice sessions along with community outreach towards other students of all ages. Our local chapter consists of twenty dedicated members.

The University of Central Florida currently has enrolled: 875 Computer Science undergraduates, 551 Information Technology undergraduates, 58 Computer Science graduates, 114 Computer Science Ph.D candidates, and 135 Digital Forensics graduates. Specifically for our local chapter of ACM, our students are either Computer Science or Information Technology with a few Computer Engineering majors.

Our Chapter and Community Outreach:

Our local chapter of the Association for Computing Machinery is dedicated to the service of those in the Orlando community. Our events have a wide breadth of initiatives and allow club members to participate in any event that they feel passionate about or to propose a new event in concert with other members.

Members have participated in campus wide events such as Knights Give Back – UCF’s Day of Service with the Volunteer Knights. The event includes a variety of tasks from the gentle cleaning of exquisite sculptures at the Albin Polasek Museum to lending a hand at the Boys Town of Central Florida to running the show behind the scenes at the Central Florida Youth Football and Cheer. Some of our members were running the concession stands and keeping players hydrated at the Football and Cheer event, allowing parents and children to enjoy the game.

Specifically on the UCF campus, the university hosts yearly the Florida Science Olympiad. Different elementary, middle and high schools from across the state have sent teams to compete in a range of events. This year our members served as judges for a Clay Boats event for elementary school students. Students were required to design and build a clay boat to support as many 1 gram cubes as possible. Judges were responsible for overseeing the event and assuring that each team had a fair experience; judges also determined scoring and tie-breaking rules.

The Florida Science Olympiad is not our own event that strives to promote STEM-related career paths for young students. Expanding Your Horizonsis another event for young students, aimed at empowering and encouraging elementary school girls to become passionate about the sciences. Members have served as guides during the event: answering questions and sharing personal experiences and interests in the sciences.

A similar project that recently has come out of a joint effort between the UCF Women in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Chapter and our ACM chapter is the Robots R.O.C.K! project that introduces robotics to elementary school children. It has been shown in numerous studies that the peer pressure and social expectations sway many young women away from the sciences as early as elementary school – and Expanding Your Horizons and Robots R.O.C.K! are just a few among many attempts to reverse that social pressure.

Outside of the promotion of the study of sciences, our chapter is also active in supporting local walks at or near the University of Central Florida campus. Recently our members attended the JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes. We collected donations and promoted awareness for the event. In the near future, we will also participate in the UCF Relay for Life event on April 13th. Currently the event has 633 participants, 73 teams and has risen over $18,000 dollars.

Our community outreach goals do not focus strictly on the computing profession – assisting young students in finding their spark of creative innovation and enthusiasm to become lifetime computing professionals – but also on the issues and goals of the local community.


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