More good news about UO SAIL

From the Industrial Designers Society of America website:



University of Oregon’s Department of Product Design set SAIL in summer 2017 with a new addition to week-long programs designed to help high school students explore career paths. A product design undergraduate student in UO’s College of Design taught the next generation of designers during the Summer Academy to Inspire Learning. That included lessons on manufacturing and fabrication of consumer products; packaging; 2D and 3D computer-aided design (CAD) tools; laser cutters; 3D printers; and more.

Eric Wilks, supported by SAIL counselors, led high schoolers to design passive speakers for cell phones. They brainstormed possible designs, then chose, as a group of 20 (per week), which design to make. Wilks created a SolidWorks model. The group reviewed the model and modified if necessary. Then each high school student would print two designs, keeping one of the speakers while the other was sold in a summer pop-up shop in downtown Eugene!

… “We wanted to be a part of UO’s SAIL program because it is so well-run and has such a fantastic reputation,” says Associate Professor Kiersten Muenchinger, IDSA, head of the Department of Product Design. “We’re committed to K–12 outreach, and SAIL adds an important summer camp piece to our Unparalleled workshops and Product of Eugene mentorship programs that occur during the school year.”

Crowdfunding for two worthy faculty initiatives

Dear CAS Colleagues,

In case you haven’t heard, I want you to be aware of an innovative fundraising campaign currently underway that will benefit two CAS programs.

The campaign, called DuckFunder, is a crowdfunding approach that aims to attract lots of small gifts (and even some large ones) for very focused projects. This is a six-week campaign, now entering its final few days. It will wrap up Friday, May 19.

This year, two CAS projects were selected:

· SPICE, a summer program that inspires teen girls to stay engaged in STEM studies Fundraising goal = $8,000

· Team Duckling, a psychology research team that studies how children learn and grow. Fundraising goal = $10,000

I will be making a personal donation to both of these worthy projects and encourage you to:

· Visit one of the links above and consider making a small donation that will help them reach their goal

· Help get the word out by clicking on one of the social share icons at the top of the SPICE or Team Duckling crowdfunding pages (links above) to share with your friends and family via Facebook, Twitter or email.

If you have a project you’d like to be considered for next year’s DuckFunder campaign, you can submit an application here:

Thank you for considering this request.

Warm regards, Andrew

W. Andrew Marcus
Tykeson Dean, College of Arts and Sciences
University of Oregon

USC runs SAIL pipeline on steroids, boosts low SES enrollment & graduation

In the NYT here:

LOS ANGELES — If you go by the odds, Sierra Williams shouldn’t be in college, let alone at a highly selective school like the University of Southern California.

Many kids in her low-income neighborhood here don’t get to or through the 12th grade. Her single mother isn’t college-educated. Neither are Sierra’s two brothers, one of whom is in prison. Her sister has only a two-year associate degree.

But when Sierra was in the sixth grade, teachers spotted her potential and enrolled her in the Neighborhood Academic Initiative, or N.A.I., a program through which U.S.C. prepares underprivileged kids who live relatively near its South Los Angeles campus for higher education. She repeatedly visited U.S.C., so she could envision herself in such an environment and reach for it. She took advanced classes. Her mother, like the parents or guardians of all students in the N.A.I., got counseling on turning college into a reality for her child.

Sierra, 20, just finished her junior year at U.S.C. An engineering major, she’s already enrolled in a master’s program. “My end goal is to get my Ph.D.,” she told me when I met her recently. She wants to be a professor and, through her example as a black woman in engineering, correct the paucity of minorities in the field.It’s now some two decades since the first class of seniors in the N.A.I. graduated from high school and went on to college. More than 900 kids have used the N.A.I. as an on ramp to higher education — more than a third of them ended up at U.S.C. — and that number is growing quickly as the N.A.I. expands.

The public school that many N.A.I. enrollees attend, the Foshay Learning Center, was responsible for more new arrivals on the U.S.C. campus last fall than any other public or private high school in America. Nineteen N.A.I. alumni started as freshmen; 11 more transferred from other colleges.

And N.A.I. doesn’t even represent the whole of U.S.C.’s efforts to address inadequate socioeconomic diversity at the country’s most celebrated colleges. Although U.S.C. has often been caricatured as a rich kids’ playground — its nickname in some quarters is the University of Spoiled Children — it outpaces most of its peers in trying to lift disadvantaged kids to better lives. Those peers should learn from its example. …

Here at UO this will be the 10th year of the SAIL program. This summer we’ll have about 15 free week-long summer camps teaching local low-SES students what college is like and how to succeed at it, taught by about 100 faculty and staff volunteers,

Around the O publishes informative article

about SAIL’s recently concluded crowdfunding campaign, and explains the process for starting your own UO Advancement approved “Duckfunder campaign”, By Greg Bolt, here.

SAIL raised $17,500, and after the match that’s $35,000. You can still give to SAIL (and still get it matched by a very generous alumni donor) by going to and entering “For SAIL” in the text box. You’ll get a nice letter of thanks, suitable for showing to the IRS.

The UO Development people were very, very helpful and enthusiastic. The only downside is that duckfunder does not tap into a large database of other donors to similar causes, as crowdfunder sites like kickstarter and gofundme do, and prompt those people to take a look at your cause. On the other hand it is included in emails that go out to UO alumni.

SAIL duckfunder campaign needs you

SAIL is UO’s largest faculty led volunteer program. Faculty teach low-SES and first generation HS students in free week long summer day-camps on the UO campus, to show them what college is like and how they can succeed at it. Last summer we had 10 camps, 200+ students, and ~100 volunteers. You can volunteer here, and to donate click here or click the image:

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UO starts crowdfunding campaign for SAIL program

SAIL is UO’s faculty volunteer led program to encourage low-SES first generation students to go to college, by bringing them to campus for free summer day-camps on different academic subjects. They meet a lot of faculty and undergraduate mentors, and come back every summer during HS for a different camp, so by the time they graduate High School college is the natural next step not something risky or odd.

The UO Advancement office has helped set up a crowdfunding campaign to raise money to expand SAIL.  Here, or click the image to find out more and donate online.

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Around the O has more here. If you are UO faculty or staff you can find out how to volunteer here.

Education Gap Between Rich and Poor Is Growing Wider

The NYT has some good news and bad news on education, here. First, in case you’re a professor wondering if what you do makes a difference, it does. College matters more and more:

College has become virtually a precondition for upward mobility. Men with only a high school diploma earn about a fifth less than they did 35 years ago. The gap between the earnings of students with a college degree and those without one is bigger than ever.

The good news:

Today, despite some setbacks along the way, racial disparities in education have narrowed significantly. By 2012, the test-score deficit of black 9-, 13- and 17-year-olds in reading and math had been reduced as much as 50 percent compared with what it was 30 to 40 years before.

Achievements like these breathe hope into our belief in the Land of Opportunity. They build trust in education as a leveling force powering economic mobility. “We do have a track record of reducing these inequalities,” said Jane Waldfogel, a professor of social work at Columbia University.

Then the bad:

But the question remains: Why did we stop there? For all the progress in improving educational outcomes among African-American children, the achievement gaps between more affluent and less privileged children is wider than ever, notes Sean Reardon of the Center for Education Policy Analysis at Stanford. Racial disparities are still a stain on American society, but they are no longer the main divider. Today the biggest threat to the American dream is class. …

Only 5 percent of Americans ages 25 to 34 whose parents didn’t finish high school have a college degree. By comparison, the average across 20 rich countries in an analysis by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development is almost 20 percent. …

On the day they start kindergarten, children from families of low socioeconomic status are already more than a year behind the children of college graduates in their grasp of both reading and math.

It gets worse:

And despite the efforts deployed by the American public education system, nine years later the achievement gap, on average, will have widened by somewhere from one-half to two-thirds.

Even the best performers from disadvantaged backgrounds, who enter kindergarten reading as well as the smartest rich kids, fall behind over the course of their schooling.