Madras pair attend OSU engineering camp

Astronaut and OSU grad Donald Pettit visits

by: Submitted Photo - Ezra-Mel Pasikatan, left, and teammate Nathan Kolibaba, explain their project to Nathan's dad.

Ezra-Mel Pasikatan
   Student Reporter
   Forty-six high school students from all over Oregon spent a week of "camp" at Oregon State University July 9-14.
   Two Madras High School students, Ezra-Mel and Josriel Pasikatan were among the participants.
   Unlike a typical summer camp, students didn't need to pitch tents; they stayed in the landmark Weatherford Hall dormitory, and they spent their time in the great indoors on OSU's science and engineering labs.
   The camp is called Summer Experience in Science and Engineering for Youth, or SESEY for short.
   Now on its 10th anniversary, SESEY gives high school students (freshmen to juniors) the opportunity to work on a research project for a week, under the mentorship of a college student, graduate student or a professor.
   Participants also attended informational lectures on topics such as career choices, college choices and college life in general.
   The highlight of this year's SESEY was a presentation by astronaut and OSU alumni Donald Pettit about the behavior of fluids in zero gravity.
   A participant's day starts at 8:30 a.m. with a roll call at Owens Hall, continues with about six hours of lab project time, and ends at 10 p.m.
   Since college life is not all work, participants have free time during the week for swimming, recreational activities and socialization as well as competitions such as the SESEY Olympics and the Ice Cream Challenge. Living in a dorm offered unlimited time for interaction with other students.
   The week's finale was a poster presentation of each research project at Kelly Engineering Center by the student teams.
   Twenty-one projects were conducted, with titles such as "Spin Coating and Wetting in the Manufacture of Computer Chips" (Ezra-Mel's team project) and "3-D Computing: Texture Synthesis" (Josriel's team project).
   Many projects were relevant to current research at OSU. For example, one project was to test a polyethylene pipe patching system which was patented by OSU earlier in the year.
   SESEY, which is run by Dr. Skip Rochefort of the Chemical Engineering Department, aims to expand the career horizons of high school girls and minorities who are traditionally underrepresented in the fields of science and engineering, although anyone can apply.
   According to Rochefort, this is the first year students from Madras have participated.
   More information and applications for next year's program can be found on the SESEY Web site at