The Tech - Online EditionMIT's oldest and largest
newspaper & the first
newspaper published
on the web
Boston Weather: 51.0°F | Partly Cloudy
Discover Ocean Engineering participant Jiaming Zeng ’15 modifies her underwater video-taking robot.
Article Tools

Every year, freshmen flock to campus early to explore engineering, play with physics, go hiking, become leaders, observe the stars and — most importantly — bond with their fellow classmates. These Freshman Pre-Orientation Programs (FPOPs) have brought the Class of 2015 on campus a week early to get a brief introduction to one aspect of the Institute.

Rodrigo Paniza ’15, participating in Discover Civil and Environmental Engineering (DCEE), enjoyed “building in the lab and hanging out in Boston,” while fellow DCEE participant Whitney S. Loo ’15 agreed that “we’ve bonded over our turbines not working.” DCEE participants will compete to build the best and most environmentally-friendly wind turbine, all of which will go on display Aug. 27 in Room 1-390 at 1:00 p.m.

Nathan A. Spielberg ’15 of Discover Mechanical Engineering, said, “I think it is really awesome that we were able to turn electric screw drivers into soccer playing robots and learn all of the methods to do so as well as meeting really cool people.” Similarly, freshmen students like Candice I. Kaplan ’15 were exposed to building underwater robots in Discover Ocean Engineering.

Other FPOP participants are also getting to apply new knowledge in fun ways. Ethan A. Klein ’15 described “smashing roses by freezing them with liquid nitrogen” in Discover Physics. In Discover Energy: Learn, Think, Apply (DELTA), Francis X. Chen ’15 got to play the part of a politician by simulating a UN Climate Conference — admitting that, just as real politicians, “we spent a lot of time yelling at each other.” Fellow DELTA participant Priyanka M. Chatterjee ’15 explained how she got to build and test her own spectrometer. Erin M. Bailie ’15 described how a Course XII undergraduate Teaching Assistant in the Discover Earth and Planetary Sciences: Extreme Weather and Climate (DEAPS) hilariously explained positive and negative feedback by “telling us about her high school boyfriends.” Another DEAPS participant, Christopher J. Klingshirn ’15, spent part of high school as a weather spotter for the National Weather Service and was excited, like Bailie, about yesterday’s overnight trip to Mount Washington in New Hampshire.

Alternatively, some FPOPs have been covering non-science themes, such as the Freshman Arts Program (FAP). FAP participant Mitali S. Kini ’15 enjoyed learning about bhangra dance and a capella singing. In FAP, participants are separated into one of seven disciplines including dance and the visual arts and spend three hours a day in their specific groups.

As a fun break, on Wednesday Aug. 24, around 100 new freshmen gathered in Lobby 7 to play capture the flag. Katie Y. Lee ’15 of DELTA said, “Even though I won’t remember names, I’ll recognize a lot of faces later on campus.”