Published: Aug. 8, 2018 By ,

On July 20th, 78 incoming engineering students from the ASPIRE and GoldShirt scholarship programs completed a two-week intensive summer bridge program hosted by the BOLD Center.

ASPIRE (Achieving Success, Persistence, Interest, and Retention in Engineering) is a scholarship program for incoming first-year and pre-engineering students who are underrepresented in STEM fields. Upon completion of the summer program, students are awarded with a $1000 stipend to assist with books and fees during their first year.

GoldShirt is a five-year scholarship program that provides a community and support system for a diverse set of students who require additional preparation in math, science, or humanities before immersing themselves in the engineering curriculum. Over the course of their degrees, the scholars are provided with leadership and personal development training in addition to financial aid.

During the summer bridge program, the students familiarized themselves with campus, toured industry sites including Ball Aerospace, Google, Medtronic, Whiting Turner Construction, and Zayo, and participated in several community-building exercises.

Summer bridge students on their industry visit to Zayo

As a means to foster a supportive community, the students were taken to a Rockies game in Denver where they could enjoy watching a game together, on a hike through the Chautauqua trails, and to Gold Hill where they were required to collaborate and learn about one another in order to bypass a challenge course. Later on in the program, students participated in various volunteer service projects throughout Boulder including a cleaning operation for the surrounding Boulder Creek area.

Among these activities were also introductory courses involving applied math, physics, spatial visualization, humanities, and a projects course to prepare the students for their upcoming Fall semester. Teams consisting of both ASPIRE and GoldShirt scholars were tasked with designing and building Search and Rescue Assistants (SARAs) that were to be used in the case of natural disasters. Before diving into their projects however, workshops for laser cutting, 3D printing, and electronics were provided by invaluable faculty and staff from the Engineering Plus program and the Integrated Teaching and Learning Laboratory (ITLL). These workshops not only gave the scholars the technical skills needed to assemble their projects, but also gave them an advantage for their future hands-on courses.

A team of students posing with their Search and Rescue AssistantsAt the end of the summer intensive program, a design expo was held in the Discovery Learning Collaboratory (DLC) during which families joined their students and witnessed the beginnings of future engineers. With the help of numerous individuals including faculty, staff, and student mentors, these scholars left with newfound resources within the college, experience working in teams, and friends to support one another all before the Fall semester begins.




Jasmine Gamboa is a senior studying Environmental Engineering and works as a Communications student assistant for the BOLD Center and as a tutor for the Student Success Center. She is a first-generation Goldshirt Scholar interested in working in water treatment and environmental, health, and safety. Her favorite hobbies are makeup, camping, and playing with dogs.

Phillip Vo is the Marketing Communications Assistant for the BOLD Center and student researcher in the Emergent Nanomaterials Lab. He’s a first-generation GoldShirt scholar in his senior year studying Chemical and Biological Engineering. His academic interests include oncology, metabolic engineering, and biotechnology. Outside of school, he enjoys photography, gaming, and gardening.