The second annual Tech Day enticed those walking by the University Bookstore in the midst of an otherwise cloudy and gloomy Thursday at Cal State Long Beach.
Over 30 booths lined the front of the bookstore, all offering information, demonstrations and prizes from vendors such as Microsoft, Skullcandy, Beach Tech, Amazon, Information Technology Services/Telecommunications, the university’s human performance robotics lab and more.
As students and faculty arrived, they were given a pamphlet with the words “see.learn.play.enjoy.” while a live band and DJ set up their equipment in front of the speaker’s platform.
The pamphlet contained a schedule of the events, a directory of the booths and a ticket for a free pizza after receiving 10 stamps from any of the exhibits.
“I just wanted to check out all the information,” said freshman computer science major Shivam Gupta. “I had no class so I thought to check it out. [It was] worth it, I had my luck with the challenges.” Gupta excitedly clutched a Long Beach teddy bear and a few more prizes she’d won at the event.
Students and staff had the opportunity to learn about innovative technology as they gathered around to snap pictures with Evo, a complete 3-D printed robot. Evo was created by the university’s Information Technology Services manager and part-time lecturer, Walter Martinez, in his home.
“It took about a year to make,” said Martinez. “There is a lot of motors. We use it [at the university] as a teaching tool.”
While Evo gained attention sporting a black and gold “LB” hat, Grey, a two-year old InMoov robot, hung out with Alan Timm.
Timm is part of the campus physical planning and facilities management and works with Martinez to build robots. He maintained the Robotics Society of Southern California booth, showing attendees how he can monitor human’s movements through a computer screen.
“We’re here to get support and show what we’re about,” he said.
As Timm offered the crowd information about how robots worked, another booth announced the new platform BeachBoard will soon be transitioning to a mobile friendly interface.
“There’s a variety of exhibitors here ranging from on-campus to off-campus. So far I’ve learned about a lot of things,” said Lillian LeDesma, sustainability program specialist who just started working on campus a month ago. “I’ve learned about Beach Sync, [not only] how to use it as a staff member but also how students are using it.”
According to Telecommunications Coordinator Denise Burns, last year’s Tech Day was planned in a shorter amount of time but still managed to turn out well.
“[This year] was very well organized,” Burns said. “We have a lot more this year and it’s going to just keep getting better and better.”
For some, the highlight of the event was the variety of prizes at every booth. Most gave students small tokens such as fidget spinners and snacks, while a “fun zone” offered all of the main prizes. It gave every person who participated a chance to win something.
Next to the zone, a three-question survey could be filled out with the chance to win big prizes every 15 minutes. Bigger prizes ranged from tech accessories such as laptop cases and Beats by Dre headphones to a device that could turn any iPhone into a gaming system. Students and staff could also enter to win an iPad by taking a picture in front of the Tech Day red carpet and posting it to social media.