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The Maker movement has tremendous potential to engage youth with hands-on science and engineering. Makers – amateur designers who combine technology and traditional arts to make creative projects – learning by doing and sharing their knowledge with others. Some K12 schools have begun to take advantage of the maker movement by creating “makerspaces” where their students can use technology to create their own projects and participate in this growing community, but many youth don't have access and are being left behind. This is especially true of girls and minorities – demographics that are already underrepresented in science and engineering.
What if we could provide diverse teens access to a space where they could imagine, create, and apply what they learn in school to real world projects? The TechHive at the Lawrence Hall of Science is exactly that type of space. TechHive is designed as an in-depth internship experience where teens engage their interests while learning design, engineering, science, and coding through mentorship by professional engineers, Cal engineering students, and industry representatives from leading Silicon Valley companies. Interns work on teams to create interactive exhibits and design events like makeathons, which teach others science and engineering. Through this work, teens learn technical skills, teamwork, communication, and leadership skills.
TechHive is inspired by the spirit of Cal engineering and the Maker movement. Our interns become makers – amateur designers who combine technology and traditional arts. They make creative projects by using newly learned skills, such as coding and computer-aided design to create real life projects. They are then encouraged to showcase and explain their work at events like the Bay Area Maker Faire (reaching over 100,000 attendees in 2015). While “makerspaces” are popping up in schools and clubs, many youth are still left behind. The TechHive Studio aims to provide access for all, which includes increasing engagement for girls and minorities – demographics that are already underrepresented in the STEM field.
Internship: TechHive will engage 75 high school students from around the Bay Area this school year. Split into three cohorts, they meet every Saturday for a 10 week intensive internship. Each cohort includes several returning students who mentor incoming students.
After a series of skill building workshops, teens are challenged to work on design projects for the Lawrence Hall of Science, industry partners, schools, and/or other community partners. These hands-on projects help teach other children and families about science, technology, and engineering.
A subset of teen graduates are promoted to serve as mentors for the next cohort. Teen interns are also eligible for paid positions during the summer at the Lawrence Hall of Science.
Deliverables: After a series of skill building workshops, teens are challenged to work on design projects, which may include exhibits, public programs, product design, or events in collaboration with industry partners, schools, and other community partners to help teach other children and families about science, technology, and engineering. Interns often go on to participate in other Lawrence Hall of Science programs, which creates a pathway for further STEM engagement.
Interns need no prior experience in technology or engineering; just some interest and willingness to learn, and work on a team. The program recruits teens from around the East SF Bay Area that represent the cultural, economic, and racial diversity of the region. Interns include both high school girls and boys. The program provides the opportunity for youth to learn about and from each other, to be immersed in using technical language of science and engineering practices with high and low-tech tools, and to be mentored by Lawrence Hall of Science educators, Cal students, and designers.
TechHive relies on private financial support to remain accessible for teens. Our goal is for all students to participate in the internship regardless of financial need, background, or lack of experience.
We need your support. Your tax deductible gift today will enable us to provide this learning opportunity at no cost to local youth. We have already established a community of educators and a makerspace in the Lawrence Hall of Science, stocked with the tools and technology necessary to run the program. All funding goes towards hands-on materials, staffing part-time mentors who run the program, field trips to labs, and travel expenses for interns. $200 will support one week of programming for one student. Your gift could fund a teen for a week, a month, or a full 10-weeks of life-changing and impactful experiences.
Give now to propel teens along a meaningful learning pathway and give them experiences which can inform their future careers.
We are excited to share that the impact of your donation will be doubled! Chevron, one of the world's leading integrated energy companies and a champion of U.S. science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education, has generously agreed to match every donation up to $5,000. We have a chance reach and exceed our goal by working together!
Donate now to support TechHive.
“I didn’t even know that engineering could be fun.” - Sam Lee, TechHive Intern
“We design things that help each other and other people.” - Ming Horn, TechHive Intern
“TechHive is really cool because I got to learn a bunch of things about building things and coding.” - RJ Viray, TechHive Intern
“It’s good to have a place with people who also think science is cool.” - Briana Sydney,TechHive Alum
"Being a part of TechHive gave me access to plenty of valuable high-tech resources that I’ve greatly admired." - David Xie, TechHive Alum
Testimonials like these illustrate how TechHive creates positive learning experiences and associations with STEM for teens. An equal numbers of girls and boys currently participate. In the coming 2015-2016 school year we will continue to provide opportunities for underrepresented and female high school students. With your support, we can offer more students from the East Bay these transformative internships.
Beyond personal development, TechHive is a connector in the community surrounding UC Berkeley, the Lawrence Hall of Science, Bay Area companies, and local communities. Over the past three years, TechHive has developed a welcoming community and space outfitted it with soldering irons, power tools, design software, 3D printers, basic electronics, and a paper cutter. We employed two part-time design educators, partnered with the Berkeley Engineers and Mentors, attracted Cal students to mentor interns, and built a growing learning and teaching community. Just this last year, TechHive created a Mole-A-Whack exhibit that won 7 awards at MakerFaire, built and wired an interactive haunted house for a local high school, designed cardboard robotics for a Robot Petting Zoo Makeathon to teach STEM to other SF Bay Area teens, and delivered a new festival with interactive learning activities about nanotechnology, electricity, and conductivity. Returning students and alumni share their experiences with their classmates, teachers, and co-workers, bringing new meaning and insight to our local community.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Contact: Sherry Hsi at firstname.lastname@example.org
Visit the TechHive Homepage
See teen-made Cardboard Theater Designs using sensors, servo motors, code, and banker boxes.
The TechHive makerspace is located in the amphitheater of the Lawrence Hall of Science