Youth Become Engineers for a Day

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Thanks to Placer Community Foundation’s Community Needs Fund, twenty-five underserved youth, ages 8 to 12, from Excel Roseville got to be engineers for the day at the Hacker Lab in Rocklin. Three representatives from Code for Hood, an organization that hosts coding workshops in urban neighborhoods, led the youth through numerous hands-on activities. Alan Ware, a mechanical engineer and one of the teachers, dispelled the myth that all hacking is negative, explaining that hacking at its core is a creative solution to a problem.

The students toured the recently opened Hacker Lab, learning about the laser cutter, industrial sewing station, and multiple 3D printers. “It was a good day because we got to play with electricity,” exclaimed Jared, age 9.

Tamika Bennett, Excel Roseville’s Executive Director, explained how meaningful the field trip was for her students, saying, “The smiles around the room say it all. These kids are putting mathematics into action and having immediate success, which boosts self-esteem, a feeling that will stay with them for a long time.”