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15 October 2013 – Berkeley, CA: For the second year running, the Lawrence Hall of Science is a recipient of an Innovation Generation grant from the Motorola Solutions Foundation, the charitable arm of Motorola Solutions, Inc. This year’s grant of $45,000 will support the continuation of the Lawrence Hall of Science TechHive, which welcomed its first cohort in 2012. TechHive is a hands-on engineering design program that supports teen interns in the San Francisco Bay Area, in partnership with engineering undergraduates at UC Berkeley, to develop youth-inspired engineering challenges and technology projects for use at the Lawrence Hall of Science in public programs and classes, and in neighboring communities.
TechHive builds on the popular “Make” and “Do-It-Yourself” movements, but adds a strong connection between these activities, engineering, and the innovation process. The TechHive program endeavors not only to inspire curiosity and teach innovation, but also to foster positive attitudes toward STEM careers and technology-related work. TechHive includes participation and mentorship from a group of UC students who organized and continue to operate the Berkeley Engineers and Mentors (BEAM). TechHive staffers AJ Almaguer and Matt Chilbert, along with Program Director Sherry Hsi, lead the program. Almaguer received his B.S. in mechanical engineering/materials science and engineering from UC Berkeley in 2010. His infectious enthusiasm for engineering propels the TechHive teens through rapid prototyping, enabling them to explore a wide variety of projects that relate to their unique interests. Chilbert, an experienced educator and media expert, helps the teens incorporate animation, digital video, and imagination into their projects. TechHive creations like the bike simulator, where a bike can be pedaled “virtually” through a miniature model of the neighborhood around Lake Merritt in Oakland; a cardboard skeeball machine; and the giant 5-foot game of Operation, which features an electrocardiogram to help guide game play, are examples of the types of TechHive projects created through Almaguer’s and Chilbert’s leadership.
“Teens are hungry for places to be creative in an environment that lets them explore new ideas, make prototypes, and apply knowledge to complex design problems using a range of technologies,” said Program Director Hsi. “We’re excited about continuing to offer these kinds of connected learning opportunities.” In 2012, the Lawrence Hall of Science was the home of East Bay Open Make, and TechHive teens showcased their designs at the Maker Faire in San Mateo. “The TechHive teens helped develop challenges for our Design Quest exhibit and our Ingenuity Lab at the Hall,” said Monika Mayer, director of the Hall’s Ingenuity Programs. “It’s great to see how their projects inspire the younger kids and help them get interested in science and engineering.”
The Lawrence Hall of Science TechHive projects are documented through a blog on Tumblr and also through videos on the Lawrence Hall of Science YouTube Channel.;
“We are so honored to partner with organizations like the Lawrence Hall of Science who are helping to create the world’s future innovators and technology professionals,” said Matt Blakely, director, Motorola Solutions Foundation. “As a company dedicated to helping people be their best in the moments that matter, Motorola Solutions could not be more honored to support programs such as TechHive.”
Innovation Generation is a part of Motorola Solutions’ larger commitment to engaging youth in STEM education. Beyond funding, the Lawrence Hall of Science will receive ongoing support from Motorola Solutions employee volunteers, who will act as mentors, tutors, and experts for careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics).
For additional information visit the Motorola Solutions Foundation grants programs website.
About Motorola Solutions FoundationThe Motorola Solutions Foundation is the charitable and philanthropic arm of Motorola Solutions. With employees located around the globe, Motorola Solutions seeks to benefit the communities where it operates. The company achieves this by making strategic grants, forging strong community partnerships, and fostering innovation. The Motorola Solutions Foundation focuses its funding on public safety, disaster relief, employee programs, and education, especially science, technology, engineering, and math programming. For more information visit the Motorola Solutions Corporate and Foundation giving website.
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