Invention Lab in action at Spark on 7th.
The Invention Lab, now in its third year, continues to break barriers in STEM education and human-centered design, nurturing the innovative leaders of tomorrow.
Empowering Youth Through Innovation
Our Invention Lab is more than a summer program – it’s a transformative experience that empowers high school youth to stretch the boundaries of technology and creativity. Over the span of four weeks, youth from diverse backgrounds embarked on a journey of exploration, learning, and collaboration. Our primary focus is to bridge the STEM equity gap and instill a passion for innovation.
The participants engaged in a comprehensive curriculum encompassing a wide range of technical skills and knowledge. From prototyping and programming to 3D design and printing, the youth honed their abilities and embraced the principles of human-centered design. This practical approach was coupled with meaningful discussions on equity, social awareness, and future opportunities, helping mold youth into well-rounded innovators who are both skilled and socially conscious.
Inspiring Voices and Mentors
Invention Lab at Spark on 7th had the privilege of hosting virtual guest speakers from Texas Instruments, who shared their personal journeys as African American engineers. Their narratives deeply resonated with youth, spurring them to pursue STEM careers and champion diversity and inclusion within the industry.
A critical factor in the success of Invention Lab is the unwavering commitment of our mentors and staff. College students from the University of Oregon and Lane Community College played pivotal roles in guiding and inspiring youth. Notably, the mentor team included nine former Invention Lab participants –Alaina Kucera, Angel Rivera, Braeden Reynolds, Cassy Martinez, Cesar Carlos Arellano, Kaleo Montero, Jerin Spencer, Kobe Edwards, and Parker Bracy – who returned to pass on the guidance and motivation they had received. The mentors’ wealth of experience, professionalism, and technical expertise were instrumental in shaping the program’s impact.
Invention Lab team showing off their invention at the Showcase at Spark on 7th.
Three Cohorts, One Vision
In a bold move to amplify its reach and impact, Invention Lab expanded to three cohorts this year. Cohort A comprised 30 youth aged 14-19 from a diverse set of schools, including Academy for Arts & Academics, Churchill High School, Creswell High School, Junction City High School, Sheldon High School, South Eugene High School, Springfield High School, and Willamette High School. Cohort B, hosted at Cottage Grove High School, brought together 15 students from Cottage Grove. Cohort C, convened at our new Spark at Booth-Kelly facility in August, accommodating 30 youth ages 14-18 from Network Charter School, North Eugene High School, Sheldon High School, South Eugene High School, Springfield High School, Thurston High School, and Willamette High School.
The expansion ensured even more young minds could tap into their creativity and develop essential STEM skills, all while embracing the ethos of human-centered design. Our commitment to equity and innovation shines brightly through this inclusive approach.
Join us for the Cohort C Invention Lab Showcase
Each cohort wraps up with a showcase event where the young minds of Invention Lab unveil their innovative projects to the community. We invite you to be part of the Cohort C Invention Lab Showcase which celebrates creativity, ingenuity, and the spirit of innovation. The showcase is a fantastic opportunity to witness the culmination of weeks of hard work, collaboration, and learning as youth unveil their cutting-edge projects.
- Date: Friday, August 25, 2023
- Time: 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
- Location: Spark at Booth-Kelly, 303 S. 5th Street, STE 150, Springfield, OR 97477
- Parking: Free parking in the Booth-Kelly Center parking lot.
We encourage you to bring friends, family, and anyone who shares a passion for innovation and education. Let’s come together to support and inspire these young innovators as they unveil their visions for a brighter future.
RSVP by Thursday, August 24: Gerardo at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Unveiling the Future
As the sun sets on another successful year of the Invention Lab, we look forward to the continued growth of our young innovators and the boundless possibilities youth will unlock on their journey toward a brighter tomorrow.
For more information about our Spark program, visit connectedlane.org/spark.