A Peek into the PATA STEAM Program

Thanks to the generous support of Edison International, The Tracy Family Charitable Fund, and The Berry Family Fund, PATA presents Spring Science and Technology classes.

“Are you coming back again?”  A repeated question by many participants registered in this year’s PATA’s Introduction to Science & Technology courses.  During April and May, PATA presented several activities that focused on Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM).  This year’s “Spring Training” was led and instructed by engineers, entrepreneurs, engineering students, and PATA’s co-founder/engineer, Yaw Davis.   Courses were held at multiple sites to serve and provide opportunities to youth in Los Angeles and Compton, California. The specialized program ensured that students would learn about STEAM via educational hands-on activities.  These activities included programming Arduino circuit boards and assembling rocket models.  Entrepreneurs discussed how STEAM is utilized daily in their businesses and/or careers.   Media technology was utilized in a fun and entertaining manner in order to capture the students’ interest and peak their curiosity in STEAM.

These students shared quite the excitement while being engaged and motivated to become successful Engineers, Scientists, Mathematicians, Artists, Technologists, or other technical professions.   The fourth session entailed the hands-on activity of assembling model rockets.   It became evident that the students’ excitement and expertise had significantly advanced since the first session.

Some of the unique collaborators included Marc and Melissa Guy, a husband and wife team who own a media and production company.  The Guys informed students of various aspects of media production.  Students were given instruction on how to utilize production equipment to produce their own promotional video.

At another STEAM session, CEO Thomas Loftin presented automotive technology for the building and maintenance of classic cars and low riders.  During Mr. Loftin’s presentation, students learned how the hydraulic system is used to raise and lower a car with a flip of a switch.  Students were very excited because they were able to sit in the car and operate the hydraulic switches.

Every STEAM session was both enlightening and rewarding to all of the students.  By program’s end, students had a strong understanding of the importance of STEAM in an educational, personal, and professional environment.  In addition, instructors and collaborators were happy to share their work and life experiences with the students.

During the final session, students learned that knowledge of STEAM will avail them to global opportunities which will enable them to travel worldwide.  PATA co-founder, Yaw Davis, presented a slideshow highlighting technologies for Ethiopian and Kenyan business applications.  This session concluded with an informal discussion wherein the students realized the value of a STEAM education.

As in baseball spring training, PATA hit many “home-runs.”  Sadly, our STEAM sessions came to a conclusion.  Students were enthusiastically inquiring about participating in future PATA “spring STEAM training.”

The generous support of our major donors, Edison International, The Tracy Family Charitable Fund, and The Berry Family Fund, enables PATA to present these much needed and desired Science and Technology sessions to our community.

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Pan African Technical Association

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