Four Ingenieros Foundation partnered with the Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara, an award-winning local public agency whose mission is to provide a safe, decent and quality affordable housing who in addition provides supportive services to eligible persons with limited income. With this unique partnership and extending our push for more STEM outreach and local awareness, Four Ingenieros Foundation created its first three week STEM Summer Experience. High school students from the Santa Barbara/Goleta area mentored by SBCC STEM Students participated in a challenging, team effort and collaborative setting to dive into the world of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics with two interesting and real life projects.
The first project was in the area of civil engineering specifically in urban infrastructure. As people doing day to day tasks and running errands you really don’t pay attention to the roads, how streets, structures and bridges are thought of, built and maintained. With this in mind students were tasked with the design, building and testing of a wood bridge. Bridges allow us to travel from one point to another. In other places around the world bridges are a necessity so children don’t have to cross rivers and risk their lives to go to school. Participating students were able to design their bridge with a set amount of supplies and were all successful in assembling their bridge. We are very proud of these students as their bridges held a great amount of weight before reaching failure.
The second project was in the area of Biomedical Engineering specifically in biomechanics. We rarely think about how our body works and we take for granted that we have our body parts. Some people due to different issues such as injury, disease, birth defects and accidents cannot perform certain functions. Everyday tasks such as picking up a cup or walking may be challenging and even impossible to some and thus, engineers partner with physicians to implement solutions to make people's life less challenging. With this introduction students were tasked with the challenge of designing and building a prosthetic arm that is able to pick up certain items. Students were given an array of supplies and with their creativity they were able to successfully design a hand capable to picking up progressively heavier objects.
One of our goals within our foundation is to expose students into the world of STEM and how a career in these fields can have a dramatic impact on your family, your future and your community. With the help and mentorship of STEM students from Santa Barbara City College we help close the gap from what once was believed impossible to possible. These students are following our footsteps and with that we hope to inspire students after them and create a path where STEM is accessible and attainable, we want students to start believing much sooner and one important step for that was this summer experience.