Lawrence Hall of Science, 50 years: 1968-2018; University of California, Berkeley

Verónica Urdaneta

February 18, 2015―Berkeley, CA. If you ever wanted to create your own iPhone case, fix a part that's missing from your bicycle, or make your life better with technology, then come build your skills in Techtorials at the Lawrence Hall of Science.

Techtorials are unique workshops where budding innovators get to use tools and experience the connection between technology and creativity. With no previous experience needed, adults and youth will have access to new technology and learn what it is and how to use it, while participating in exciting two-hour projects. “They get to build artifacts, like origami electronics, 3D printed designs, and even robots, which are meaningful and personal to them,” says AJ Almaguer, who leads these workshops.

While everyone gets a chance to “make and take” something home, "these technical tutorials are different than regular hands-on science classes," adds Sherry Hsi, Director of the program. "Rather than focusing only on the concepts of why things work, we also focus on the technical skill that enables us to apply our science concepts. For example, we teach you to solder so that you can make your own circuits. We teach you the basics of 3D printing, so you can print custom objects and parts."

Techtorials also demonstrate examples of real-world applications, such as how some companies use 3D printers to manufacture their products. Nike, for example, uses such printers to create multicolored prototypes of shoes. "Bioprinters" are moving toward the possibility of printing human tissue for both pharmaceutical testing and eventually entire organs and bones. In a Techtorial from the Lawrence Hall of Science, kids and families will become familiar with these new technologies while understanding the creativity, processes, and skills involved in revolutionizing the way we do things. The experience may inspire them to eventually make meaningful contributions to the world.

This spring's Techtorials are offered one Sunday every month for ages 10 and older, from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m., for a fee of $40 each. Sign up the whole family and make Sunday the day to explore new technology and innovate.

Sunday, March 1 | 3D Printing
Learn how 3D printers work and why they are so popular. Watch a 3D printing demonstration. Use modeling software to create fun designs. You’ll learn some materials science and walk away with a 3D model you can keep!

Sunday, April 12 | Papercrafts, 3D Printing, and Code Play
Crazy about crafting and technology? Come sample digital "making" activities by creating a dancing flower, a robotic bug, a light-up letter, or a 3D printed bunny.

Sunday, May 3 | Electronic Arts
Learn about simple circuits, then let your imagination soar as you explore and express your creative side!

About Lawrence Hall of Science
The Lawrence Hall of Science at the University of California, Berkeley, investigates, creates, and evaluates educational materials and methods, professional development programs, and hands-on learning experiences for science centers, schools, community organizations, and homes. Every year programs from the Hall serve millions of students, over 165,000 visitors, and more than 20,000 teachers nationally and internationally. The Hall is committed to providing every person access to high-quality, effective science and mathematics learning opportunities to enrich lives, inform communities, and advance society.

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