A new space for creativity, learning and collaboration in Monterey County - Aera Energy
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Aera in the Community Nov 11, 2021

A new space for creativity, learning and collaboration in Monterey County

San Lucas makerspace gives students and teachers a reason to celebrate after a challenging year.

San Lucas Makerspace Cutting the ribbon with kids

Photo courtesy of Marcos Alonzo. (Back row from left to right) Ricky Cervantes and Kathy Miller from Aera; Jessica Riley, principal of San Lucas School; William Franzell, Monterey County Office of Education; and Monterey County Supervisor Chris Lopez pose for a picture with several San Lucas School students as they prepare to cut the ribbon to celebrate the opening of the school’s new makerspace on Nov. 5.

Students and teachers celebrated the opening of a new makerspace during a ribbon-cutting ceremony at San Lucas Union School. The ceremony signaled a renewed start after a challenging year of distance and in-person learning during the pandemic. The makerspace is a place for students and teachers to learn, explore, experiment, collaborate and reconnect.

“The makerspace can help students consider ways to help solve problems of the 21st century,” said Jessica Riley, principal of the school and superintendent of the San Lucas Union School District. “The future is something they can be a part of and something they can change. It could all start here with a simple experiment.”

Former student Ricky Cervantes spoke at the event, sharing his thoughts with students about growing up in San Lucas and how lucky they were to be at a small school with teachers who can focus on their needs. Cervantes is a reliability specialist at Aera-San Ardo who started out at San Lucas Union School as a kindergartener. 

Ricky and his wife Sandra Cervantes

Ricky and his wife Sandra Cervantes, both attended San Lucas School as children, and stand in front of a mural they helped paint many years ago at the school. Ricky, a reliability specialist at Aera-San Ardo, spoke about his experience growing up in San Lucas and attending the school at the ribbon-cutting event.

 “I feel so blessed to have gone to school here,” said Cervantes to the students. “When things at school seem to get hard, you just have to try harder. There’s no future if you give up. Your education is important if you want to have a successful future and you have to focus on that every single day.” 

The makerspace features a variety of hands-on science exhibits, craft materials, and a 3-D printer donated by Aera Energy in support of education in rural southern Monterey County.

The Greenfield Community Science Mobile Lab and Monterey County Office of Education provided training for teachers on using the 3-D printer and helped design activities for students to complete in the makerspace such as introductory coding projects. 

“It’s truly a space made possible through the generosity of a community coming together to support local students, but it will do so much more,” said Riley. “Sometimes when you are living in a rural and removed area, it becomes easy to forget you are a part of a bigger world. The makerspace will enable our students to envision their place in a much bigger, global society.”

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