A little-used area of the lower level in the Chula Vista Public Library’s Civic Center Branch was transformed into a colorful, high technology learning space for school and public use. Children and the public participate in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) projects. Inspired by Qualcomm’s Thinkabit Lab in Sorrento Valley, the Innovation Station is a space where students, families and people of all ages can collaborate on projects, with opportunities to create, invent, tinker, explore and discover using a variety of tools and materials. The goal is to introduce youth to the possibilities of a career in technology or engineering, and to inspire an appreciation for invention and experimentation in all visitors.
The collaboration between the library, Qualcomm, and the Chula Vista Elementary School District opened in August 2016 with hands-on learning sessions for local sixth graders. Included in the new shared space are beanbag chairs, work stations, craft and electronics supplies and a 3-D printer. The space was transformed from a 1970s bare bones, rust and brown colored space into a colorful, fun, welcoming space suited for collaboration, thinking, playing, learning, and creativity.