STEAM Foundation Established in Memory of Grant Imahara

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The Grant Imahara STEAM Foundation, a nonprofit organization, has been established by his mother, Carolyn Imahara, and several of his lifelong friends.

Grant Imahara passed away at the age of 49 last July from a brain aneurysm, cutting short a prolific life that was spent inspiring others in science and the arts.

Among other accomplishments, he co-hosted “Mythbusters” on The Discovery Channel, competed on Comedy Central’s “BattleBots,” was a model maker and animatronics designer for Industrial Light and Magic, created a robotic sidekick for “The Late Late Show,” played Sulu on the fan-produced series “Star Trek Continues,” and was a consultant with Walt Disney Imagineering.

One of his last creations was an animatronic Baby Yoda, based on the character from the Disney Plus series “The Mandalorian,” to bring to children’s hospitals for charity work.

“Guided by the core principles embodied by Grant throughout his life — curiosity, integrity and generosity, the foundation’s mission is to inspire emerging talent and empower underserved youth in science, technology, engineering, art, and math education,” the foundation said in a statement.

“The foundation will carry on Grant’s legacy of giving back to communities in need through mentorships, grants, and scholarships.

“We envision a world where every student has equal access to STEAM education, regardless of their socio-economic status, race, color, or gender.”

The all-volunteer organization said that donations would go to the following:

FIRST Robotics: “Grant spent several years mentoring Richmond High School’s FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Team #841. Initially, while working with the FIRST program as part of ILM’s community outreach efforts, he was amazed by the passion and enthusiasm these high school students had for building robots on a budget.

“We are proud to report that, 18 years later, Team #841 at Richmond High School is still going strong under the leadership of Luciano Del Rio – who was a Team #841 member himself when Grant mentored the team in the early 2000s. We are committed to supporting Team #841, and to working with the global FIRST program to provide financial support and mentorship to other FIRST teams.”

College Scholarships: “Not surprisingly, one outcome of a productive FIRST program is students who are interested in pursuing a higher education in STEAM. We are committed to identifying and helping these students complete their higher education through financial support and scholarships.”

Internships: “Unpaid internships provide valuable on-the-job training and experience, and are great stepping stones to a STEAM career. Unfortunately, they can be out of reach for talented young adults who are unable to support themselves while working, unpaid, away from home. We are committed to identifying these opportunities and providing stipends for qualified individuals who would otherwise be unable to benefit from these internships.”

For more information, including how to make a donation, call (213) 985-7499, email [email protected] or visit https://grantimaharafoundation.org/.

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