Increasing Momentum through Peer-mentoring and Community Transformation in L.A. (IMPACT LA) aligns with ECST’s motto, “Commit to Excellence. Engage with Community.” and is grounded in the Community Cultural Wealth our students bring to ECST and their desire to give back to their communities.

GEM students working at Pine Tree preschool 2023

IMPACT LA is an ECST program that takes our students beyond the classroom into our local community to partner with organizations and address identified needs. Students use their Community Cultural Wealth and apply their classroom knowledge and skills to design and build solutions for the organizations and the people they serve.

Access Success

Impact LA is dedicated to equipping students with the necessary tools to succeed. By providing access to key support systems and opportunities, students overcome obstacles and reach their full potential.

Peer-mentoring opportunities Both as informal and formal mentors, peers assist in community-based design projects.
Informal opportunities Student-run initiatives are planned, designed, and executed through student clubs such as The Golden Eagle Makers Student Club for community service projects.
Research-based opportunities BOOST introduces students to technical and soft skills that will prepare them for future research in the labs.
Course-based opportunities Three new courses focused on community engagement: "Human-Centered Design," "Building," and "Mentoring for Community Strength."


IMPACT LA | Community Goals

GEM student club with project at Shriners hospital

To help meet the essential needs of Los Angeles County residents living near campus by building valuable, needed infrastructure and supplying services to local community organizations.

Student Designed and Built

dtla with tall building and homes

Students created outdoor structures for preschool students.

canopy project


pre school canopy project


pre school canopy project

Mobility trainers for local children’s hospital.

GEM student club with project at Shriners hospital


mobility project

BOOST students with gardening project

An electronic visual and audio display device was designed, built, and installed at El Arca to help interactively guide adults with developmental disabilities to tend to the patio garden planters, which were also part of a previous BOOST project.  One device was built for each of the four newly installed garden planters.  Moisture and humidity sensors informed the controller of notifications to output to the users via a visual LED display or an auditory alert played through speakers.   BOOST students worked collaboratively with GEM to install newly built garden planters and renovate the retractable canopies designed and built by a previous BOOST cohort.

GEM students working in ECST lab


elevated planters project


BOOST student Installing gardening project

BOOST students in lab with faculty

Door of Hope aims to provide, as a priority, a safe and secure home environment for its residents who are victims of domestic violence.  Toward this goal, BOOST contributed a solar-powered security lighting system to one of their residential premises. The BOOST team designed the number and placement of security lights as well as designed, built, tested, and installed powering of lights via solar power and electrical AC power in case of extended periods of cloudy days to ensure continuous operation of the security lights, which served as a deterrent to intruders.

BOOST student Abby Installing solar security project on ladder

Dog stress crates and storage systems for the LA Animal Shelter.

GEM animal shelter storage


GEM student club, Dr Bachman, animal shelter project

GEM students with sizing box project

Community Organization (Partner/Client): 
FIRST Tech Challenge

Project Name:
Sizing Box

Project Description: 
Hardware Inspectors at the FIRST Tech Challenge robotics competitions use an 18” square sizing box to easily determine that a robot does not exceed the maximum starting size.

Project Objectives: 
The project objective was to build sizing cubes for inspectors to use during competitions at various high schools. There are league meets that are within a specified region, and then advancing teams continue to other locations. Since they are transported often during the game season, they have to be sturdy and have an inner dimension of 18" x 18" x 18". The robots must comply with the rule <RG02> Maximum Starting Size to pass their hardware inspection or risk being disqualified.

GEM students sizing box project

Click to see the manual:

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Bridge Opportunities Offered for the Sophomore Transition (BOOST)

Motivated by the societal impact students could see themselves making, they devoted several weeks of their summer to apply their engineering skills to make a difference in the community. BOOST features urban-centered, design-focused service-learning projects. BOOST opens opportunities to students during the critical transition between freshman and sophomore years to gain experience in engineering design and implementation, develop problem-solving and communication skills, and discover their engineering identity.

More About BOOST


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Golden Eagles Makers Student Club (GEM)

The club aims to have community-based projects led by students who seek to create their own designs and manufacture them through hands-on experience and teamwork. Our vision is to transform the neighborhoods we call home. By harnessing the knowledge and skills we've acquired in school, we aim to redesign and uplift our communities through various projects. We're dedicated to making a lasting impact, fostering local talent, and empowering the next generation of engineers and change-makers. Together, we'll build a brighter future one project at a time.

More About GEM

Giving & More

Through the generosity of your donations, the College of Engineering, Computer Science, and Technology is able to impact the outcomes of our students. Together, we continue to Commit to excellence. Engage in community.

Get involved with ECST and invest in LA!
Contact Kevin Doody, ECST Director of Development, at (323) 343-3071 | [email protected]

Reach Out

For more information about IMPACT LA, please get in touch with Dean Nancy Warter-Perez at [email protected] or Mechanical Engineering Professor J. Chris Bachman at [email protected]