Out & About

By Jessica Laskey
August 2023

STEM Victory

St. Francis girls are world robotic champions
St. Francis Catholic High School girls beat teams from 30 nations to take the top prize at a world robotic championship in Denver. The students developed a remotely operated vehicle that retrieves underwater trash and debris.

To encourage science study in future generations, Marine Advanced Technology Education hosts the annual competition. A St. Francis contingent took fourth place in 2022.

“We’d designed an outstanding robot and we felt confident,” team CEO and student Morgan Jones says. “Our mentor, Marcus Grindstaff, was an immense help in guiding us to become better engineers and leaders. Being the first all-female team to win in 25 years is a big deal.”

The St. Francis victory is a triumph for STEM education. “We hope our achievement inspires other young people—especially girls—to be involved in science and engineering,” Morgan says. “Female engineers provide valuable perspective. We can change the world.”


The Oak Park Farmers Market is back thanks to a new partnership with the Food Literacy Center. The market, founded in 2010, provides access to healthy produce in one of Sacramento’s largest food deserts.

Last year, the market’s then-host opted to close the Oak Park destination, but founder Joany Titherington was determined to find the market a new home.

The Food Literacy Center offers cooking demonstrations and family programs at the market, making it the perfect nonprofit partner. Titherington joined the Food Literacy staff to continue her 13-year legacy leading the market.

The market features vendors selling locally produced fruits and vegetables, breads, cheese, eggs, tamales, fresh flowers and more. The venue also provides a variety of interactive activities, including live music from local bands, activities for children (storytelling, face painting, art projects), and information and giveaways from area nonprofits and other organizations.

The Oak Park Farmers Market is open every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. through November in McClatchy Park at 3500 Fifth Ave., across from McGeorge School of Law. Plenty of parking is available. For information, find Oak Park Farmers Market (Sacramento) on Facebook.


Two new art murals are gracing walls in Meadowview as part of the city of Sacramento’s Florin Road Community Beautification Project.

The project is funded by a $1.2 million CalTrans Clean California grant to improve Florin Road from Tamoshanter Way to Franklin Boulevard through public art, beautification efforts, public outreach and youth engagement.

Artists Jose Lott, Teresa Gutierrez, Henry Fisk and Judah Pimentel created the mural at Quality Tune-Up at 2221 Florin Road. Unity Lewis, Pimentel, Lee McCormick and Malik Seneferu completed their mural at Florin Square.

“The Florin corridor is one of our city’s hidden gems and I’m incredibly excited to see this continued investment in South Sacramento,” says District 5 Councilmember Caity Maple.

For information, visit florinroadcommunitybeautificationproject.org.


Sacramento’s first cherry blossom park, Hanami Line, has broken ground.

A project of the Sacramento Tree Foundation, Hanami Line is located along the Sacramento River at Robert T. Matsui Waterfront Park, just up the river from the Old Sacramento Waterfront.

Projected to open in 2024, the $7.6 million park will host annual cherry blossom festivals and be a year-round gathering place chock-full of public art. For information, visit sactree.org/hanami.


The Aerospace Museum of California has been named the 2023 California Nonprofit of the Year for Assembly District 7 by Assemblymember Josh Hoover.

The museum is one of 100 nonprofits chosen for the award out of 190,000 in the state. The recognition is a testament to the organization’s success in igniting a passion for STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) among local students.

The Aerospace Museum of California is at 3200 Freedom Park Drive in McClellan. For information, visit aerospaceca.org.


Quench your thirst at Downtown Sacramento’s Sunset Sips, featuring specialized drinks at more than 24 popular bars, lounges and restaurants.

“We are thrilled to provide a fun way to celebrate summertime Downtown in a way that taps into our successful Dine Downtown program,” says Michael Ault, executive director of the Downtown Sacramento Partnership. “The new Sunset Sips program is perfect for finishing your workday or starting your evening in the central city while supporting local businesses in your community.”

Sunset Sips is every Wednesday this month from 4–7 p.m. Drinks are $5, $7 and $9. For a list of participating locations, visit godowntownsac.com/events/signature-events/sunset-sips.


Sacramento County’s Department of Child, Family and Adult Services has opened three Welcoming Centers for foster youth.
The centers are homes located in residential neighborhoods where staff can provide temporary shelter care for up to six children while the department searches for suitable homes and therapeutic programs to meet their needs.

The Welcome Centers are part of a larger effort by Sacramento County to build a comprehensive system of care, supervision and support for youth who need to be in short-term, safe, temporary care. The program facilitates timely placements, especially for teens and siblings who may take longer to find suitable home-based settings that fit their needs. For information, visit saccounty.gov/news.


SAFE Credit Union awarded $24,000 in scholarships to 12 regional high school graduates, including four from Sacramento schools.

This year’s Sacramento winners are Derek Larson from Christian Brothers High School, Shamar Knox and Tait de Boer from C.K. McClatchy High School, and Sofia Perez-Lanza from St. Francis High School.

The scholarships are offered to high school seniors who plan to continue their education at college, community college, trade school or university, and are awarded based on grade point average, personal statements and letters of recommendation.


An independent feature film titled “Sacramento,” starring Kristen Stewart, Michael Cera and Michael Angarano, has wrapped shooting in town.

The movie follows the free-spirited Rickey (Angarano) and his longtime friend Glenn (Cera) on an impromptu road trip from Los Angeles to Sacramento. The film shot scenes in Old Sacramento, East Sacramento, R Street Corridor, Downtown and Gunther’s Ice Cream on Franklin Boulevard. Angarano wrote the script and is directing the film.

“With a wonderful cast and script, this movie is sure to bring Sacramento attention the likes of ‘Lady Bird,’” says Sacramento Film Commissioner Jennifer West. “Independent films like this can have a large impact on the local community and tourism.”

West says the movie brought in $100,000 to the region in hotels, local hires, van rentals and catering while shooting. The city of Sacramento’s Film + Media Office worked with the production to secure locations and permits, and served as a liaison. A release date has yet to be announced.


The Sacramento History Museum has debuted “Meet May Woolsey,” an innovative exhibit that gives guests a glimpse of the life of a young girl in 19th-century Sacramento.

May Woolsey passed away just before her 13th birthday in September 1879. Following her death, more than 500 of her belongings were packed in a trunk and stored underneath the stairs at the Woolsey family home on E Street. A century later, the time capsule of toys, journals and mementos was discovered during renovations and put on display at the Sacramento History Museum.

The newly revamped exhibit allows people to connect to May’s story through her own words with touchable 3D reproductions and audio descriptions in English and Spanish thanks to gifts from National Federation of the Blind and Sacramento Pioneer Association.

The Sacramento History Museum is at 101 I St. For information, visit sachistorymuseum.org.


Get the most out of the last few weeks of summer vacation at local museums offering special activations and exhibits.

The Aerospace Museum of California’s new 56-foot mural, “The Hidden Heroes of Aerospace,” features 51 inspiring aerospace pioneers from 2,000 years of history. Visit at 3200 Freedom Park Drive in McClellan.

The California Museum’s exhibit “Black Pioneers: Legacy in the American West” runs through Oct. 1 and explores Black history in the West through a timeline of 50 original pictorial quilts depicting African American achievements from 1528 through the Civil Rights Movement. Visit at 1020 O St.

The Crocker Art Museum hosts “For the People/By the People,” a printmaking festival at Southside Park on Aug. 27 featuring art activities, music performances, artist talks and poetry readings. The festival coincides with “Estampas de la Raza: Contemporary Prints from the Romo Collection and Royal Chicano Air Force” on view through Oct. 1 at the museum. Visit at 216 O St.

The Sacramento Children’s Museum’s Mission Imagination Challenge helps foster STEM creativity with a mystery box of supplies and a prompt to challenge visitors’ thinking and building skills. Visit at 2701 Prospect Park in Rancho Cordova.

In addition to the “Meet May Woolsey” exhibit, the Sacramento History Museum presents “Mark Twain on the River: A Conversation with History” on Aug. 11 in partnership with the Sacramento Historical Society. The show is at the historic Eagle Theatre at 917 Front St.

Don’t miss the live bee colony at the SMUD Museum of Science & Curiosity’s popular Nature Detectives exhibit in partnership with the Sacramento Area Beekeepers Association. Visit at 400 Jibboom St.

For information, visit facebook.com/sacmuseums or sacmuseums.org.


Two exhibiting opportunities are open for area artists through the Sacramento Fine Arts Center.

Art donations for the center’s 28th annual “Ars Gratia Artis” are accepted through Aug. 22. The exhibit runs Sept. 12–30 and includes an art drawing on Oct. 1 to raise funds for the center. Pieces must be hand-delivered during operating hours to 5330 Gibbons Drive in Carmichael.

The center is also accepting work in all media through Sept. 23 for “A Taste for Art,” an international juried art exhibition running Oct. 31 through Dec. 2. Entries must have a food, restaurant or agricultural theme. The entry fee for members is $15 per work or three for $40. For nonmembers, the entry fee is $20 per work or three for $50. For submission guidelines, visit sacfinearts.org.


Fifty-six local Girl Scouts from Girl Scouts Heart of Central California have received the prestigious Gold Award, the organization’s highest accolade, to recognize their commitment to tackling issues in their communities. Only 5% of Girl Scouts earn this recognition.

This year’s winners invested more than 4,400 hours addressing real-life problems, such as environmental sustainability, racial justice, mental and emotional wellness, and gender inequality in STEM through projects they completed throughout the year.

“By completing these projects, they are driving lasting change in their communities,” says Central Cal Girl Scouts CEO Linda E. Farley. “We are so proud of them—for their work and for inspiring others.”

For a list of this year’s Gold Award winners and their projects, visit girlscoutshcc.org.

Jessica Laskey can be reached at jessrlaskey@gmail.com. Submissions are due six weeks prior to the publication month. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram: @insidesacramento.

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