Grant Imahara’s legacy is continuing to inspire new generations of students after his death this summer.
During a virtual celebration of Imahara’s life held Friday, a nonprofit foundation named after the beloved “MythBusters” host and electrical engineer was launched “to empower underserved youth to become active in science, technology, engineering, art and math.”
Imahara, known for his work as the robotics whiz of Discovery’s “MythBusters,” died in July after suffering a brain aneurysm. Friday would have been his 50th birthday.
Created by Imahara’s family and friends, the Grant Imahara STEAM Foundation aims to increase kids’ access to science, technology, engineering, art and math education through mentorship, grants and scholarships open to students of all socioeconomic statuses, races and genders.
In addition to lending his engineering expertise to the “MythBusters,” “Star Wars,” “Matrix,” “Terminator” and “Jurassic Park” franchises, Imahara mentored the robotics team at Richmond High School in California while working for Industrial Light & Magic, Lucasfilm’s VFX and animation studio.
“There are many students, like my son Grant, who need the balance of the technical and the creative, and this is what STEAM is all about,” said Imahara’s mother and foundation cofounder, Carolyn Imahara, in a statement.
“I’m so proud of my son’s career, but I’m equally proud of the work he did mentoring students. He would be thrilled that we plan to continue this, plus much more, through The Grant Imahara STEAM Foundation.”
In partnership with the foundation, the University of Southern California’s Viterbi School of Engineering has also announced a fundraising drive to name a study lounge after Imahara.
According to Wade Bick, who studied electrical engineering alongside Imahara at USC, all donations in support of the Grant Imahara Memorial Study Lounge will benefit the USC Viterbi K-12 STEM Center’s programs for students and teachers at under-resourced K-12 schools in Southern California.
“Please join me in helping to keep Grant’s memory alive,” Bick wrote on the fundraising website. “With your help we can inspire other students at USC to continue in Grant’s footsteps — making people happy with contributions to STEAM.”