salinascoding Alonso Mendoza, 21, is one of 32 students enrolled in an accelerated computer science degree program offered through Hartnell Community College and California State University, Monterey Bay. Mendoza stands outside his home on the east side of Salinas. He hopes a computer science degree will lift himself and his family away from a life of field work. (Ana Tintocalis/KQED)

Dinosaur Dinosaurs may be long extinct, but they survive in Berkeley front yards, where small, medium or big, they stand as declarations of individualism in a city of individualists. (Tom Dalzell/Berkeleyside)

skateboarding-physics2 Michael Totten, an 18-year-old freshman at Contra Costa College, has been skateboarding since the age of 3. The Richmond Public Library hosted an event on Thursday, March 20, to connect kids to the physics of skateboarding. “Even though they don’t traditionally think of science as something that’s fun that they like to do, they’re all scientists when they skateboard,” said teen librarian and event organizer Angela Cox. A van on loan from the San Francisco Exploratorium explains concepts like center of gravity, wheel hardness and centrifugal force. (Sukey Lewis/Richmond Confidential)

skateboards “All these kids are really into skateboarding, but they don’t know all the intricacies, the engineering and mathematics, that go along with the thing they love to do,” the van’s creator, Eric Dimond, explained to ESPN last June.”If we bring up these concepts like durometer, or friction, or momentum, those are, like, school terms. But if we can associate those things with something that they love, they’re more engaged with it.” (Sukey Lewis/Richmond Confidential)

Telegraph-food-truck Monday, March 17, saw the last Off The Grid Southside Berkeley food truck market, which has been taking place once a week there since it launched in July 2012. This leaves Berkeley with just one Off The Grid market, at the North Berkeley BART station. (Nancy Rubin/Berkeleyside)

Wendy San Francisco illustrator Wendy MacNaughton has been sketching and observing Bay Area residents for years. Her new book, “Meanwhile in San Francisco: The City in Its Own Words,” illustrates her wanderings through the city, getting to know its residents and neighborhoods. (Photo courtesy of Mark Ellinger)

Author

Katrina Schwartz

Katrina Schwartz is a journalist based in San Francisco. She's worked at KPCC public radio in LA and has reported on air and online for KQED since 2010. She's a staff writer for KQED's education blog MindShift.

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