Middle school students in the Twin Rivers Unified School District learned hands-on how to build their own video games thanks to the City of Sacramento’s public-private partnership with Verizon.

Last week, Verizon and the City of Sacramento sponsored two “Learn to Solder” workshops. The workshops gave students hands-on experience with soldering to build a completely programmable, customizable game platform outfitted with the classic game, Tetris.

The workshops were delivered by MakerHQ, a Sacramento non-profit that provides a community collaborative technology workspace. Students who participated in the workshop learned step-by-step about the software concepts and the electronics involved to make their own video game.

“The best part was making the video game,” said Marlene Nieto, student from Westside Prep. “I don’t know anything about programming games, so I actually learned how to do it.”

These workshops were part of Verizon’s partnership with the City of Sacramento. The partnership is designed to bring smart city infrastructure and services to people who live, work or visit the capitol city.

Verizon, in partnership with City of Sacramento, will continue to sponsor programs with MakerHQ and has planned a seven-week course of study for three Title I middle schools within the Twin Rivers Unified School District. Two of the schools will be providing this course as an after-school program and the third will offer it as part of a computer science pilot program.