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Local community engagement

Local community engagement

Caltech is proud to be an active part of the Pasadena and greater Los Angeles communities. We join neighbors in celebrating shared accomplishments and reflecting on and tackling shared challenges.

Founded in 1891, just five years after Pasadena incorporated as a city, Caltech has helped keep Southern California at the forefront of innovation—from fueling the growth of the aerospace industry to developing novel renewable energy technologies.

As Caltech grew and its science and engineering gained renown, Pasadena became a global destination for the study of life, health, sustainability, the earth, other worlds, and the cosmos. Over the decades, Caltech scientists and engineers have pursued research that has improved lives here and around the world, often in partnership with scientific and medical organizations throughout Southern California. Caltech researchers linked smog and lead pollution to vehicle exhaust, developed the scales used to measure earthquakes, and automated gene sequencing.

Caltech is Pasadena's largest employer and manages JPL for NASA, and is a highly regarded workplace. Many of our staff members, students, and alumni engage deeply in the community and volunteer in tutoring, educational outreach, service, and civic engagement opportunities organized by Caltech and the Caltech Y.

We invite you to explore the ways in which Caltech works alongside our neighbors to improve science education and contribute to a vibrant Southern California community.

Image, top of page: Bioengineering graduate students Sal Ibarra (foreground) and Catherine Griffin (background) introduce children to microscopic worlds, helping them see items on microscope slides. The students also gave away foldable microscopes, visible in the foreground, to help families continue exploring. Photo: Mitch Aiken/Caltech