With a $1.25 million grant from the W. K, Kellogg Foundation, STEM NOLA will transform a New Orleans East building into the first STEM NOLA Innovation HUB (The Innovation HUB). Funds from the grant will also support STEM NOLA’s programming that addresses early childhood STEM exposure and skill gaps among Black and Latinx youth with engagement tools to improve mathematics and science proficiency, build confidence and performance in STEM-related subjects, and offer STEM-based professional development to childhood educators with STEM-based curriculum and materials. The grant will be distributed over a three-year period.
“We are grateful to the Kellogg Foundation for their generous gift of a million dollars,” said STEM NOLA Founder and CEO, Dr. Calvin Mackie. “This grant will support our innovative STEM educational ecosystem and kick off our plans to build the first STEM NOLA Innovation HUB, a hands-on, educational incubator, exposing and inspiring STEM opportunities for little boys and girls to cultivate their own STEM career dreams, with an emphasis on under-served students of color.”
The future STEM NOLA Innovation HUB will be located in the New Orleans East Opportunity Zone. It will feature a specialized STEM-exploration laboratory space, classrooms, meeting spaces and serve as the headquarters for STEM NOLA’s ongoing delivery and design of STEM programming.
STEM NOLA was founded by Mackie, a New Orleans native and former tenured Tulane University Engineering professor. The mission of the organization is to expose, inspire and engage members of the community in learning about opportunities in STEM.
The Innovation HUB will not only support a community with the city’s largest population of predominately African American, low-income students, but also meet the immediate needs of students and teachers across Southeast Louisiana, with a focus on under-resourced communities.