Earlier this month, U.S. Rep. Troy A. Carter, Sr. (D-La.) joined Dr. Calvin Mackie, founder and CEO of STEM NOLA, local elected officials, and community leaders at STEM Saturday Rocket Day to celebrate funding for the Center for the Innovative Training of Youth. 

Last Congress, Rep. Carter secured $2, million for STEM NOLA through Fiscal Year 2023 appropriations funding. This money will be used to equip the STEM Innovation Center with the programmatic and technical resources it needs to engage up to 20,000 K-12 children each year with hands-on science, technology, engineering. and math educational programs to help ready them to careers in STEM.

In addition to highlighting the funding during the free, outdoor event, K-12 students also had the opportunity to build and launch solid fuel rockets, stomp rockets and compression rockets. Students were also able to make their own pop rockets, straw rockets, paper cup rockets and rolled rockets while they learned  about rocket propulsion, trajectory and thrust from college interns and professional volunteers from Boeing and NASA. 

“I had a great time seeing federal funds at work during STEM NOLA’s Rocket Day,” said Rep. Carter. “STEM education and research is our future. We must continue to invest in the next generation of STEM leaders to become innovators, creators, and entrepreneurs. I am proud to present this $2,000,000 grant so that K-12 students participate in programs like Rocket Day which deepen their knowledge of science, technology, engineering, and math.”

Since its founding in 2013, STEM NOLA has engaged more than 125,000 students, 20,000 families and 5,000 schools.

“This event provides an immersive experience for students to explore and inspire them to pursue careers in STEM fields,” said Dr. Mackie. “Rocket Day is our launchpad to really ignite their passion for science and engineering. We want to fuel curiosity and show the next generation the limitless power of possibility.”

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