STEM NOLA starts the new quarter with a $1.25 million dollar grant from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation (Kellogg Foundation). A portion of the grant will go towards transforming a local New Orleans East building donated by Ochsner Health into the first STEM NOLA Innovation HUB (The Innovation HUB).
The balance will support STEM NOLA’s award-winning 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 adults to cultivate their own STEM career dreams.”
The future STEM NOLA Innovation HUB will be located in the New Orleans East Opportunity Zone. The 42,000 sq ft building was donated last year to STEM NOLA by Ochsner Health. 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. It 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.
Since 2014, STEM NOLA has delivered high-quality culturally, environmentally, and developmentally appropriate programs to more than 60,000 children, 16,000 families, and 1,500 schools across the country and in four countries. Hundreds of early grade educators have benefited from its customized curriculum and professional development.
Prior to COVID-19, STEM NOLA reached more than 300 New Orleans children on a monthly basis. Since May 2020, the non-profit is engaging more than 2,000 elementary school-age children each month through its virtual hands-on STEM project-based workshops and activities.
W. K. Kellogg Foundation Awards STEM NOLA Million Dollar Grant to Launch State-of-the Art STEM Innovation Center and Extend Award-Winning Early Programming and Training.