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New Orleans STEM District to Combine Education Center and Innovation Hub with Entertainment Facilities

A new development project in the eastern section of New Orleans aims to expand science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education for children and adults from under-resourced communities. Created by STEM NOLA, an affiliate of STEM-focused nonprofit STEM Global Action (SGA), the STEM District will include a STEM education center and STEM Innovation hub along with a hotel, water park, amusement park, sports complex and a warehouse and distribution center.

Taking over an abandoned 227-acre site formerly occupied by Six Flags and Jazzland, the project will offer opportunities for students to "learn practical applications of STEM from the different components of the development," according to a news announcement. "Think of this as an exciting STEM laboratory," explained Calvin Mackie, founder of STEM NOLA and SGA, in a statement. "We will be teaching students how science technology, engineering and math have major roles in the operation of the hotel, the amusement park, the water park, sports complex and everything from warehousing and logistics to robotics."

In addition, a STEM Innovation hub in development nearby will focus on job skills, entrepreneurship and industry partnerships. "We are creating a STEM district, the most expansive effort in America to bring STEM education to Black and Brown children and adults," said Mackie. "We want to prepare people from disadvantaged communities for quality STEM careers, jobs and entrepreneurship opportunities. Our goal is to create a destination for STEM innovation, entrepreneurship and workforce development."

About the Author

Rhea Kelly is editor in chief for Campus Technology, THE Journal, and Spaces4Learning. She can be reached at [email protected].

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