NEW ORLEANS — A major player in the world of STEM says the future of the aerospace industry is right here in New Orleans.
The Boeing Company is investing $1 million into a project that will bring an innovation hub to New Orleans East.
Dr. Calvin Mackie says when he got the call that Boeing was investing a million dollars into his STEM program – no one was around to celebrate.
“I told the people hold on, I got to go find someone to hug and there was nobody in the office. I was just running around in the office, ” Mackie said.
Running around with excitement – knowing that the youth in New Orleans were one step closer to having a place where they can bolster a bright future.
“A major player in STEM in the world saw our work and was acknowledging the value that we bring to the table here in New Orleans and across the country,” Mackie said.
From building rockets to building the human heart and learning how it works, STEM Nola provides monthly access to STEM activities for children of all ages.
“If our kids want to go to the NBA or NFL, there are places for them to go. When my 9-year-old son said he wanted to learn artificial intelligence and machine learning there was no place for him to go,” Mackie said.
Boeing’s million-dollar donation will go to help the organization construct a multimillion-dollar innovation hub.
“A place, a tree house, a destination for our children who want to have immersive experiences in STEM and learn the skills and the technologies of the 21st century, they will have somewhere to go,” Mackie said.
Jennifer Boland Masterson with Boeings Space launch system says it’s important to get children interested in STEM early on in their education.
“You can’t do it in High School you need to start in the grade school level. So I think these innovation hubs are crucial for our children and our future in business,” Masterson said.
“People are bringing their kids in and they are saying ‘I had no idea that you would like something like this.’ That is what exposure does,” Mackie said.
STEM NOLA plans to break ground on the 40,000-square-foot building later this year