Nonprofit Celebrates Launch of STEM Ecosystem Hub in Metairie

Sll Staff 2022
L-R: Szabolcs Varga, Maria Landrum, Monique Pilie, Todd Wackerman (STEM Library Lab founder and director) and Robin Martin (Photo courtesy of STEM Library Lab)

NEW ORLEANS – STEM Library Lab has scheduled a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the opening of its new STEM Ecosystem Hub headquarters in Metairie. STEM Library Lab is a local nonprofit that fosters high-quality active learning by providing teachers and students with access to equipment and support to help drive academic success. The public grand opening celebration is set for 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 23 at 3011 N. I-10 Service Rd E. Pre-registration is encouraged.

The new Joe W. and Dorothy Dorsett Brown STEM Education Center is a 12,000 square-foot building funded by the Joe W. and Dorothy Dorsett Brown Foundation. The equipment lending co-op at the new facility offers teachers access to over $120,000 in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) classroom equipment and materials, which run the gamut of the imagination.

“With this generous contribution from the Brown Foundation, as well as contributions from the Patrick F. Taylor Foundation, Booth Bricker Foundation, and other charitable contributions to conduct capital repairs, we are able to expand our vision of making sure every child has the opportunity to discover a passion for STEM through access to resources and support for teachers,” said STEM Library Lab Executive Director Todd Wackerman.

The co-op is modeled after a standard lending library, where teachers can check out various STEM items as needed. To date, the library has served 64 Orleans-based schools and 83 regional schools, impacting more than 15,500 students, with the list of member schools growing each month. Beyond the Co-op, the new STEM Ecosystem Hub building features:

  • Teacher Free-Store with open access to basic classroom supplies and office consumables
  • Copy/print center for free poster printing and laminating
  • Teachers’ lounge open coworking space for independent work or group collaboration
  • Conference rooms for nonprofits to host workshops, events, and conferences
  • Service learning program, which awards funding to classrooms to conduct community service projects
  • Private offices for lease to other STEM education nonprofits, such as Electric Girls

“From beakers and books to stopwatches and scales, to models and rock collections, to primate skulls and hula hoops, STEM Library Lab’s Equipment Lending Co-op offers a wide variety of resources for teachers,” added Wackerman. “But the STEM Ecosystem Hub is so much more. It is a space that brings together local STEM nonprofits and teachers to create equity and ensure that all our local classrooms have access to the resources they need for their students to succeed.”

For more information about STEM Library Lab, visit: www.stemlibrarylab.org.

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