August 4, 2022 | By: Paul Gonzales | The News of San Patricio Read it >
The Port of Corpus Christi Authority (POCCA) is bringing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) learning to area schools with a brand new portable learning facility.
POCCA has partnered with Learning Undefeated Inc., a nonprofit organization that provides life-changing experiences for area students, to launch the new POCCA PORT-Able Learning Lab. The new lab will be bringing a unique and innovative educational resource to schools across the Coastal Bend region.
The PORT-Able Learning Lab is part of the Port of Corpus Christi’s commitment to support STEM education and STEM careers in order to develop the workforce of tomorrow. The Port of Corpus Christi supports more than 98,000 jobs in the South Texas Coastal Bend region in various fields. This investment will help provide students with skills to more readily compete for jobs and fill the needs of this region’s current labor demand. The PORT-Able Learning Lab will be made available to students in schools across South Texas.
“Our goal is to spark interest in STEM careers and build the workforce that will drive the innovation economy,” Port of Corpus Christi Director of Community Relations Rosaura Bailey said. “The Port of Corpus Christi PORT-Able Learning Lab will help us to achieve this by strengthening STEM education for Coastal Bend students, showing them a world of career possibilities.”
Learning Undefeated, Inc. is a non-profit organization that brings life-changing STEM education and career opportunities to underserved communities.
Since its inception, Learning Undefeated’s mobile labs have served more than 200,000 K-12 students during more than 600 school visits. More than $7 million has been raised from corporate partners, foundations, individuals and state and local governments to support Learning Undefeated’s STEM education programming.
“This PORT-Able Learning Lab is an exciting new way to connect Coastal Bend students with STEM concepts and careers,” Learning Undefeated CEO Brian Gaines said. “This partnership with the Port of Corpus Christi is significant for our organization, expanding our network of mobile STEM laboratory education content to include maritime and industry-related career readiness.”
The PORT-Able Learning Lab will be launched in two phases, starting with K-8 schools in July through the remainder of the 2022 calendar year. A high school curriculum will be launched in January 2023 for area high schools.
The Port of Corpus Christi has worked with area independent school districts to develop and launch the program, along with representatives from Workforce Solutions of the Coastal Bend.
“The Port of Corpus Christi is grateful for the collaborative partners – such as Learning Undefeated, local school districts and community partners – we have had in developing this incredible program,” Port of Corpus Christi Commission Chairman Charles W. Zahn Jr. said. “This will go a long way to not only setting our children up for future success, but that the continued prosperity our region has enjoyed for the past 100 years since the Port was established will only grow in the decades ahead.”