STEM NOLA is a non-profit organization founded by Dr. Calvin Mackie in 2013. Its mission is to promote STEM education in churches, community centers, and schools, with a special focus on communities of color. The organization aims to provide access to STEM education for everyone.
Recently, Dr. Mackie launched STEM Global Action, a campaign that includes STEM NOLA and other affiliates dedicated to promoting STEM education for children, parents, and communities across the United States and around the world. To date, over 100,000 students, 20,000 families, and 5,100 schools have benefited from his initiatives in five countries.
In addition to his work with STEM NOLA, Dr. Mackie hosts the Let’s Talk STEM with Dr. Calvin Mackie podcast series. The show features interviews with guests from various fields of STEM, including entrepreneurs, educators, corporate leaders, and students. They share their personal experiences and discuss the impact of STEM education on their lives.
One of the show’s episodes, which aired in the summer of 2021, featured Dr. Brian Williams, a clinical professor and director of the Alonzo A. Crim Center for Urban Educational Excellence at Georgia State University. Dr. Williams has over two decades of experience working in schools and educational communities, focusing on science education, urban education, and education for social justice.
During the podcast, Dr. Mackie and Dr. Williams discussed the evolution of STEM education and explored the fourth industrial revolution. This describes the merging of the physical, digital, and biological worlds.
Dr. Williams emphasized the importance of finding a personal connection to STEM education. For him, this came from riding a rollercoaster at an amusement park and being inspired to design and build rollercoasters. He noted that everyone has their own reasons for pursuing science and that equity issues related to race, ethnicity, culture, and class can impact access to science literacy.