By Karrington Stockstill, Intern
The Mississippi Valley State University Upward Bound II Program recently unveiled a new state-of-the-art STEM Lab in the Technical Education Building.
Program Director, Jerome Petty, welcomed a few high school participants and a limited number of spectators to show off all the latest equipment students will have access to use to grow in science, technology, engineering, and math.
Petty said, “the purpose of the lab is to expose underserved Upward Bound II students to software that will enhance their lives and serve as a beacon of light for their future endeavors. I believe we will show our students that they are powerful beyond measure.”
The STEM-ULATE Lab consists of Apple computers, 3D printers, a photograph studio, laser marker studio, and a podcast studio.
The lab was funded by a grant from the Teaching Through Technology (T 3 Alliance) and NASA.
Petty believes that the lab will afford the students who participate an opportunity that many in their same environment may never have.
“With the STEM-ULATE Lab, we want to challenge the students to become better than they ever dreamed of being. We believe we can help to increase ACT scores and allow students to be introduced to STEM-based networks. This will lead to scholarship opportunities and exposure to advanced technology,” he added.
Petty has been the program director for only a year but is excited about how the university plays a vital role in its impact on low-income and first-generation students.
“No one person is responsible for the progress of this program. I commend my students, teachers, and staff members for the success of the program,” said Petty. I encourage my students and everyone for that matter; when trying to establish anything, you have to be patient, committed, see it through until the end, and negotiate,” he added.
“The Upward Bound II STEM Lab will birth the students into greatness, and I think it will have a domino effect on others that encourages them to aspire, to inspire before they expire,” he said.