HEB Foundation donates funds to establish Cardinal NEST at Fletcher Elementary

LU was awarded the Excellence in Education Grant totaling $15,000 for the construction and ribbon cutting of a Cardinal NEST at Fletcher Elementary School. The HEB Foundation awarded the funds to establish a unique space for students to learn in areas applied to science, technology, engineering, arts and math.  Nest Reading

The Fletcher “innovative learning lab” will be the sixth Beaumont ISD Navigating Excellence, Success and Triumph (NEST) established in an elementary school. The collaborative effort establishes a pathway model from early college awareness to dual credit education supporting first-generation, low socioeconomic college students.

“These are creative, unique, innovative learning spaces that cultivate a college-going culture,” said Teresa Simpson, executive director, Office of Community Relations, Economic Development and Student Access at Lamar University. “These labs seek to spark the love of learning and enhance the academic performance of the students in the areas of STEAM.”

NEST labs include state-of-the-art technology like clear touch, multi-touch panels with tilting stands and computers loaded with STEAM-related software, snowflake software that includes more than 150,000 K-12, STEAM-related lesson plans, digital citizenship material and software and virtual reality programs and equipment.

“The equipment allows BISD’s underserved students to have opportunities to experiment with and learn about robotics, coding, 3D printing, CAD (computer-aided design), drones, forensic science and many more STEAM-related topics while exercising their creativity and strengthening their math and science skills,” said Simpson.

The partnership also allows Lamar University students the opportunity to develop in the area of service-learning by volunteering in the labs to read to students and offer specific STEAM-related programming. Additionally, there are undergraduate research opportunities for LU faculty and staff that bring STEAM-centered curriculum to classrooms across Southeast Texas.

“We’re excited to expose young people to STEAM, to LU and to innovation,” said Simpson. “We’re also very grateful to our partners like HEB who share our vision, understand the long-term impact and are willing to provide the financial resources to make these labs a reality in more BISD schools.”

Get more information about Cardinal NESTs.