Newly renovated computer lab boosts STEM learning for Irma Rangel

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Students at Irma Rangel, a member of Young Women’s Preparatory Network (YWPN), are able learn STEM more effectively in a newly remodeled computer lab, thanks to the NEC Foundation of America. The company redesigned the space and donated equipment.

Earlier this spring, NEC Corporation of America President and CEO Shinsuke Takahashi toured Irma Rangel with Dallas ISD Superintendent Dr. Michael Hinojosa and Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins. Takahashi noticed the outdated computer lab and robotics room and decided that his company needed to help.

Lynn McBee, YWPN CEO, said, “NEC believes that STEM education is important and has contributed generously to YWPN and other similar organizations, so that we can work together to help fill the STEM pipeline in our country.”

Dr. Hinojosa added, “Only 23 percent of STEM workers are female, so this investment at the first all-girls, college-preparatory public school in Dallas will help increase that number.”

Irma Rangel Principal Lisa Curry said, “At Irma Rangel, we empower students through technology to become problem solvers, critical thinkers and yes, even teachers.”

Irma Rangel senior Lesly Zamora, who also worked as an NEC IT intern this summer, said, “This computer lab is like my second home. It will give us more space where we can work productively.”

Shinsuke Takahashi, CEO of NEC Corporation of America said, “This summer we welcomed two interns from Irma Rangel, Lesly Zamora and Elisabeth Sanders, both of whom demonstrated a huge amount of potential for greatness in their future careers. We’ve seen first-hand the work that Irma Rangel and the Young Women’s Preparatory Network is doing to help with STEM education. Our hope is that the technology we provided for the computer lab will provide a start-of-the-art learning environment for years to come.”

Founded in 2002, the Young Women’s Preparatory Network is a nonprofit agency that partners with public school districts in Texas to operate the largest network of all-girls, public, college preparatory schools in the nation. Each YWPN school features a STEM-focused curriculum and is largely attended by economically disadvantaged students. In 2015-2016, the network’s 291 graduates received offers of more than $41.9 million in academic and merit scholarships and have matriculated to 115 different colleges and universities. Learn more at http://youngwomensprep.org.

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