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Port of Corpus Christi's new 'PORT-Able Learning Lab' aims to attract kids to STEM careers

The new Lab can be taken to any school and brings with it a 360-degree immersive experience for those who step inside.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The Port of Corpus Christi unveiled a new teaching tool for students in the Coastal Bend on Tuesday.

It’s a resource that goes beyond the traditional classroom to leave learners with much to consider.

It's called the PORT-Able Learning Lab, the result of a partnership between the Port of Corpus Christi and the group Learning Undefeated.

"Learning Undefeated is a national nonprofit organization focused on trying to drive race and gender equity in STEM," Learning Undefeated CEO Brian Gaines said. "We’re really interested in trying to bring along the next generation of students to get them excited in careers in STEM, particularly here in the Coastal Bend.”

The Port of Corpus Christi has dedicated $5 million to local efforts this year in hopes of bolstering education and strengthening nonprofits. The money to fund the new PORT-Able project came from that allotment.

A first-of-its-kind, the learning lab can be taken to any school and brings with it a 360-degree immersive experience for those who step inside. It will begin by offering a K-8 program, connecting those young people to STEM concepts. Then, in January, a high school curriculum will be launched.

"Our goal is to really spark interest in STEM and maritime industry related careers in our local students in hopes that they will want to stay in the Coastal Bend as they graduate from high school, and seek careers in the industry," said Rosaura Bailey, Director of Community Relations for the Port of Corpus Christ.

Port officials told 3NEWS that more than anything else, the exhibit makes learning fun for young people, making it easier to show them a world of career possibilities.

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