What a great way to start the new school year off — a state-of-the-art computer lab ribbon cutting. And that’s exactly what happened on Tuesday, August 30, at Irma Lerma Rangel Young Women’s Leadership School complete with Dallas Independent School District head honcho Dr. Michael Hinojosa holding the big old scissors. Here’s a report from the field:
On Tuesday, August 30, students at Irma Lerma Rangel Young Women’s Leadership School, a member of Young Women’s Preparatory Network (YWPN), received a back-to-school gift just in time to learn. NEC Foundation of America donated a state-of-the-art computer lab to help increase STEM learning.
Always ready to celebrate big donations, YWPN orchestrated a ribbon cutting with giant scissors and special people ready to cut them including Dallas ISD Superintendent Dr. Michael Hinojosa, Dallas ISD Board Trustee Bernadette Nutall, NEC CIO Juan Fontanes, Irma Rangel Principal Lisa Curry, YWPN CEO Lynn McBee and Irma Rangel students who interned at NEC and YWPN.
Earlier this spring, NEC Corporation of America 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 Takahashi noticed the outdated computer lab, and recognized the need for an extreme technology makeover that his company could do.
Lynn McBee said, “I want to thank NEC Foundation of America for its partnership with us. Companies like yours are helping invest in students’ education, particularly STEM—Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.”
Lisa Curry added, “We now have a space that’s conducive to our students’ learning. This new computer lab will help them be on the cutting edge of 21st century technology. Now with the redesign, not only is there state of the art equipment, but there is:
- community space to work on projects
- an interactive white board that can project any one of the computers in the room for the whole class to see
- headsets for communication, and
- a clean space conducive to learning!”
Juan Fontanes said, “We are so happy to see how well this new state-of-the-art learning environment turned out and how it is being used today.”
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 senior Lesly Zamora, who also worked as an NEC IT intern this summer, admitted, “I’m also known as the Tech Geek in my school known for helping so many people at my school fix their computers. I learned how to be a Tech Girl in this computer lab, but I learned how to be a part of the community from my family. I am truly grateful because they gave up their education, so that my sister and I could have a much better one as first generation college students. That is why I come to school every day not to be taught, but to learn, and I know this new computer lab will be instrumental in our technological future.”
After the ribbon was cut, people toured the computer lab and watched as the students worked on their brand new computers. Then, Lesly demonstrated how to take apart and reassemble a computer in six minutes, beating her previous record of 12 minutes. As soon as she finished, everyone clapped. What a great way to start school for Lesly and her classmates with this new technology!
* Photo credit: Kristina Bowman