Nonprofit’s mobile lab brings STEM education to San Antonio students

SAN ANTONIO – A STEM education nonprofit is helping increase access and opportunity by offering a summer program for San Antonio students.

The nonprofit Learning Undefeated has expanded its “Emerging Leaders in Biotechnology” course to San Antonio, at no cost to students.

“It’s basically a hard-core bootcamp with high school girls, all female cohort, doing biotechnology,” Desurae Matthews, the education program manager for Learning Undefeated said.

The nonprofit brought a mobile laboratory filled with STEM activities to Palo Alto College recently to provide a unique experience for local students.

“Learning Undefeated is a nonprofit organization that is bridging racial and gender equity by providing STEM opportunities for underserved communities,” Matthews said.

The organization has been preparing students for STEM careers for 20 years. It has mobile labs currently serving Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, Louisiana and Texas.

The San Antonio students first participated in virtual learning sessions before learning in the lab.

“They would do resume building, elevator pitches, focusing on STEM careers and they were able to engage in STEM professionals,” Matthews said.

About 70 local students will participate in the Emerging Leaders in STEM program this year.

Dulce Lira, an upcoming junior at Health Careers High School, has big dreams to go to medical school and is thankful for the opportunity.

“I’m just really hoping to have a change in my family, like be an individual who can inspire hope for my future kids and after that show that it doesn’t matter where you are from, you can still continue to make a change,” Lira said.

Students are not only learning lab skills, but connecting with local STEM leaders. Participants who complete the course could get a $250 stipend.

“We are all booked for the entire summer, so once this program is done for June that would be it, but we are really hoping we get renewal of a grant and we will be able to return to San Antonio to provide this innovate experience for these students,” Matthews said.

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