This is what FAME has planned for its Learning Lab in Wilmington - Technical.ly Delaware

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This is what FAME has planned for its Learning Lab in Wilmington

The new community center and headquarters will aim to address root causes of generational poverty and serve as a hub for learners to access culturally competent academic and workforce development support.

FAME Students participating in hands-on STEM-based learning.

(Courtesy photo)

Plans for Wilmington’s Learning Lab: A Destination for Academics, Workforce Development and Innovation, a project by the Forum to Advance Minorities in Engineering (FAME), is moving forward with the public phase of its capital campaign.

FAME received $2.8 million through the 2022 state Bond Bill’s community redevelopment fund for the Learning Lab, which will serve as a community hub and home to FAME’s academics, workforce development and innovation programs.

FAME plans to retrofit a 17,000-square-foot headquarters where its leaders say it will address root causes of generational poverty and serve as a one-stop hub for learners to access culturally competent academic support and workforce development opportunities. Among the Lab’s offerings will be access to internet service and computers, regionally approved job training and certification initiatives, and academic credit recovery.

“Diversity in STEM is not a luxury,” said Sen. Sarah McBride, a member of the Bond and Capital Improvement Committee, in a statement. “It is a necessity to effectively craft solutions and products for a diverse world. FAME’s new Learning Lab, right in the heart of the First Senate District, will offer youth in the Wilmington area a state-of-the-art facility to explore their passions, deepen their knowledge and find pathways to opportunities in STEM.”

FAME’s CEO Don Baker says the new Lab has the potential to highly impact under-resourced communities.

“For many, it could change the trajectory of their families’ futures,” he said. “Our goal is to make sure that we have the resources necessary to make this a world-class space, but also to present individuals in this city and this state with world-class options.”

Baker also stresses that the Lab will be beneficial for the state as a whole: “While the organization specifically focuses programming toward girls and minority communities, FAME supports all Delawareans,” he said. “We believe that all talented Delawareans deserve opportunities and that’s what we’re focused on providing as we move forward.”

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Renovations, which are scheduled to begin this winter, will prioritize sustainability. The building will have solar panels on the roof next to a roof-top deck and garden area, and an exterior that will include operable louvers to control sunlight streaming in the summer while using passive solar gains in the winter. The building will have a green “living wall” as part of the facade to protect the masonry, reduce heat gain and remove toxins from the air, as well as cisterns that will collect rainwater.

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