Austin ISD and Dell Technologies open new STEM learning center

By Eduardo Villa

Austin ISD and Dell Technologies celebrated the opening of a new science, technology, engineering, and mathematics learning center at Northeast Early College High School. The new center will provide students the opportunity to join the high-demanded industry of cybersecurity.

The center includes a working data center, state-of-the-art computer labs, virtual reality and esports areas to support P-TECH –– a program that provides students with the education and skills needed to pursue a career in technology. Through P-TECH, students can take free college classes and earn an associate’s degree in applied science with a specialization in cybersecurity from Austin Community College.

“Our scholars are embarking upon careers in the STEM field that have yet to be created,” said Dr. Creslond Fannin, executive director of Early College High Schools & Pathways in Technology. “Austin ISD and Dell are committed to providing the academic foundation and innovative opportunities they will need to succeed.”

Since 2016, Dell Technologies employees have served as mentors, provided workplace lessons and offered internship opportunities. The partnership allows students to gain valuable insight into information technology, cybersecurity, and obtain industry certifications enabling them to work immediately after high school.

“Every job is now a tech job in some way, and now more than ever, we need to make sure all students have access to the education and skills to succeed,” said Snow White, Dell Senior Education Strategist. “With the potential 4.3 million global tech labor shortage projected to hit us by 2030, programs like P-TECH give students the real-world experience to fill workforce gaps over the next decade.”

The ribbon-cutting celebration, which took place days ahead of the return of the U.S. Grand Prix to Austin, was presided over McLaren F1 drivers Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo. McLaren Racing is a major proponent of STEM education, partnering with Dell Technologies to launch McLaren Substitute Teacher, a video series for children to learn from Dell and McLaren’s best and brightest about the analytics, physics, speed, health and technology that make F1 happen.

Updated Nov. 2

Families can apply for this program and more via our Common Application for Schools of Choice.