Black STEM Student Now Overseeing Major Developments As Project Manager

Photos: STEM Global Action (Above Frank Joshua, on right, shown with STEM NOLA founder Dr. Calvin Mackie)

NEW ORLEANS – A new STEM Global Action Today article tells the remarkable story of Frank T. Joshua Jr., a 27-year-old New Orleans native who became a mechanical engineer and is now the onsite project manager for a major development project in Houston.

Frank, a graduate of St. Augustine’s, a predominately Black high school in New Orleans, participated at STEM NOLA, the renowned science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education program led by Dr. Calvin Mackie. Joshua considers Mackie, also a mechanical engineer, to be a mentor.

“It challenged me,” Frank says of the STEM activities. “It makes you think analytically before you even set foot in college. It taught me to take an instructional manual and learn the steps, process them, and understand the processes. Honestly, I was exposed to much more than engineering. We did science projects, like dissecting animals. It allowed us to see if these activities were something you like and might want to do in the future.”

At STEM NOLA, Frank says he worked alongside six-year-olds, middle schoolers, and elementary school students. “We were all challenged,” he recalls. “It was exciting, interactive, and fun. We were working with professionals, and it gave us great exposure.”

Whether attending high school, graduating from Prairie View A&M, or overseeing a major development project, Joshua has enjoyed being in a band.

“It was almost like I could bribe him to do anything once he joined the band because he loved it so much,” said his mother, Zolee Thomas, describing how she got Frank to finish his homework or do other chores. Band practice was always the lure.

Frank was one of only four students in the honors math class at St. Augustine’s High School.   He made the extraordinary journey from the Black community to the STEM leader.

Read about Frank’s Amazing Journey HERE.


Dr. Calvin Mackie founded STEM NOLA in 2013. The New Orleans non-profit is committed to expanding STEM education, especially in communities of color. In July 2021, Dr. Mackie launched STEM Global Action, a campaign and network pursuing STEM education for children, parents, and communities. His initiatives have impacted over 125,000 students, 20,000 families, and 5,100 schools across the U.S. and five countries. Here is a Let’s Talk STEM archive with Dr. Calvin Mackie’s podcast episodes

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