NuMinds, Education Unbound Partner to Transcend Barriers with Hands-On Enrichment

The following press released was issued on Oct 2, 2019

STEAM-based programming equips refugee students for future careers, cultivates new dreams 
DALLAS, TEXAS, UNITED STATES, October 2, 2019 / — NuMinds Enrichment, an innovative provider of engaging, mixed-age STEAM programs, found a beloved story just may be the key to taking STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) fields to new places – and that’s just what they plan to do: inspire students of all backgrounds to cultivate the critical thinking and empathy skills that will equip them for the jobs of the future. 

When Justin Vawter, NuMinds Co-Founder, Chief Creative Officer, and Head of Curriculum Development, visited Saida, Lebanon, he was tasked with developing a curriculum for a new audience: elementary-aged refugee children.

Vawter developed an 8-lesson unit blending language acquisition, coding, and job skills, all anchored in traditional Syrian stories to provide a relatable narrative.

Using a Syrian tale as inspiration, students were challenged to build the tallest tower – of the marshmallow and toothpick variety. Lessons like this not only helped cultivate open-ended, divergent thinking, but also inspired some of the most withdrawn and quiet attendees into laughter – and a little snacking on the supplies. 

The hands-on curriculum also helped break down gender barriers between the toughest of students, transcending even the deep barriers brought on by extreme trauma. 

For Vawter these connections were telling. 

“That becomes the test – would this work for kids anywhere?” he said. “And it was a resounding yes.” 

Created to operate on a shoestring budget, these programs can be dispersed to teachers, who can then continue NuMinds programming, enabling NuMinds to ignite interest in STEAM anywhere.

And that’s only the beginning.

Armed with funding from a recent GlobalGiving campaign, NuMinds, in partnership with Education Unbound, a nonprofit organization with a mission to build up STEAM in education, is expanding STEAM enrichment for refugees and immigrants with the launch of a pilot program in October. 

NuMinds and Education Unbound will spearhead a 40-hour STEAM enrichment for refugee children with a hands-on program aimed at equipping students with essential skills needed for today’s jobs: critical thinking, creativity, collaboration and communication. 

From there, Weeda Hamdan, Education Unbound co-founder, says, they hope to expand further to support a much larger refugee population.

Data will be collected from student assessments before, during, and after the pilot enrichment concludes in December and released to donors. Next, expanding the enrichment to other shelters is a significant step as the partners will be transforming a pilot program impacting a smaller refugee community into a program that broadly impacts a larger refugee community. 

“We owe it to others to support them, to uplift them,” Hamdan said. “And by uplifting them, we uplift ourselves.” 

One key way to uplift a refugee population grappling with severe trauma, detention, discrimination, and abuse, is to prepare children to step into careers that will change their life’s trajectory. NuMinds is a natural fit to partner with Education Unbound because its holistic program incorporates critical thinking, empathy and problem solving, and builds on itself as students learn.

Education Unbound and NuMinds will need others to join them in the quest to uplift refugee children. Visit GlobalGiving at to make a donation, or learn more about how NuMinds is igniting a passion for STEAM at

About NuMinds Enrichment
Brilliant young minds don’t always get all the intellectual nutrition they need from their daily diet of school and extra-curriculars. Our co-founders were driven by the vision that NuMinds could provide a layer of enrichment beyond the school day, where real, inspired learning creates the conditions for lifelong curiosity and self-development:

Real – our programs extend beyond basic academic needs into the realm of enrichment, where a learner’s authentic engagement with ideas, processes and products is paramount.

Inspired – our programs derive from our own sense of inspiration and are focused on developing a learner’s own passions and interests.

Learning – our programs provide new knowledge, insight and wisdom that is valuable to the learner’s and the world’s development and advancement.

Connect with NuMinds Enrichment:

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Media Contact:
Janet Schaefer 

About Education Unbound
Education Unbound was formed to build up STEAM in Education. By doing so, we are supporting education while helping reduce the expected talent shortages in technology and mitigate some of the negative impact automation will have on many traditional jobs.

We do so in 3 ways:
1. Educate people on the need to prepare for The Future of Work.
2. Support educational institutions.
3. Help qualified students to achieve an education of the highest
standard in modern technologies with the emphasis on STEAM.

Special support is given to cross-train candidates seeking to transition from industries with declining employment opportunities and candidates living in rural communities throughout the United States where new specialization would stem the downturn of their employability.

Education Unbound is a Tax Exempt organization under the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Section 501 (c) (3).

Connect with Education Unbound:

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Media Contact:
Cammie Pontillas 
Janet Schaefer
NuMinds Enrichment
+1 214-598-7397
email us here

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