The "butterfly effect" describes a condition in which small changes in one environment can ultimately result in epic and enduring changes in other environments.
Louisiana Tech University is creating its own "butterfly effect" by providing students with unique learning opportunities and producing graduates with the confidence and leadership skills needed to build a better tomorrow for northern Louisiana.
Interdisciplinary collaborations, innovative outreach programs, and living-learning communities form the cornerstone of Louisiana Tech's efforts to create new economic and community growth opportunities by investing its most valued assets: its people.
The Cyber Discovery Camp and Studies in Cyberspace course exemplifies this approach. It shows what can be achieved when ten professors from a variety of disciplines come together to share a multi-faceted perspective of a complex issue that can significantly impact our economy and our society.
Cyber Discovery Camp, a collaboration with the Cyber Innovation Center in Bossier City, features workshops for the high school teachers, while students learn about the history of cyberspace, enjoy hands-on activities, explore possible cyber career fields, and work with cyber systems and programs.
The Studies in Cyberspace course capitalized on the momentum of the Cyber Discovery Camp, exposing Tech students to the unique research and career opportunities that exist within the field. Cyberspace research and security impact everyone and is of particular importance to the citizens of our area.
Louisiana Tech is helping to produce and retain experts locally that understand cyberspace technologies as well as their political and societal implications.
Louisiana Tech's College of Applied and Natural Sciences and College of Engineering and Science are looking to reach students at an even earlier age, using science and discovery as a way to develop northern Louisiana's future leaders.
Creating Connections, a National Science Foundation-funded outreach program to encourage students to pursue careers in science and math is investing in area schools by creating hand-on experiences and offering professional development opportunities for teachers and fellows.
Creating Connections also helps students and teachers understand science and scientific processes, which can help people to develop strong reasoning, logic, and business and personal decision-making skills. The program will also invest approximately $75,000 in three area schools and create over 60 complete, hands-on labs for use by teachers.
Teachers and fellows from the Creating Connections program are already seeking ways to develop their own outreach programs in this part of Louisiana in order to continue this innovative approach to teaching people science and math.
The Science and Technology Education Center (SciTEC) at Louisiana Tech University is an active outreach program of the College of Education developed to serve the school systems and communities of northern Louisiana.
Through the NASA Educator Resource Center, The IDEA Place, professional development programs for teachers, and community outreach activities, SciTEC is helping to develop a higher-order of thinking skills in students and the incorporation of real-world experiences and hands-on learning activities.
SciTEC is also striving to address important educational issues such as the acute shortage of teachers in the critical areas of math and science and the low number of economically disadvantaged and minority students that enter post secondary education programs.
Partnerships with area business and industry leaders helps SciTEC to develop programs that will provide a pool of potential employees that possess the necessary skills to make a positive contribution.
For Louisiana Tech's first-year students, living-learning communities (LLCs) have become the foundation for a smooth transition into a higher-education environment by encouraging collaborative learning between students, faculty and staff.
LLCs promote the idea of networking, stronger verbal and thinking skills due to group discussion, stronger social skills, and enhancing a stronger understanding of academic content. Through infusing ideas about civic engagement and responsibility, LLCs also prepare students to make a strong impact in the community as more well-rounded citizens.
Louisiana Tech University continues to be a catalyst for change in northern Louisiana's community and economic environments. Through its innovative and interactive programs, Louisiana Tech will also be the means for epic and enduring changes that are soon to come.