Partnership connects Morehouse Parish students with robotics, STEM

Jun 16, 2021 | Education and Human Sciences, Innovation, Partnerships

A high school robotics’ summer learning camp is now available through funding provided by Louisiana GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) through the Louisiana Office of Student Financial Assistance’s Field Outreach Services Division of the Louisiana Board of Regents.

The collaboration includes Morehouse Parish Schools, Louisiana Tech’s Science and Technology Education Center (SciTEC), UTeachTech, the department of curriculum, instruction and leadership; and the National Science Foundation’s Noyce CyberTeach program.

In addition to the Louisiana GEAR UP-supported event, there will also be a middle school effort launched by the district. Through the partnership, approximately 128 students will be served during the sessions taking place June 6-24 and July 7-22 at Bastrop High School, Morehouse Magnet, Delta Elementary and Morehouse Elementary.

“This work matters because we’re providing our students the experience that most of them missed due to the pandemic, the opportunity to do hands-on, minds-on STEM activities that not only promote critical thinking but also helps build their communication skills, creativity, and collaboration among their peers,” said Maria Yabut, 21st Century Community Learning Centers (CCLC) project director and district testing and accountability coordinator with Louisiana GEARUP.

Students who wanted to participate were able to apply and then choose which enrichments and month they wanted to attend.

Yabut said supplemental support to make this opportunity a reality for both middle and high school students was provided by the STEM Collective for Innovative Louisiana Stakeholders (SCILS) which is an initiative funded by the Louisiana Board of Regents, the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief fund, and the 21st CCLC through the Louisiana Department of Education.

“Kids in rural parishes almost never get these types of opportunities. We are thrilled to be part of bringing this work directly to them this summer,” said project director and UTeachTech master teacher, Glenn Larson.

Additional instructional leads for the robotics efforts will engage through service as Louisiana GEAR UP counselors and Noyce CyberTeach interns.

“Programs that allow the intersection of STEM educational opportunities for secondary and post-secondary students are incredibly valuable, and we are pleased to be part of this effort to facilitate such rich learning experiences,” said Dr. Laura Bostick, principal investigator for the CyberTeach effort.

To learn more about STEM educational activities, email