CEHS collaborates to create new STEM initiative

Apr 4, 2024 | Education and Human Sciences, General News

Louisiana Tech University’s College of Education and Human Sciences is part of a collaborative partnership poised to reach more than 10,000 Louisiana students. The STEM Collective for Innovative Louisiana Stakeholders (SCILS) in the Science and Technology Education Center (SciTEC) in CEHS secured support to implement the Engineering is Elementary (EIE) professional development opportunity.

Through this initiative, students will have new learning opportunities tied to key STEM initiatives by June 2025. The joint effort aims to provide teachers and students in Louisiana with valuable training and materials to enhance STEM instruction, focusing on fundamental engineering concepts and problem-solving strategies.

Photo by Kathryn M. Bateman, Professional Learning and Research Manager at the Museum of Science, Boston, 2023

This significant endeavor is made possible through a collaborative partnership curated by the Louisiana STEM Advisory Council (LASTEM) housed at the Louisiana Board of Regents. Along with the leads, the partnership includes the Capital Area STEM Center at Louisiana State University, the CENLA STEM Center at Northwestern State University, the Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE), and the esteemed Museum of Science, Boston.

“The opportunity to collaborate with such an incredible array of stakeholders from across the state makes this a truly transformative experience for everyone involved,” Cathi Cox-Boniol, SCILS Region 8 LASTEM Center director, said. “We couldn’t be more excited about the opportunity to engage in a collaboration that has the potential for developing essential skills and enhancing conceptual understanding around an area that is vitally important to workforce needs within our state.”

“We are excited by the significant impact this initiative will have on our students as we strengthen our STEM pipeline across Louisiana,” Commissioner of Higher Education Dr. Kim Hunter Reed said. “Meeting accelerated workforce expectations in this area is critical, and we know that exposing students early and at scale will benefit both the students and the state.”

By leveraging existing resources and relationships through SciTEC’s regional SCILS center, the program’s implementation will empower staff to reach at least 525 elementary teachers with the necessary education and resources to implement hands-on engineering concepts in their classrooms.

“Bringing hands-on educational resources tied to 21st-century workforce skillsets is a game changer for our state,” Dr. Clint Coleman, LASTEM program administrator, said. “By embracing innovative approaches to learning that align with the demands of the modern job market, we are not only preparing our students for success but also driving forward the trajectory of our state’s economic growth and prosperity. We are excited at LASTEM to support this groundbreaking statewide initiative.”

The project launch will align with the LADOE Teacher Leader program in spring 2024. In addition to the educational outreach aspects, CEHS researchers will collaborate with the Boston Museum of Science to gain insights into the implementation of the EIE materials and activities in the state of Louisiana. Sustained professional development opportunities will be hosted at the three partnering regional STEM centers in the second year of the effort.

“Educating the next generation of innovative problem solvers is critical to our futures,” Dr. Christine Cunningham, senior vice president at the Museum of Science, said. “The Museum of Science is thrilled to work closely with Louisiana educators to engage students in high-quality activities that develop facility with STEM.”

Dr. Lindsey Vincent, associate dean of CEHS, expressed gratitude, saying, “We are thrilled to be stewards of this federal appropriation made possible through U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy’s office. We are committed to ensuring these dollars are leveraged to engage and inspire educators and learners who will serve as our leaders in the classroom and industry in key STEM disciplines as a result of their participation in this effort.”

Educators interested in learning more about this opportunity or registering for the free training sessions can contact