Pilot STEM Program in LPPS Being Observed

Pilot STEM Program in Livingston Parish Being Observed for Best Practices
Posted on 10/28/2021
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Pilot STEM Program in Livingston Parish
Being Observed for Best Practices

LIVINGSTON, La. – To succeed in modern times, individuals must continue learning new skills, and improved mechanisms and strategies to teach those new skills are at the crux of a pilot program underway in Livingston Parish Public Schools.

The school district is partnering with the LSU Gordon A. Cain Center this school year to integrate STEM learning at the middle and elementary levels. Twelve schools in the district are participating in the pilot effort, and implementation of the program is underway with each participating campus customizing the program to best fit their teaching corps and student population.

Instructional Supervisor Kelly LaBauve said the nine elementary campuses in the program have committed to implementing a STEM learning activity or project for each nine-weeks grading period, and the three middle school campuses are offering STEM elective courses to their 7th and 8th grade students.

The district’s STEM planning team, in conjunction with LSU education consultants, are now observing the various efforts to determine best practices that can be shared with other schools in the district.

“This program is offering our educational team a unique opportunity to see concepts put into action in the classroom, and we are receiving immediate feedback from the teachers and the students who are participating in the learning activities,” LaBauve said. “There really is no better way to gauge success of something than to get first-hand knowledge.”

Recently, the team visited Eastside Elementary School in Denham Springs. The team planners and consultants walked from classroom to classroom, observing a variety of hands-on learning activities and discussions centered around the rigorous curriculum designed for each age group.

Eastside Elementary Principal Nathan Foster gave a short introduction to his campus guests, then turned them loose down the hallways to observe classroom activities at every grade level, kindergarten through fifth grade, including the school’s significant disability classroom.

“We are excited about being a part of this pilot STEM program, and to be selected for an observation. Our teachers have fully embraced the learning concepts and our students are enjoying seeing the tangible results of their learned skills. We’re seeing amazing work being done at every level,” Foster said.

LaBauve said the team plans to observe other schools over the school year. She said a full report on the pilot program will not be complete until next summer, but that the district is already seeing positive indicators from our pilot schools

“We are getting reports that our students appear to be more engaged in STEM learning activities than other activities. They are expressing more creativity in developing their work, and they are taking more ownership of their work,” LaBauve said.

She said the schools are also reporting a decrease in negative classroom behavior in those class periods where STEM integration is occurring.

“We know that creativity in a supportive course environment can foster greater innovation and greater problem-solving skills. At the end of the day, these students are becoming better thinkers and better learners who are gaining confidence to take on a wide variety of challenges,” she said. “We don’t know what challenges they may face when its time for them to enter their career fields; but we do know that if they are equipped to think and resolve problems, then they will successful no matter what challenges they face.”

Notice of Discrimination

The Livingston Parish School Board does not discriminate on the basis of age, race, religion, national origin, disability or gender in its educational programs and activities (including employment and application for employment), and it is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of gender by Title IX (20 USC 168) and on the basis of disability by Section 504 (42 USC 794). The Title IX Coordinator is Stephen Parrill

Livingston Parish Public Schools is committed to ensuring that all websites and web applications, both public-facing and for internal use, conform to Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (W.C.A.G.) 2.0 Level AA. Any issues should be reported [email protected] ([email protected]), Assistant Superintendent, P.O. Box 1130, Livingston, LA 70754; Phone (225) 686-7044. The Special Education Director is Dr. Eric Penalber ([email protected]); the LPPS 504 Coordinator is Marcia McKnight ([email protected]), P.O. Box 1130 Livingston, LA 70754; Phone (225)686-4248.

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