‘The STEAM Princess’ and other SciTEC tales of a busy summer

Jul 5, 2018 | Education

Summertime began less than a week ago, but Louisiana Tech’s College of Education’s (COE) SciTEC team and their colleagues haven’t taken a break from school. Learning camps and instructional opportunities have already filled June and will continue through early August.

Summer is actually by far the busiest and best time of the year for the Science and Technology Education Center (SciTEC), which this year, in partnership with a number of colleagues from colleges across the campus, has helped provide support to more than 20 STEAM-focused outreach projects and programs serving students and teachers from the PK-16 levels from the region and from around the nation.

One example of an innovative cross-college collaboration is the Pre-K STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art/Design, and Math) Princess Science Camp, a collaboration with SciTEC, Tech’s College of Applied and Natural Science’s (ANS) Early Childhood Learning Center, and the Pipes Foundation. The sessions are for young scientists and problem solvers between 3 and 5 years of age and cover a variety of topics and activities including measurement of Rapunzel’s braids. The camps are designed and led by faculty members Laura Chestnut and Shannon Tatum.

Although this week’s camp is girls’ only, there have been two co-ed camps already this summer for pre-k students offered as a result of the partnership.

“Our SciTEC team believes strongly in the importance of early education,” SciTEC director Lindsey Keith-Vincent said. “Students must establish a strong foundation not only with respect to concepts and content but also with strategies for complex problem-solving. Essential components of such a skill set are the abilities to explore, discover, and persevere. Through these learning experiences hosted by faculty of the caliber or Ms. Chestnut and Ms. Tatum, young scientists are able to do just those things. We are excited about this effort and hope to continue partnering with our colleagues to make it an annual opportunity for youth in our area.”

These programs emerging from multi-disciplinary collaborations are also a testament to the teamwork on campus between not only academic colleges but also housing, purchasing, food services, student life, and others. Critical also to the collaborations are also the numerous community, district, state, regional and national partners that engage. Through camps, professional development activities, and collaborative outreach efforts, more than 15,000 children on average are impacted annually directly or indirectly through the work; many realize their potential and begin asking questions about post-secondary education.

To learn more about the programs or to enroll your child, contact the College of Education at 318.257.3713, or contact SciTEC at 318.257.2866.