The Capital Area STEM Network Center (CASN), hosted by the LSU Gordon A. Cain Center for STEM Literacy (Cain Center), is the recipient of a significant interagency agreement with the Louisiana Department of Education. This is a large-scale collaboration between the Louisiana Department of Education and LASTEM, a network of nine STEM organizations strategically positioned across Louisiana.
The Capital Area STEM Network Center will allocate the 1.75 million dollars to conduct statewide professional development workshops called “The Ignite Project.”
Summer Dann, Director of CASN and Associate Director of the Cain Center, said,
“Our team is excited to offer the opportunity to provide training in computer science foundational skills to elementary teachers. We know when teachers can relate computer science to current subjects, it provides students with the chance to cultivate analytical and problem-solving skills that will leave a lasting impact on their lives.”
The Ignite Project will start this November and continue throughout the current school year. The project aims to train 1,000 elementary public and public charter school teachers in computer science fundamentals through project-based learning activities for K–5 students in Louisiana. This foundation-building experience supports students’ appreciation for how computer science can be applied to their lives. The Ignite Project also encourages their persistence in computer science and STEM, particularly for underserved communities and rural areas.
“Working with elementary teacher and students, I have seen first-hand how excited and involved students become when they are introduced to computer science. Students who normally hesitate to participate in school will join in and become engaged in classroom like never before,” said Nicole Foster, Project Manager for Ignite.
The 40-hour Ignite workshops will be a blend of asynchronous and synchronous trainings with locations across the state. Participants will be introduced to a variety of open source materials such as Code.org, Scratch, ScratchJr, and physical computing with BBC micro:bits and robots. Ambassadors will be recruited to attend the first trainings in November and bring this exciting program to their home districts. Stipends and material kits will be provided upon successful competition of the workshops.
From this opportunity, teachers will be able to build a cohort of computer science enthusiasts across Louisiana.
Since 2019, the LSU Gordon A. Cain Center has hosted STEM professional development workshops for elementary teachers. Most recently, the LSU Gordon A. Cain Center in conjunction with the Capital Area STEM Network Center became the statewide Regional Partner for Code.org. This ongoing effort has a wide-reaching impact, ultimately benefiting thousands of students across Louisiana.
Please complete the interest form if you are interested.
Please complete the registration form if you would like to participate as an ambassador.
Please visit capitalareastem.org/ignite for more information.