While the College is well-known for its high-quality graduate and undergraduate educational programs, it is not known for its active outreach to help K-12 students develop a passion for STEM careers and learn about coastal environmental sciences. Following are examples of CC&E’s K-12 outreach programs, with an indication of the programs whose participants would benefit from the use of this research laboratory.
EnvironMentors is an environmental science mentoring program that pairs at-risk high school students with LSU graduate students for a year-long environmental science research project. Students meet weekly at LSU with their graduate students. At the end of the academic year, students present their research at a poster competition at Scotlandville Magnet High School. Top students from this local competition earn the privilege to compete at the EnvironMentors National Fair in Washington, DC. This program is making a difference. Since its inception at LSU in 2010, 96% of the students completing the program have graduated from high school and 90% have gone on to college, university, or the National Guard. This vastly exceeds the 53% graduation rate at their high school (Public School Review).
Dual Enrollment provides students with an opportunity to earn college credit while still in high school. The program introduces high school students to the rigors of college coursework, and studies have shown that students who participate in dual-enrollment programs are more likely go on to get a college degree. CC&E partners with four high schools (Iberville MSA West Academy, McKinley Senior High, University Laboratory School, and Dutchtown High School) to teach ENVS 1126, “Introduction to Environmental Sciences.” Once a laboratory is in place for undergraduates and high school students, the program can pursue offering a lesson(s) in the lab.
Duke University’s Talent Identification Program (TIP) fosters the educational, social, and emotional development of gifted children, primarily in middle and high school. CC&E is Duke University’s educational partner in this program, focused on teaching children about coastal ecology.
Year Zero Program provides high school students with funding to work in faculty labs for ten hours each week during their senior year. This program is launching in 2017.
Ocean Commotion is a program sponsored by Louisiana Sea Grant that gives K-8 grade students the chance to learn about and touch the products of the sea and coast—the aquatic animals, plants, and minerals—upon which Louisiana’s citizens are so dependent. CC&E works with children each year at this event.
Ebb & Flow, a festival in Baton Rouge, provided a platform for CC&E to teach children about coastal land loss, food chains in the ecosystems, animals in estuarine and marine environments, and the hazards of plastics in the ocean and other water bodies.
Earth Day Baton Rouge is an annual opporutnity for CC&E graduate students to teach children of all ages about environmental stewardship. This is an annual event for our college.
Tiger Tailgates provide a fun opportunity to educate young fans on oceanography and coastal sciences.