Future scientists complete STEM summer program at Louisiana Tech

Jul 22, 2013 | Engineering and Science

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Ten students from elementary, junior high schools and high schools around the region recently completed the week-long STEM Student Experience summer science program at Louisiana Tech University.

Students from Delta Junior High School, Holly Ridge Elementary School, Ruston Junior High School, Ruston High School, Simsboro High School, and Wossman High School attended the STEM program which consisted of hands-on activities about popular science issues such as energy generation, storage, and conversion. The student-scientists also toured Louisiana Tech research labs, built a hydrogen-powered car, investigated the chemistry behind the working of batteries, and built and studied properties of molecules on computers.

STEM Student Experience students and RET teachers gather at Louisiana Tech University.

STEM Student Experience students and RET teachers gather at Louisiana Tech University.

After each day’s science activities, the students enjoyed community-building at dining centers, recreational facilities, and apartments on the Louisiana Tech campus.

“The program helped me to meet new people and get a look at college life,” said Molly Stokes, who just completed eighth grade at Holly Ridge. “My favorite part was touring the Eco Car rooms.”

Molly’s mother, Mary Stokes, also commented, “The STEM Student Experience exposed Molly to many new topics. She really enjoyed it and texted me pictures of all her projects.”

Other participating students said the program helped them to better understand their college options, including engineering, and that the only thing they would have changed is they would have liked the program to be longer.

The students were selected and invited by their teachers, who were participating in the six-week Research Experiences for Teachers (RET) program.  Both programs are sponsored by the Louisiana Alliance for Simulation-Guided Materials Applications (LA-SiGMA) and the Shell Northern Louisiana Regional Collaborative for Excellence in Science and Mathematics Teaching.  The LA-SiGMA Alliance includes Louisiana Tech, Louisiana State University, Tulane University, University of New Orleans, Southern University, Xavier University and Grambling State University, and is funded by a $20 million grant from the National Science Foundation.

The Northern Louisiana Collaborative is an extension of the Texas Regional Collaborative, and has as its objective to provide professional development opportunities for K-12 teachers of science and mathematics.

To read more about LA-SiGMA research and outreach programs, visit and for highlights on the Louisiana Collaborative, visit