Science, education partnership presented at international conference
Representatives from Louisiana Tech University’s College of Engineering and Science and College of Education were recently invited to present their collaborative work and highlight their outreach partnership to colleagues from around the world at the International Conference on Chemistry Education, held in Toronto, Canada.Alicia Boudreaux, outreach coordinator for the Louisiana Alliance for Simulation-Guided Materials Applications (LA-SiGMA), and Lindsey Keith-Vincent, director of SciTEC at Louisiana Tech, presented a poster about the LA-SiGMA/Shell Research Experiences for Teachers (RET) program and its collaboration with Louisiana Tech’s Office of Professional Education Outreach. “In every conversation we had, we realized more and more that the Louisiana Tech culture is special,” said Boudreaux. “Worldwide, we are unique in how departments, even colleges, work together to create the most innovative programs and research.” “We at SciTEC are so grateful to be part of a university family supportive of innovative interdisciplinary projects that highlight fascinating research and allow opportunities to aid teachers in translating those findings to the community and children of all ages,” said Keith-Vincent. “It was an honor for our unit to be part of the project and the presentation.” Since 2011, the LA-SiGMA RET Program has impacted 33 teachers and over 3,000 students throughout the State of Louisiana. This has involved partnerships not only across Louisiana Tech’s colleges, but also with other LA-SiGMA institutions such as Louisiana State University and Tulane University. “It is very hard to achieve true collaboration that yields a whole that is much more than the sum of its parts,” said Ramu Ramachandran, executive associate dean for research in the College of Engineering and Science and a Co-PI of the LA-SiGMA project, “But that is exactly what we have been able to achieve with SciTEC.” Louisiana Tech’s RET Program is funded by LA-SiGMA and Shell. 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 Shell-sponsored North Louisiana Regional 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.