New regional STEM center to open at Lake Charles Boston
LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - With the rise in STEM related careers, the need for STEM related education has become a focal point across the country. The Southwest Louisiana community is fertile soil for STEM education, as the area presents an abundance of opportunity to enter STEM related fields following graduation from high school or college.
In continued efforts to build foundations for the future of students, staff from the Calcasieu Parish School Board joined with representatives from McNeese State University and secured the placement of a Regional STEM Center in the community through the Louisiana Regional STEM Network. The STEM center will be located in Lake Charles, in an existing building brimming with rich history.
“We are very excited to host the Region 5 STEM Center for Southwest Louisiana at Lake Charles Boston Academy,” said Superintendent Karl Bruchhaus. “It is a great opportunity for learning and professional development for Calcasieu and our neighboring parishes. Our team continues to expand our partnerships with McNeese-area business/industry, and other educational stakeholders in anticipation of a bright future for STEM growth.”
The STEM center will house learning for both teachers and students. Within those classrooms, students will be exposed to learning through STEM, teachers will be trained on teaching through STEM and the educational journey of both groups will be transformed through STEM.
“Although I didn’t know it as STEM, it has been my passion since I was 5 years old,” said Mark Arseneault, Regional STEM Center Director. “Over the years I’ve learned that STEM learning and teaching is robbed of valuable input if you don’t allow constructive collaboration. The Region 5 STEM Center will be a place of STEM learning and teaching where collaboration allows imaginations to grow into reality.”
The Center will serve Allen, Beauregard, Cameron, Calcasieu, Jeff Davis, and Vernon parish. The initial center will begin in a 4 to 5 classroom area with district and McNeese representatives anticipating growth as services begin to teachers and students across the region.
“McNeese State University established the first college at a public university in the state of Louisiana dedicated to science, engineering and mathematics,” said McNeese President Dr. Daryl Burckel. “We are committed to providing access to STEM education and degrees that lead to tremendous career opportunities in the STEM fields. The Regional STEM Center will be a focal point for Southwest Louisiana, and it will be an extraordinary benefit to the young people in our region. McNeese is looking forward to being an active partner with the Calcasieu Parish School Board in promoting and supporting STEM education.”
External growth is also anticipated as the Center opens and begins serving teachers and students in the region. A living solar system will be one of the first expansions, as it’s addition will soon be seen along the 1st Avenue Walking Trail.
“The addition of the Regional STEM Center at the Lake Charles Boston Academy of Learning is truly an exciting one for not just our students and educators, but also for the community surrounding the campus as well,” said Lake Charles Mayor Nic Hunter. “This addition brings a new generation of students to these hallways and educators will have the opportunity to collaborate with other educators on the latest techniques in preparing these students for success. CPSB’s partnership with McNeese State University on this center will help entice youth to not only find success through their early educational years but also to highlight McNeese as a choice for post-secondary education. We also look forward to working with the center to bring the living solar system to the 1st Avenue Walking Trail. This will be an educational experience for the entire community to enjoy.”
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