The purpose of this blog is to explore Louisiana's strategy and capacity for advancing STEM education, careers, and workforce for all. Louisiana has its own array of STEM assets, strengths and approaches in place - thus this site is designed to discover these strategies and activities. Not just a PK12 issue - all stakeholders, higher education, workforce development, economic development, business & industry, are welcome to participate. Hopefully the site will pose and answer questions that will ultimately help guide and focus diverse partners in this effort.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

LSYOU Summer Program Exposes Students to STEM

LSYOU (Louisiana State Youth Opportunities Unlimited), a year-long program for underserved youth, is sponsored by the LSU College of Human Sciences & Education. During LSYOU’s recent summer phase of the program, they collaborated with School of the Coast and Environment and the College of Engineering to expose students to STEM disciplines and careers. After introducing the students to engineering tools and various technologies combined with authentic hands-on projects, subjects like math and science took on an all new interdisciplinary meaning.

Exposure to professionals and the work they perform is extremely critical in STEM education. By introducing students to topics and professionals in very relevant ways through projects, students actually experience what it is like to be an engineer, a designer, or even an epidemiologist! Interest is sparked; dreams begin.

Exposing students to interesting STEM work doesn’t happen by itself. As this inspiring article featuring LSYOU demonstrates, it took a committed team of professionals working together to plan and deliver real-world professional projects; projects that these students probably would have never participated in. A rigorous curriculum is certainly a must in K12, however, waiting until youth enter the workplace to experience a workplace’s unique skills, tools, and knowledge is simply too late.

For more information about the LSYOU program in the LSU College of Human Sciences & Education, visit For more information about the School of the Coast and Environment, visit; and for more information on the LSU College of Engineering, visit

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