BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD)–A new school is coming to the East Baton Rouge school district this fall and it will focus on issues related to the state’s coastal climate.
A total of 50 East Baton Rouge (EBR) students will have the opportunity to join the new STEM (Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics)- based school, and participate in its curriculum, which involves hands-on experience via an environmental studies program.
Eva Legard Learning Center Principal, Dr. Aaron Sinclair said, “Now students are going home talking about water and insects and animals and Louisiana in ways that we’ve never experienced before.”
We spoke with a prospective student who has already enjoyed such conversations at home, ten-year-old Winston Bishop.
Bishop says talking about these subjects inspired him to become one of the first students at the new school.
“I’m mainly excited about how to build my love of math and science technology because those are my main subjects and it would be a good opportunity to learn something, get more information,” he said.
Along with Bishop, 11-year-old John Ellison also stepped up to the plate.
“I’m just looking forward to going outside, and learn about like all these, like, cool things and like the outside world,” Ellison said.
The STEM program was the result of a partnership between EBR Schools and LSU.
“We are both collaborating to educate children from grades seven through 12 to become water, coastal scientists and many other things that deal with the water,” said EBR Schools superintendent Dr. Sito Narcisse.
In view of Louisiana’s concerns regarding coastal erosion, state leaders are using all available resources to build a stronger future and a workforce for said future.
‘We’re leaders in coastal and environmental work in Louisiana and certainly around the nation. We’re well known. So this is how we’re going to help out,” said LSU Dr.Christopher D’Elia Dean of Coast and Environment.
Principal Sinclair added, “We’re making sure that we have potential for our scholars to get out there in the career and workforce and making sure that they have the knowledge that they need to continue on.”
The two students, Bishop and Ellison, were eager to sign up.
“We love the fact that he likes to read. He’s on the computer. I love that. And the fact that this came along so young, this should be an opportunity that they give to every kid,” said John’s father Kyle Ellison.
Bishop expressed his keen desire to make a difference, by saying, “I live in Baton Rouge… we flood a lot. If I could crack the code and help find out how to stop erosion, that would help a lot.”
Bishop and Ellison’s new school is a free, public institution, and students are required to maintain a 3.0 GPA.
“They will not only graduate with a high school degree but also graduate with 19 credits at LSU, get automatic acceptance,” explained Narcisse.
School begins August 8, and registration is still open.
Students who are not able to claim one of the fifty spots for this school year will be added to a waiting list that applies to the school’s full opening, next fall.