The University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s Center for Excellence in Education, a unit of the College of Education, is home to the Region 4 STEM Network Center (R4SNC). The R4SNC is funded by the Louisiana Board of Regents under its LaSTEM initiative.
R4SNC is one of nine regional STEM Network Centers, which operate as a system of STEM leadership entities strategically positioned across Louisiana to improve access to STEM education, participation, and advancement. This includes closing the opportunity gap for underserved and underrepresented populations to engage in Louisiana’s STEM workforce.
The purpose of R4SNC is to provide broader access to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics educational opportunities and promote STEM economic development within Lafayette and across regions where it makes sense.
Within LaSTEM’s goals, the R4SNC has prioritized three distinctive goals related to STEM education and experiences:
- Provide Access
- Remove Barriers
- Build Networks
R4SNC has established four core values that drive our work:
- Respect: We respect and welcome racial diversity, ethnic diversity and thought diversity
- Empowerment: We believe everyone should empowered as change agents.
- Collaboration: We believe in the power of many and pooling stakeholder resources.
- Equity: We believe in providing the supports necessary to accelerate success for every student we encounter.
Advisory Committee and Partners
Since its start in Spring 2021, the R4SNC has been forging relationships across sectors in an effort to accelerate systemic STEM improvement through strategic pursuits. Accordingly, our advisory committee includes CGI Technologies, Love Our Schools, Pugh Foundation, Fenstermaker & Associates, Boys and Girls Club of Acadiana, Children’s Museum of Acadiana, Lafayette Parish School System, The Climate Initiative, and UL Lafayette’s College of Education, College of Engineering, and Blanco Center. The R4RSN Advisory Committee is a network-building think-tank focused on further developing a thriving STEM culture across sectors housed in Region 4.
STEMulating Summer Initiative
Our Summer 2021 STEMulating Summer Initiative (SSI) was designed to embody our values and meet project and LaSTEM goals. The NASA Astro Camp headlined our SSI. Our NASA Astro Camp included 300 elementary school students from Lafayette Parish Schools and another 150 middle/high school students from Vermilion and St. Landry Parish School Systems. We also offered the Shell Energy Camp which involved nearly 100 more students from Lafayette and St. Landry Parish School System. To help ensure first generation college freshmen are better prepared for freshmen mathematics, we offered free jump start mathematics enrichment sessions in the later part of July. The SSI also included a free CSI mystery camp (120 middle school students) and a week-long professional development series for teachers centered on the intersections of math, science, and diversity. Due to the overall success of our SSI, we are planning an SSI 2.0 in the summer 2022.
Dr. Peter Sheppard
Professor & College of Education Associate Dean of Research
Executive Director, Center for Excellence in Education
Ms. Angela Boxie
Project Director, Region 4 STEM Network Center
Ayodeji S Adeyemo, Geology Major
Raymond C Iloegbunam, Petroleum Engineering Major
Allison E Sprague, Mechanical Engineering Major
Follow us on Twitter: @UL _Rgn4STEM