Core Element To Host Summer STEM Institute, Hands-On STEM Summer Camps For Teachers

NEW ORLEANS – Core Element, a local nonprofit promoting quality teaching in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math), will host its annual Summer STEM Institute, a series of free professional development workshops for math and science teachers, June 22 – July 13. The sessions will be held at the University of New Orleans TRAC Center.

         Sponsored by Schlumberger, the Core Element Summer STEM Institute uses proven curriculum that promotes hands-on learning experiences for students in the classroom. Teachers earn CLUs (continuing learning units) for participating and receive training and tools to enhance their knowledge and teaching skills in STEM areas including coding, robotics, physical science, biology, earth science, and the ecosystem. 

         This summer, Core Element’s teacher professional development workshops will also help teachers prepare to implement the new Louisiana Student Standards for Science approved by the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) in March 2017. The new standards define the scientific knowledge and skills that students need to learn throughout their education to successfully transition to college and the workplace. Customized to Louisiana, the multi-dimensional standards encourage rigor in the classroom while allowing teachers increased flexibility to go deeper into each standard.

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         “Core Element’s Summer STEM Institute workshops help teachers understand how to rework the traditional instructional model of teaching to create a hands-on, minds-on learning environment where students learn to discuss and communicate ideas, listen and work with other, and think like scientists,” said Jan Brenan, Core Element executive director. “The workshops will also help teachers integrate Louisiana's new science standards which require a new way of instruction that engages students in the learning process and creates impactful STEM experiences in the classroom.”

         The Core Element Summer STEM Institute workshops take place daily from 8:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. and cover a variety of STEM topics including:


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June 22         Introduction to Coding for Teachers: Grades K-5

June 26-28   Exploring the New Louisiana Science Standards: Grades K-5 & 6-8

June 29-30   Physical Science and Inquiry Classroom Activities with LIGO

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July 6-7        LEGO EV3 Robotics: Grades 4-8

July 10-21    Modeling Method of Instruction for Biology

July 10         Ecosystem Education: Grades K-5

July 11         Ecosystem Education: Grades 6-8

July 12         Exploratorium Institute Physical Science Activities for Elementary/Middle School Classrooms

July 13         Earth Science Activities for Elementary/Middle School Classrooms


         “STEM jobs in Louisiana are expected to grow 18 percent by 2024,” added Brenan. “To prepare Louisiana students to succeed in STEM subjects and seek STEM careers, we must equip teachers with the resources, tools, skills and confidence they need to help students excel in the classroom.”

         In addition to the Summer STEM Institute for teachers, Core Element offers Hands-On STEM Summer Camps, a unique teacher training model that engages both teachers and students. Teachers work in pairs and participate as “students” while campers learn to build and program robots. Teachers also learn how to develop a robotics team at their school and participate in robotics competitions.

         New this year, Core Element will introduce coding and computer science during both the teacher professional development series and summer camp line up.  “Coding is a skill anyone can learn,” said Brenan. “Technology has become the center of much of our everyday lives. Teachers who learn coding then bring it into their classrooms will create opportunities for students to stretch their minds, construct, analyze, and learn independently. These are skills that are necessary in higher education and the workplace.”

         Registration is open for both the Summer STEM Institute and Hands-On STEM Summer Camps. Workshops are free to teachers, however, a refundable deposit of $25 is required to secure a reservation. Teacher deposits are returned at the completion of the workshop or camp. Hands-On STEM Camp for students is $350 per session.

         For more information


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