Teachers and students from West Monroe High School attended Louisiana Tech University's annual Cyber Discovery Camp on its Ruston campus.

The 2022 participants spent the week immersed in a guided experience, learning cyber-technology skills through project-based activities, creativity and teamwork.

“Camps like these help the students see what college is like in a nurturing environment,” said Zachary Lovelady, a West Monroe High School “Intro to STEM” teacher. “They get college-level engagement while getting to a college campus and get to do hands-on work with STEM. In my class, these students learned a programming language, project budgeting, and engineering design to build water towers and Rube Goldberg machines. I selected these students so they could get experience with a more diverse range of cyber-tech.”

A team of faculty from Tech’s College of Engineering and Science and College of Liberal Arts developed the Cyber Discovery core curriculum in 2008. The professional development camp allows teachers to learn alongside a team of students who complete projects based on fundamentals of STEM such as science, technology, engineering and mathematics as well as humanities, including coding, cryptography, and ethics in cyber-security.

Teachers and rising high school sophomores from Little Elm, Mount Carmel Academy, St. Joseph Academy and West Feliciana joined also attended.

Teachers had the opportunity to observe and apply teaching methods for liberal arts, engineering, technology, mathematics and robotics.

“We love having such strong high school students participate in this program,” Dr. Heath Tims, Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies for Louisiana Tech’s College of Engineering and Science, said. “These students serve as a catalyst and help to lead within their school once they go back. We are also able to start recruiting these students early on. They are exactly the type of students that we want to attract to our programs.”

Madison Hannan, a science teacher at Mt Carmel Academy in New Orleans said that participation in STEM camps create well-rounded, more confident students in not only STEM, but in life.

“These camps help them build confidence in themselves,” she said.

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