STEAM is short for science, technology, engineering, arts, and math.

Believe it or not, they’re all interconnected which is why the Denham Springs district of Livingston Parish Public Schools figured out a way to devote an entire campus to the study of those individual pieces of the puzzle.

And with good reason, the STEAM corridor of the job market continues to expand every year offering some of the best opportunities and wages not just in Louisiana, but in the country.

But not everyone knows this. In fact, STEAM and vocational education paths are still relatively unknown within the population, with traditional college curriculums and direction still dominating a lot of the post-secondary education conversation.

So Nikki Lavergne, technology facilitator for Livingston Parish Public Schools, had the idea to team up with the STEAM center in Denham Springs to not only show junior high and high schoolers exactly what happens at the system’s new campus, but also what they can learn.

And it doesn’t stop there, Friday and Saturday the campus will be open to the public so everyone can take a look at the new facilities and everything they have to offer - and what they could offer in the future.

Lavergne is seeking partnerships with individuals and businesses who have experience in the STEAM areas of expertise to present their experiences or have interactive presentations that allow kids and adults to get their hands a little dirty.

This is the ultimate showing of bringing an entire community together to see what the future holds for the next generations of engineers, scientists, business owners, and entrepreneurs.

But it’s really a sign of trust, a sign of pulling the community together to show that education doesn’t have to be a secret. And it’s not just something that has to be hidden every day behind closed doors as teachers educate children, but it’s an opportunity for citizens to participate in the education process - to take some ownership, to improve it.

It’s a step in the right direction to not just show that the school system is attentive to community and market needs, but that Livingston Parish Public Schools are open to adaptation, growth, and innovation within their walls to give kids the best opportunity in the future.

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