Additional Research Education Opportunities

North Louisiana (CERT) Encouraging collaboration among the region's higher education institutions and technical colleges to better meet the needs of industry. In 1996 the Foundation led in the formation of the Consortium for Education Research and Technology of North Louisiana (CERT) to increase utilization of the knowledge resources at the regional higher education institutions.  CERT supports the enrichment of Math, Science and Technology K-16 Education through a partnership with district administrators and teachers in refining and replicating the Math, Science and Technology (MST) model currently in place in Caddo Parish.  CERT institutions, as members of the MST Consortium, worked with the Caddo Parish School Board in establishing an MST curriculum model in two Caddo Parish Schools, Keithville Elementary/Middle (K-8) and its feeder high school, Southwood High School (9-12).  This initial partnership was successful in bringing a national program, Environmental and Spatial Technology (EAST) to Southwood.  The MST model was expanded to include a middle school in 2004-2005, and other middle and high schools were added in 2005-2006.  Since then, numerous CERT Math and Science disciplinary faculty have been working with these five schools in providing professional development opportunities for teachers and unique experiences for students. The FIRST program, a national robotics curriculum, is also in place at all five MST schools. In addition, a Biotechnology Magnet program was implemented at Southwood in the 2006-2007 school-year.  Currently, there are 130 teachers and 5,000 students participating in the MST program in Caddo Parish. For more information please visit CERT's website at The NLPI website is located at

The Mathematics, Science and Technology (MST) Program - Creating a learning environment that develops skills needed for the new technology age.In collaboration with the Caddo Parish Public Schools, Centenary College and other local organizations, the Foundation is implementing a model education program designed to improve the curriculum and delivery of mathematics and science education among all Caddo Parish students. The Mathematics, Science and Technology (MST) Program focuses on the extensive use of technology as a learning and problem-solving tool and promotes collaborations among students, teachers, parents and the community in creating a learning environment that encourages a holistic educational experience. The MST program, launched in 2002 at Southwood High School and Keithville Elementary/Middle School in Caddo Parish, emphasizes the use of technology as a discovery tool with hands-on learning for students and professional development for teachers. As of Fall 2004, the program comprised 61 teachers and over 3,000 students in grades 4-12, and expanded to include Ridgewood Middle School. In Fall 2005, the program expanded to its second cluster of schools by including Linwood Middle School and Woodlawn High School. As of Fall 2007, 5,000 students and 130 teachers in grades 4 through 12 participate at the five schools. The ultimate goal of the MST program is to expand to all Caddo Parish schools, one cluster at a time.

Science and Medicine Academic Research Training (SMART) Program -Enhancing hands-on research experience among local high-school seniors.The Foundation helped to establish and coordinates the Science and Medicine Academic Research Training (SMART) Program. This program provides a year long research experience with LSU Health Sciences Center in Shreveport (LSUHSC-S) investigators for 12 academically advanced high school seniors who have a career interest in medicine, biomedical research, or biomedical engineering. Ninety-nine students have participated in the SMART program, which is in its 10th year. The program has met with considerable success as the student-participants excel in state and national science competitions and continue their science education at colleges or universities.

Environmental and Spatial Technology (EAST) Program - Using technology to solve everyday problems. As part of the MST program, the Foundation assisted Caddo Parish Public School Board in initiating the Environmental and Spatial Technology (EAST)program in 2003. EAST is a highly innovative, community project-based program established in Greenbrier, Arkansas and adopted by over 150 schools in seven states. What evolved is a program that produces superior results in students and successfully integrates teamwork, independent problem-solving, community service and technology skills. The programs utilizes state of the art technology, such as computer aided design (CAD), global positioning systems (GPS), geographical information systems (GIS), database management, visualization, presentation and desktop software, web design, and spatial analysis in completing their projects. The program emphasizes the application of technology and 21 st century basic skills to solve authentic problems that are community service oriented. This method has proven effective for learning content, process skills and people skills simultaneously. All interested, regularly attending students are eligible, including special education students. The classes are coordinated by "facilitators", rather than "teachers", who are trained to allow students to learn through problem-solving and peer mentoring. In 2006, EAST expanded from 160 to 320 students per year participating in the program, which resides at Southwood High School in Shreveport. For more information visit the EAST website at

For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) Robotics Program. Exciting high school students about math, science and engineering.Another component of MST is the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Program at Southwood High School and Woodlawn High School in Shreveport. The FIRST program, which began in Fall 2005, challenges teams of students and their mentors to solve a common problem in a six-week timeframe using a standard "kit of parts" and a common set of rules. High school students design, construct and control a remotely operated vehicle for a sports-based series of competitions with objectives that change every year. Competitive factors are o utstanding team performance and/or outstanding robot performance. The FIRST LEGO Program, the "little league" of the FIRST Robotics Competition, is designed for elementary/middle school students ages 9 to 14. The students build a LEGO robot and compete in friendly, FIRST-style robotics events especially designed for their age group. Using LEGO bricks and other elements such as sensors, motors, and gears, teams gain hands-on experience in engineering and computer programming principles as they construct and program their unique robot inventions. The LEGO FIRST Robotics Program was initiated at Keithville Elementary/Middle School in Shreveport in 2004, and has since expanded to Linwood and Ridgewood Middle Schools. For information please visit the FIRST and FIRST LEGO website at

Biotechnology Magnet Academy at Southwood High School - Growing a Regional Biotechnology Workforce.  Biotechnology is a nationally recognized high growth industry, with employment expected to grow 19% by 2012.  The presence of a competent, well-trained workforce is a critical factor for our region to successfully attract and retain biotechnology-based industries.  In response to this need, the Biomedical Research Foundation has partnered with Southwood High School, Caddo Parish Public Schools, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in Shreveport, and participating biotech companies to create the Biotechnology Magnet Academy. The Academy opened in the Fall 2006 at Southwood High School in Shreveport, Louisiana with 35 students. Students enter the program as freshmen and complete courses that address the Bioscience Skills Standards. The first year of study is dedicated to Anatomy and Physiology; the second year on microbiology, the third year on molecular and cellular biology, and the senior year on research techniques. Students become involved in a mentoring program during their junior year followed by an internship at a higher education institution or InterTech Science Park company during the following summer.  Each student completes a senior project which focuses on a specific area of the Health/Science field. For more information on the Biotechnology Magnet Academy, please visit contact the Biotechnology Science Coordinator at Southwood High School at 318.686.9512.

Biotechnology Technical Training Program, Bossier High School - Fostering a scientific workforce with technical skills. The Biomedical Research Foundation and the Bossier Parish Public Schools have joined forces to create the Biotechnology Technical Training Program at Bossier High School. The goals of this program are to provide an avenue for students to obtain valuable technical job skills in the locally growing biotechnology industry, with the potential for further education and training, and to increase the training of science teachers in biotechnology.

Biotechnology Entrepreneurship Ph.D. Track
Promoting biotechnology entrepreneurship and the region.  Moving research from the laboratory to commercialization requires a number of components, including inventors, entrepreneurs and customers.  To promote the commercialization of biotechnology discoveries, the BRF supports a seminar series in which industry executives, along with venture capitalists and patent attorneys come to Shreveport.  While the primary purpose of this lecture series is to provide the Ph. D. students with insights from key industry leaders to help them become biotechnology entrepreneurs, the lectures also introduce faculty members to these executives, leading to a better appreciation of commercial opportunities by the potential inventors of new technologies.  Furthermore, these visits to Shreveport give LSUHSC-S and the BRF an opportunity to promote the strengths of the region to leaders across the country.  Both students and faculty members have benefited from these interactions, which are beginning to lead to a better appreciation of commercial opportunities at LSUHSC-S.  These in turn will lead to new spin-out companies and more importantly, to new therapies for treating human diseases. For more information, please contact Tony Giordano, Ph.D. 318.675.7791 or