Building a STEM-educated workforce in Louisiana: Preserving New Orleans’ Future, a PRC speaker series
The State of Louisiana recently broke ground on the $2 billion Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion, the state’s largest coastal restoration project. What does this mean for our state and our economy? We know we need to grow a workforce here in Louisiana to work in these jobs — but how?
A 2015 Bloomberg report found people working in STEM jobs in New Orleans earn more than double ($73,660 per year) that of their non-STEM-employed peers ($31,720 annually), which is even larger in historically underserved communities. This is why the LaSTEM Advisory Council recommended in its 2018 report to the Louisiana Legislature that schools provide “integrative and experiential learning activities for students.”
Pontchartrain Conservancy has developed educational programming to provide our young people an array of age-tailored, career-connecting activities, including water quality testing, watershed modeling, coastal lines of defense and identification of coastal marsh plants and insects. Our sessions are inquiry-based and involve applications of STEM disciplines in real-world problem-solving activities. Over the past year, we have expanded our efforts to reach teachers directly with our curriculum, hosting teacher professional development sessions in which teachers are trained to perform experiments selected from our programming.
The PRC’s Preserving New Orleans’ Future speaker series showcases innovation and investment to bring insight into opportunities for New Orleans’ future.
About the speaker:
Kristi L. Trail has served as executive director of the Pontchartrain Conservancy since 2016. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in civil and environmental engineering at Louisiana State University. Prior to joining Pontchartrain Conservancy, Trail worked as an engineer in various capacities in the energy sector and as a private consultant.