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CIC, CenturyLink partner for STEM education initiative

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STEM teacher training at a CenturyLink, IBM and Cyber Innovation Center (training workshop for sixth, seventh, and eighth-grade teachers from the Monroe and Ouachita Parish area.

MONROE – CenturyLink, Inc. recently partnered with IBM and the Cyber Innovation Center (CIC) to host a training workshop for sixth, seventh, and eighth-grade teachers from the Monroe City, Ouachita Parish and private school systems.

Serving as an anchor of Louisiana’s Cyber Corridor, the CIC and its National Cyber Research Park in Bossier City, Louisiana, provide a physical location for government, industry, and academia to collaborate, conduct leading research, and develop state-of-the-art technologies.

CIC’s professional development workshops are designed to empower teachers with hands-on training, as well as STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and cyber resources, so they can then transform the classroom into a 21st century learning environment. This philosophy enables teachers to connect STEM and cyber concepts in the classrooms to potential technology-focused career paths in the future.

Upon completion of the CIC’s professional development workshops, teachers obtain access to teacher manuals, student manuals and other curriculum materials to enrich the learning experience in the classroom. The CIC curriculum has been implemented in schools in all 50 states across the country and many parishes in Louisiana.

“Professional development programs for K-12 teachers enable them to foster creativity and innovation in students through problem-solving, critical thinking and communication,” said Kevin Nolten, deputy director of academic outreach for the CIC. “Today’s student receives information far differently than those of yesterday. Our responsibility as educators is to ensure we are preparing students with the hard and soft skills necessary to fill 21st century jobs.”

“The CIC’s professional development workshop engages teachers in hands-on activities they can use in their classroom,” said Serena White, Monroe City School System curriculum coordinator. “These hands-on projects not only teach the standards, but give the students the opportunity to experience the principles of science and technology in models they create. This type of instruction builds the scientific understanding and develops problem-solving and critical thinking in students.”

“CenturyLink recognizes the importance of introducing young people to STEM concepts to better prepare them for successful careers and to build the pipeline of future employees,” said Maxine Moreau, executive vice president – global operations and shared services for CenturyLink. “A highly trained workforce will benefit northeastern Louisiana as our region continues to grow and prosper.”