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Sci-Port in Shreveport grooms future scientists in Science Academy

Kate Archer Kent

For a decade, Sci-Port: Louisiana’s Science Center in Shreveport has hosted Science Academy, bussing dozens of elementary school students to the science museum for seven weeks. They get an extra boost of science and math skills, according to Sci-Port’s education coordinator Kim Solice.

“I think it’s a bonus for these students. These are students who I think have real interest in science, and they will continue that interest in their middle and high school years. Eventually, what we hope is it will become a career for them,” Solice said.

This year, 54 students from five schools assembled mini rockets and shot them off. They dressed astronauts for space, concocted tornados, and toured the solar system. Calvin Roberts, a sixth grader at Oil City Elementary/Middle School, has participated in Science Academy since first grade.

“It’s fun and entertaining. You can understand science more clearly. You won’t have to be struggling and making bad grades. You can learn more stuff,” Roberts said, who helped mentor the newcomers to Science Academy.

Angelo McAllister teaches science and math at Caddo Heights Elementary. He was on his knees, helping a small group of kindergartners and first graders – called the “Eager Earthlings” -- assemble their poster presentation. Some concepts he’ll bring back to his classroom.

“Like if I’m talking about it, they may come up to me and say we did this at Sci-Port. I may actually take the experiments they’ve done here to help me in my class,” McAllister said.

Credit Kate Archer Kent
Science Academy explored topics about space in the 10th year of the program.

Sci-Port’s Science Academy has support from LSU Health Shreveport and is considered a pipeline program, aimed at attracting more young people to health care careers. 

Chuck Smith brings more than 30 years' broadcast and media experience to Red River Radio. He began his career as a radio news reporter and transitioned to television journalism and newsmagazine production. Chuck studied mass communications at Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia and motion picture / television production at the University of California at Los Angeles. He has also taught writing for television at York Technical College in Rock Hill, South Carolina and video / film production at Centenary College of Louisiana, Shreveport.