Brittany currently teaches at Capital Elementary and has been named "Teacher of the Year" three times -
most recently in 2014. She received her bachelor's degree in Information Systems and Decision Sciences from LSU in 2006. Most recently she received a master's degree in education technology from Grand Canyon University. Brittany claims that due to her master's program she was able to successfully teach 3rd graders how to utilize ALL Google Classroom applications as well as create detailed Prezi presentations and complete all tests and assignments online. By the end of the year, they were analyzing their own data reports and making necessary changes as necessary on their own. In her 10 years of teaching, she has led several professional development workshops at the school and district level on Math and Technology strategies in the classroom, as well as technology integration strategies.
Describe your STEM Fellows project:
"I've created a STEM club for 3rd through 5th graders. We currently have 18 3rd and 4th graders (no 5th graders signed up). We do robotics after school on Wednesdays and during the day on Fridays during ancillary time."
Have you noticed any changes in your students since becoming a STEM Fellow or since integrating STEM into your classroom?
"Absolutely! They have become leaders in the school. They want to take over everything in the school, so they've really embraced that STEM culture of teamwork, working together, and they want to solve everybody's problems now."
What advice would you give to teachers trying to integrate STEM into their classrooms?
"Don't be afraid to let the kids take over. Let the kids explore; step back and let them problem solve on their own."
Has being part of STEM Fellows or STEM culture in general changed the way you teach at all?
"Yes. A lot. Now I pretty much give them the problem and see if they can solve it on their own without me giving them any type of background knowledge. And then if they have trouble, I'll step in. The kids can catch on on their own. Like, they don't need us. [laughs]"
What excites you the most about using STEM in your teaching?
"The excitement of the kids. They become such natural leaders, so just seeing them take over the classroom, that's exciting. For a third grader especially."
How do you think we can raise awareness of STEM's value to parents?
"For parents...maybe have workshops for the parents, so they can come and see the students in action. I try to send home videos of them building robots and other projects. Like we're doing an egg drop right now, so they can see that and get excited about it and realize that this is where our world is going."
The STEM Fellows is a project of the Foundation for East Baton Rouge School System made possible by a generous grant from Capital One. The purpose of the initiative is to establish and support a cadre of “STEM Teaching Fellows” who, armed with content knowledge, innovative teaching strategies, and an entrepreneurial spirit, can support their colleagues and transform EBRPSS schools into institutions of innovative STEM teaching and learning. Currently, fifteen educators in East Baton Rouge Parish Public School System are named STEM Teaching Fellows.