How local public schools are embracing educational innovation—and which part of the brain their lessons are engaging

So, what are they teaching kids these days? As we are living in the age of “disruption,” with nearly every industry undergoing massive transformations, the answer to that question is changing every day. While East Baton Rouge Parish schools face many challenges, there are also plenty of examples of inventive programs and inspiring lesson plans to be seen. And while technology and science are increasingly at the forefront, schools are recognizing the important roles that art and creativity play, too. Here’s a look at some of these newfangled approaches. You might be surprised how much lessons have changed since your own school days.


Your analytical, logical and detail-oriented half

Business incubator at Scotlandville Magnet High School: The Center of Excellence for Business Entrepreneurship invites freshmen interested in starting their own businesses to learn from local entrepreneurs. The four-year program is the only high school business incubator in the area. scotlandvillemagnethigh.org

Video game and web design at Capitol Middle School: Kids used to get in trouble for playing too many video games. Today, they are part of the school’s gaming and animation program. Students learn game and web design, create digital portfolios and presentations, and learn to market those projects. schools.ebrschools.org/capitolmiddle

Aquaponics at Brookstown Middle Magnet Academy: As our global culture becomes increasingly food-driven, kids are getting in on the action. The academy added an aquacultural method of farming fish to purify water for plant production to its STEM curriculum. The school plans to grow 110 pounds of catfish and 1,000 heads of lettuce this year. The lab, in partnership with ExxonMobil and Foundation for EBR School System, also features murals by The Walls Project. schools.ebrschools.org/brookstownmiddle

STEM meets art at Baton Rouge Center for Visual & Performing Arts: Science, technology, engineering, art and math combine in the school library’s STEAM club, where students compete in engineering design challenges, code and program robots, create paper circuitry and more. brcvpa.com

Medicine at Lee Magnet High School: The sooner we can get students studying medicine, the more time they’ll have to find cures and change lives. Students in biomedical classes learn about human physiology, microbiology, genetics, nutrition and medicine while working on real-world projects and experiments. leemagnet.com


Your creative and empathetic side

Digital news, music and videos at Mayfair Lab School: Digital media arts students are already creating blogs, news pieces and stop-motion videos for the school’s annual media festival. The students learn about media literacy, digital citizenship, songwriting, music video production, digital photography and advertising. mayfairlabschool.com

Hospitality and tourism at Woodlawn High School: Students learn about travel and service through the hotel and restaurant industry. They are taught customer service principles, business ethics, and corporate leadership and communications, and can earn a recognized customer service and sales certification. woodlawnhighbr.org

Graphic arts and broadcasting at Southeast Middle School: Students learn computer programming, digital photography and graphics with cutting- edge technology and hands-on classroom training. Using advanced video editing software, the broadcasting team shoots a daily video broadcast. smsdataschool.com

Arts immersion at Forest Heights Academy of Excellence: Following the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts guidelines for arts curriculums, students flex their creative muscles in state-of-the-art studio classrooms, fostering personal artistic skills and styles. ebrmagnet.org/site331.php

This article was originally published in the November 2017 issue of 225 magazine.