Brown Foundation Grant Allows Nicholls to Provide STEM Assessment Training to Local Teachers

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Three Nicholls State University professors will provide professional development to local K-12 STEM teachers, thanks to a new $19,900 grant from the Brown Foundation.

The funding will provide training for 20 elementary school teachers from the Tri-Parish area. 

Grant writers, teacher education assistant professors Drs. Aimee Hollander and Ke Wang, and the director of the Nicholls Center for Teaching Excellence, wrote the funding to help teachers better prepare students for standardized testing in math and science. Dr. Hollander said, “They will also be able to create assessments that will help students prepare for upcoming LEAP exams.” 


The training was developed after Drs. Hollander and Wang met with local STEM coordinators who wanted their curriculum to line up with LEAP exams. The professional development will take place June 24-25 and will consist of two groups, math, and science. The groups will join together for educational technology training with Dr. Sara Dempster.


STEM coordinators noted that some teachers were unprepared for the challenges that came with the pandemic. Dr. Wang said there are special demands on STEM teachers in an online or hybrid environment. “This professional development will improve elementary STEM teachers’ self-efficacy in assessment,” Dr. Wang said. “As a result, this will increase the possibility of students’ success in LEAP tests.”


The Brown Foundation is named for New Orleans philanthropists Joe W. and Dorothy Dorsett Brown. The Brown Foundation is a charitable organization with a special interest in the Greater New Orleans area. The organization offers grants and supports initiatives that align with its stated mission to help end human suffering. They break their support down into several categories, including education.


For more information on Nicholls Teacher Education, visit