High school students in the Upward Bound Program visit the Ecology Center to learn about designing scientific experiments. Upward Bound is a precollege preparatory program that provides motivation and academic skills that allow students to achieve their full academic potential.
The Ecology Center hosts an annual workshop with the LSU Coastal Roots program and L. Leo Judice Montessori Elementary School. Students germinate native plant seeds, and plant seedlings into our coastal prairie habitat. The Coastal Roots program educates students about plant life-cycles, and engages them with local environmental issues and restoration efforts.
The Ecology Center partners with local high schools to provide research opportunities for students. One of our most active science teachers is Lisa Rainey at O. Comeaux High school. Several of her students have conducted award-winning projects at the Ecology Center.
As part of their science coursework, students from fifth, sixth, and seventh grades are able to learn about the Louisiana Cajun Prairie at The Ecology Center. Each grade is given a tour of the Cajun Prairie restoration, learns how to process seeds by hand and with the seed blower, and is given individualized activities. Fifth grade and sixth grades focus on learning how to identify native species and are treated to a native insect, grasses, and flower scavenger hunt armed with digital cameras to document their findings. Seventh grade examines and compares the plant and insect biodiversity within the four different ecosystems all in existence at the UL Ecology Center: cut lawn, restored prairie, unmanaged land, and bottomland hardwood. The Ecology Center also partners with the students in an on-going project to create a native butterfly garden habitat on campus at Berchman's Academy.