Educational Institutions

Greater New Orleans Stem Initiative Inc

aka Core Element

Metairie, LA


To educate and prepare K-12 students in the Greater New Orleans region in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) through teacher professional development, inquiry-based science and mathematics curricula and materials, and scholarly enrichment activities.

Ruling Year


Executive Director

Jan Brenan

Resource Center Director

Andrea Walker

Main Address

PO Box 6123 c/o Core Element

Metairie, LA 70009 USA


Greater New Orleans Region, STEM, Education, Math, Science, Teacher Training, Student Improvement, Economic Development





Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Educational Services and Schools - Other (B90)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Our programs

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SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Academic Enrichment activities to include: Teacher Training, STEM Kits, Teachor Montoring and Laboratory Equipment

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Our goal is to improve the way math and science are taught and learned by introducing research-based hands-on learning opportunities for students that are aligned to the Louisiana Comprehensive Curriculum and based on nationally recognized curricula created at leading research universities. The education-based organization provides innovative professional development training for New Orleans area teachers using cutting edge STEM (science, technology, engineering & mathematics) curriculum and technology that allows students access to hands-on, inquiry-based learning opportunities. The ultimate goal is to prepare students to understand the real-life applications of science and math and gain exposure to STEM careers through superior classroom experiences thus enabling and motivating them to pursue studies that will lead to STEM career opportunities. Through engaged learning, students come to understand the real-life applications of science and math that will assist them in their future careers. To meet this challenge, Core Element provides professional development training, teacher mentoring and classroom equipment for teachers in Orleans, Jefferson, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Tammany and St. Charles Parishes.
Goal 1: Improve the quality of teaching and learning through enhanced, research-based professional development for STEM teachers.
Goal 2: Provide materials and equipment to implement research-based strategies that support STEM teachers in classrooms.
Goal 3: Promote and/or develop STEM enrichment activities for students.

We accomplish the above goals through the following activities:
1. Teacher Professional Development: provide complete learning solutions in a variety of curriculum areas including science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Embracing 21st-century teaching practices in which technology is not merely present, but used to fast forward productivity is critical. Our goal is to enable educators to utilize available resource from GNOSI that will advance their teaching to the next level. The workshop is a professional development program for teachers who want to provide students with the tools they need to excel in the world of tomorrow. Following this workshop, science teachers will learn to facilitate rather than direct classroom learning and find out how to encourage students to take a more active role in their learning.
2. Teacher Mentoring and Participant Knowledge Sharing: Participants will have the opportunity to share their own classroom experiences as well as garner knowledge from workshop facilitators. GNOSI STEM currently supports GNOSI-trained teachers with mentors (master-teachers) trained and experienced in using hands-on approach to learning. Additional funding will allow for increased mentor visits to schools to provide onsite assistance with modules, materials and instruction on how to tailor each teachers specific teaching needs to their students and classroom environment.
3. Information on student participation in enrichment activity: Getting students to participate or starting up a team can seem overwhelming. This workshop will offer specific steps and access to tools and volunteers that will assist participants with this process and manage a successful team.
4. Activity modules and equipment: Teacher participants are provided with self-contained activity modules that have a proven record of raising student achievement in urban classrooms and that are aligned to and exceed the expectations of the Louisiana Comprehensive Curriculum. High school classrooms are provided with research-based activities and equipment as funds permit.
5. Consumable Materials: Materials, that are specific to STEM instruction and are often difficult for teachers to acquire, are provided to classrooms.

The approach to our project is based on a structured strategic planning process, professional collaboration and utilizing best practices from researching our needs. The fundamental key to success in Core Element’s approach to all endeavors is to create a “process-based” implementation to ensure continuity of project management. This includes: a “task-specific” itemization of incremental assignments within each project, expected time-lines for adaptation of each task, identification of party responsible for each project and elevated team-centric attitudes and communications.

Core Element understands that long-term successes for these programs is dependent on providing teachers with ongoing training in subject content and continuing to provide the materials needed to implement the activities. In many professional development workshops offered to teachers, these educators are exposed to innovative activities that they will not be able to implement upon returning to their classrooms. This is often due to lack of availability of sufficient materials to implement the activities coupled with the insecurity of the teachers in either the content or skills involved in the activity after only having access to one workshop.

To counter the deterrents that often discourage students from entering well-paying STEM careers that offer a strong potential for career advancement, the volunteer program would mobilize a network of professionals from the energy, biomedical, healthcare and technology sectors to become involved in multiple ways to mentor students and advance STEM education in the greater New Orleans region.

Participating teachers will participate in pre and post tests in science content and skills to evaluate subject content gains during training. Teachers will be asked to have their students participate in pre and post testing to measure gains through increased use of inquiry processes and techniques.

How will you evaluate the work?
• Student progress will be charted through pre/post test in participating classrooms.
• State assessment data will be compared between participating and non-participating classrooms.
• Teachers will complete pre/post test to evaluate subject content improvement.

Two “Modeling” workshops were taught using the Modeling Method of Instruction, a robust pedagogy developed at Arizona State University to help teachers create student-centered, active-inquiry classrooms:

Modeling Physical Science (8th through 12th grade physical science or integrated physics & chemistry teachers) was offered in partnership with Tulane University and investigated Physical Properties of Matter, Atomic Model of Matter, and Forces as Interactions. The course was taught by a modeling instructor supported by a Tulane physics professor and a graduate student mentor, who will assist teachers in the Greater New Orleans area with implementation of the Modeling Method techniques and curriculum in their classrooms.

Modeling Chemistry (high school chemistry teachers) investigated the particulate nature of matter. Activities involve participants’ exploration of three fundamental questions about matter: How do we view matter?; How does it behave?; and What is the role of energy in the changes we observe?

At the elementary level, six independent workshops were offered and filled with activity-based curriculum resources to bring back to the classroom. They included the GEMS Mystery Festival, Sally Ride Science Academy, Jason Project, FIRST® LEGO® League (FLL) Robotics, Science Fair and Independent Research Projects, and WEDO Robotics workshop.

External Reviews



Greater New Orleans Stem Initiative Inc

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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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FREE: Gain immediate access to the following:

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  • Forms 990 for 2016, 2015 and 2014
  • A Pro report is also available for this organization.

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Board Leadership Practices

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SOURCE: Self-reported by organization


Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?

Not Applicable


Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?

Not Applicable


Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?

Not Applicable


Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?

Not Applicable


Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?

Not Applicable