The science of creativity: some Baton Rouge students have an advantage Staff. March 20, 2020.

Children really are amazing. If properly nurtured, what begins as a natural talent or curiosity can grow into a life’s calling. Young minds are hungry to find out why and how, and forward-thinking educators are providing these voracious appetites with a feast of knowledge and experience-based classes. In Baton Rouge, thanks to the Magnet Schools Assistance Program (MSAP) Grant awarded in 2017, the East Baton Rouge Parish School System implemented four magnet programs designed to ignite the flames of curiosity. These innovative schools are all concentrated in the North Sherwood Forest area with creative sciences and arts themes, including engineering, animation and coding, entertainment technology, and virtual reality instruction (VRI), with an overall focus on renewable energy.

For the singers, the gamers and the technologically inquisitive, these specialized magnet programs foster creativity while providing a foundation in the future of digital media. In elementary school, students can actively participate in a performance choir, take digital music classes and engage in hands-on learning in a professional recording studio. This highly specialized digital access encourages them to dig deeper than just belting their favorite songs in the living room by engineering, and producing them; and, instead of playing video games nonstop, students are writing codes and creating them.

In middle school, Park Forest uses the principles of creative three-dimensional (3D) animation and engineering to teach students the basic theory of design and explore animation and its use in designing objects. Belaire High School students advance further in the Entertainment Technology Program, learning about media production and the constructs of the music, film and video game industries.

Young tinkerers, scientists and mathematicians are finding their spark at Park Forest and Villa del Rey Elementary—then upgrading their expertise at Park Forest Middle where they learn about animation, robotics, coding, entertainment technology, and renewable energy. By the time they enter school at  , young scientists become actively involved in activities that range from basic research to program integration. Belaire’s engineering program provides students with a better understanding of mathematics, emphasizing rational and critical thinking skills and challenging students to apply scientific principles to find practical solutions to technical problems.

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