Project takes “agents of change” beyond the classroom

Local News

Caddo Parish students discuss what it means to be an agent of change.

“Agents of Change” was this year’s theme for students research projects they got to present to the community.

The R.W. Norton Art Gallery hosts the 7th annual Gayarre Conference on Wednesday. 

75 students were selected from local high schools including C.E. Byrd, Captain Shreve, Caddo Magnet, North Caddo and Loyola to present their original academic research. Students could pick anyone from European history who were “agents of change” in their time. The organizer said it takes learning beyond the classroom and turns students into the professor.

“That way their research doesn’t just go into a teacher’s filling cabinet but gets the chance to actually discuss intellectual discussions among the students,” said John Lary, C.E. Byrd High School History teacher.

Students worked on their projects for more than a month then present to panels and answer questions. The projects spanned a wide area of interests. From Queen’s Freddy Mercury role in the Aids epidemic. To Johannes Kepler who revolutionized science with his laws of planetary motion.

“I learned that although the Copernican theory was disrespected by the church and therefore throughout the entire population, that did not discourage him for researching it further and going ahead and putting forth his ideas,” said Amiyah Frierson, Caddo Magnet High School senior.

Chondra Fain choose the woman who revolutionized nursing, Florence Nightingale. 

“She started to pioneer to make women in nursing a respected field,” said Chondra Fain, Caddo Magnet High School senior.

Isabelle Foisy said she’s hard of hearing so she choose the person who created the first school for the Deaf. 

“My agent of change was Charles-Michel de L’Epée. He founded the first school for the Deaf in Europe,” said Isabelle Foisy, Caddo Magnet High School senior.

More 150 guests came to listen to the young academics. This year’s conference went beyond History and also included Science and Math subjects.

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