About STEM Library Lab
“SLL affords me the opportunity to create a rich, hands-on learning environment for my students… where they can construct and manipulate materials to make sense of their world.” – Kelly Davidson, Phyllis Wheatly Community School
STEM Library Lab fosters academic success by providing teachers and students with access to equipment and support for high-quality active learning.
Every child has the opportunity to discover their passion for STEM and pursue a brighter future.
STEM Library Lab was founded in 2016 by Todd Wackerman:
I spent 6 years teaching high school physics and algebra in New Orleans and Brooklyn, and during that time, access to equipment was among my greatest challenges. My second year, I prepared an acceleration lab for physics using a series of rain gutters, stopwatches, and baseballs. While students were engaged, our results were unusable due to the imprecision of the tools. The correct tool was an electronic motion sensor and dynamics kit, but a class set costs over $3,000. The company was kind enough to sell me a single old floor model at discount, and my students were able to experience at least a demo of the concept. This experience in particular set me on the path to imagine and eventually create STEM Library Lab, as a way to provide this resource for teachers and students and to bring active learning opportunities to life in our public school classrooms.
When I left the classroom in June 2016, I reconnected with an old friend, Sarah Cosse, who had been working in nonprofit management for the past few years and was eager to take on a new challenge. Together, we co-founded STEM Library Lab, and aside from disagreements on the correct number of spaces at the end of a sentence, the rest was history. Well, history still in the making, hopefully with your help along the way!
Team & Board of Directors
Todd Wackerman and Sarah Cosse manage the day to day operations of STEM Library Lab. Learn about the STEM team, and meet the STEM Library Lab board of directors.
Todd Wackerman- Executive Director
Todd Wackerman is the founder and director of STEM Library Lab, a local equipment share resource center in New Orleans. He taught Physics and a variety of other STEM subjects at public schools in New Orleans and Brooklyn from 2010-2016.
Todd received his MBA from Tulane’s Freeman School of Business, an MAT in Science Education from the University of New Orleans, and his from BA from Boston College in Political Science and History,. He feels most comfortable when surrounded by books or trees. He once finished 11th to last in the Boston Marathon. Prior to teaching, he worked as a program manager and project coordinator for corporate volunteerism at two nonprofits, and has extensive volunteer experience with local nonprofits including Crescent City Farmers’ Market and Youth Run NOLA.
Todd has worked in various roles in schools and universities all across the country, including California, Massachusetts, Louisiana and New York. Building from those experiences, he is excited to be founding STEM Library Lab and helping teachers to improve the quality of their classroom experiences.
Kathy Gauthier- Operations and Fund Raising Coordinator
Kathy Gauthier, AmeriCorps VISTA – Operations and Fundraising Coordinator – Kathy brings extensive training and development experience to the STEM Library Lab (SLL) with an MBA from Averett University in Danville VA and a BSE in Human Performance and Health Promotion from the University of New Orleans. Kathy has a broad background in customer service experience in multiple industries – education, production, incoming call center and product fulfillment. Kathy returns to New Orleans after 20 years in Virginia to accept the AmeriCorps VISTA position with Tulane Center for Public Service serving the SLL. Kathy is a retired Paramedic having served the metropolitan New Orleans area as a practitioner and Operations Manager before moving to Virginia. Save
Librarian - Is This You?
Science Librarian & School Outreach Coordinator (AmeriCorps) Is this You?
Start Date: September 30, 2019
Application Deadline: September 27, 2019 Salary: $12,000 – $12,000, Salary set by AmeriCorps
STEM Library Lab, in partnership with Notre Dame Mission Volunteers, https://www.ndmva.org, seeks an energetic and creative new team member to help us grow our organization as AmeriCorps’ Librarian & School Outreach Coordinator.
About STEM Library Lab
Founded in 2016, STEM Library Lab is a nonprofit equipment lending library that fosters academic success by providing teachers and students with access to equipment and support for high-quality active learning. STEM Library Lab’s mission is to foster academic success by providing teachers and students with access to equipment and support for high-quality active learning. Last school year, we worked with 16 school partners to implement over 340 new hands-on lessons for more than 4,600 preK-12 students.
Serving with STEM Library Lab will give you an opportunity to be a part of a small, passionate team that values open communication, new ideas, and the ambitious pursuit of educational equity. Since this will be our second full year of operations, you will learn how to launch and grow a nonprofit and have a direct impact on how we develop. Together, we can make sure every child has the opportunity to discover their passion for STEM and pursue a brighter future.
AmeriCorps is full time national service program that enables you to provide direct service to strengthen your community. Over the course of your 11 month term, you will participate in valuable skills building and professional development opportunities that prepare you for your next career steps, while making a real impact in the lives of New Orleans students. In exchange for your service, you will receive a living allowance of $1,150 per month, free limited benefits including health insurance, and an education award of $5,815. https://www.nationalservice.gov/programs/americorps
AmeriCorps Librarian & School Outreach Coordinator
The AmeriCorps Librarian & School Outreach Coordinator will be responsible for coordinating and staffing the day–to–day operations of our equipment lending service. They will work with teachers and school staff, as well as community members, to ensure that member schools have access to, and support for, our service offerings.
Primary responsibilities include:
1. Library Management
Overseeing and maintaining a physical library and online inventory of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) equipment and resources used by local teachers;
Managing check out/in process for equipment orders by pulling/restocking equipment from storage, packaging it for transport/assessing condition, identifying associated safety or usage trainings, and meeting with teacher for pick up;
Performing cleaning and maintenance as needed to keep equipment in good working order;
2. Teacher Outreach
Leading on-site school orientations and training new member teachers in how to access the resources available to them;
Planning and executing support programming including Communities of Practice and Office Hours with Experts;
Assisting teachers in the library to find appropriate equipment or develop lessons that meet the needs of their curriculum/standards;
(Possibly) Piloting STEM Library Lab on Wheels our delivery/support service to bring teachers materials and conduct site visits to member schools to orient, train, and assist individual and small groups of teachers in using SLL’s services;
Assisting with the implementation of special projects and events.
Strong passion for STEM Library Lab’s mission and educational equity;
Ability to work with diverse sets of educators, students, and community stakeholders;
Desire to work in a small, startup environment that will require self-motivation and flexibility;
BS/BA is required, 1+ years experience in a school setting is preferred;
Strong oral/written communication and interpersonal skills, including ability to maintain effective and professional work relationships;
Strong management and organizational skills, in particular time management and multi-tasking;
Proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite, especially Word and Excel;
Access to reliable transportation is required as candidate will occasionally transport and deliver equipment to schools;
Ability to lift 50 pounds and perform some strenuous work, such as moving boxes and restocking shelves, required.
Interested candidates should email a cover letter, resume, and three academic or professional references to firstname.lastname@example.org
Sarah Cosse- Board Chair
The founding board chair of SLL, Sarah Cosse brings a wealth of experience in non-profit administration and organizational expansion. With more than a decade of experience in the non-profit sector, Sarah has provided leadership in human resources, federal grant administration, fundraising, and project and financial management. Sarah has worked for both grassroots non-profits, as well as larger entities, including The National WWII Museum, SBP (formerly St Bernard Project), HandsOn New Orleans, and the University of Virginia. Sarah holds a BA from the University of Virginia and is a Board Member for the Tulane / Canal Neighborhood Development Corporation in addition to her role with SLL.
Keith Crawford- Board Treasurer
Keith Crawford – Loftin Group Keith founded the Loftin Group, LLC, a managerial consulting practice focusing on financial management, capital management, and strategic planning for start-up and growth businesses. Keith has also held numerous financial management roles including CFO of the Idea Village and many financial management roles within Eli Lilly and Company in Indianapolis, Indiana ranging from controllership roles in the Company’s R&D function to management consulting roles within the Company’s Internal Audit organization. Keith is also a Co-founder of an education technology startup company focusing on the distribution of course content in higher education. As SLL’s board treasurer, Keith reviews financials to ensure that accounting and money management are all in order.
Karianne Chassee -Board Member
Kendall McManus- Board Member
McManus-Thomas is the Assistant Principal of 12TH grade at Warren Easton Charter High School in New Orleans, Louisiana. Mr. McManus-Thomas received his Masters of Arts in Educational Leadership and Bachelors of Science in Chemistry Education from Xavier University of Louisiana. He is a certified Chemistry teacher and Educational Leader (Principal). He obtained his certification in Education Finance at Georgetown University.
Prior to his appointment as Assistant Principal, Mr. McManus-Thomas served as the Dean of Academics at Warren Easton. In his capacity as Dean of Academics, he restructured and facilitated Professional Learning Communities focused on literacy, developed a schoolwide ACT preparation and data tracking system, and co-coordinated a master schedule with common planning periods for departments. In the summer of 2017, Mr. McManus-Thomas co-presented at the Model Schools Conference in Nashville, Tennessee on Creating and Sustaining a Positive School Culture and Climate.
Mr. McManus-Thomas also completed the Leading Educators program, with a focus on literacy and math content development. In addition, Kendall completed the Inaugural Senior Leadership Cohort with the Alliance for Diversity & Excellence. He was formerly the Head Track & Field Coach, Head Cross Country Coach, 11TH Grade Team Leader and the Science Department Chairperson. Mr. McManus-Thomas began his career teaching Chemistry I, Advanced Placement Chemistry II, and Physical Science. He also served as the Director of the ChemStar and SOAR1 programs at Xavier University of Louisiana. He’s a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.
Cobren Greer- Board Secretary
Educator/ Livingston Collegiate High School / New Orleans, LA
Cobren is a proud alumna of Wellesley College. During her time in Massachusetts, she worked with MIT’s MOSTEC science program and became passionate about helping students pursue careers in the STEM fields. Cobren utilized resources from the STEM Library Lab (SLL) in her own classroom and understands firsthand the impact SLL has made in increasing the quality of STEM instruction in New Orleans classrooms. She is dedicated to ensuring that all students have access to an excellent education in high school and beyond. Cobren taught science for five years and is currently teaching a college success course to juniors at Livingston Collegiate.
Tulane University’s A. B. Freeman School of Business has named the six student teams that will face off in the qualifying round of the 2018 Tulane Business Model Competition…read more
Helping Teachers to Help Students: STEM Library Lab provides a resource share facility for science equipment and planning resources for teachers to enable inquiry-based hands-on learning and improve STEM outcomes throughout New Orleans classrooms.read more
STEM Library Lab is a professional center for educators with the intended goal of closing the STEM opportunity gap in New Orleans public schools by increasing access to physical equipment, training, and lesson planning resources for teachers.read more
STEM Library Lab
3121 St. Bernard Avenue
New Orleans, LA 70119
Monday-Thursday 4:00 p.m. -7:00 p.m.
Friday 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
By appointment during the school day