Louisiana Engineering Advancement Program (LEAP)
Founded in 1979, the Louisiana Engineering Advancement Program (LEAP) is a pre-college program with the objective of attracting ethnic minority students and assisting them in the preparation for careers in engineering. LEAP has been firmly entrenched in almost 30 middle, junior high and high schools in the New Orleans metropolitan area thanks to support from the Xavier University of Louisiana Dual Degree Engineering Program, contributions from the corporate community and non-profit professional organizations.
The wide array of programs and activities sponsored or provided by LEAP has assisted a large number of students to make decisions regarding their selection of a course of study in college. More than 8000 students have been involved in LEAP activities with over 80% entering college. Of those students entering college, over 60% chose engineering or other mathematics- and science-based curricula.
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EVENTS & PROGRAMS
Sponsorship of LEAP Clubs at local middle and high schools, educational summer program, Engineering Olympics competitions.
Teachers: to start a LEAP club, contact the LEAP director at firstname.lastname@example.org
LEAP Club Assistance Fund
The LEAP Club Assistance Fund is designed to meet the individual needs of a diverse LEAP student population in order to generate and retain students’ interest in engineering. The LEAP Club of each school is eligible to receive funds, which must be used to supplement club activities that generate an interest in, or are related to engineering. This includes, but is not limited to, purchasing computer software, supplies necessary to complete specific LEAP Club projects or activities, or student entry fees in other engineering or science-based competitions.
Each school’s club is eligible to receive a minimum of $300. A LEAP club can receive a maximum of $1100 per school year depending upon the amount of a sponsor’s stipend that is directed towards a school’s LEAP Club Assistance Fund.
Each LEAP club is required to take at least two field trips per school year in order to expose students to engineering. These trips include visits to corporations, industrial sites, and universities. The mandatory field trips are in addition to any other activities sponsored by LEAP. Transportation and student insurance costs are paid by LEAP.
Monthly Sponsors Meetings
Each month, LEAP Sponsors meet to discuss important issues relating to LEAP and receive information concerning LEAP sponsored events. In addition, Sponsors receive information on other events and scholarship opportunities that promote an interest in engineering and report on activities being conducted during their club meetings.
For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST)
LEAP schools participate every year in the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) LEGO® League Louisiana Tournament. LEAP partnered with the engineering departments from Tulane University, the University of New Orleans and Xavier University along with other professional organizations and corporations to conduct this statewide event.
With the help of LEGO® MINDSTORMS™ Robotics Invention System™ technology, students build a robot and compete in a friendly, robotics event specially designed for students 9 to 14 years of age. Using LEGO bricks and other elements such as sensors, motors, and gears, teams gain hands-on experience in engineering and computer programming principles as they construct and program their unique robot inventions. LEAP covers all start-up costs associated with clubs electing to participate in this event.
The LEAP Engineering Olympics is designed to introduce students to engineering through competitive team events and exercises. Each participating school is encouraged to select a team of students who would compete in at least one of the three events.
BP STEM Summer Institute: LEAP/Unite Summer Scholars Program (SSP)
The program is a competitive and intensive four-week honors program for students who are entering the ninth, tenth, and eleventh grades in the fall. Students must currently be in the eighth, ninth, or tenth grade and have a minimum 2.30 grade point average. The program is designed to improve the analytical reasoning and vocabulary skills of the students who are considering careers in engineering, mathematics and the sciences. This program is a vital piece of the overall plan to promote STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education in the state of Louisiana. In addition, the LEAP/UNITE Summer Scholars Program will incorporate field trips to further enhance the students' experience and introduction to the field of technology.
For more information regarding the LEAP/Unite SSP click here.