Since 2009, the Climate Leadership and Energy Awareness Program (Climate LEAP) has engaged 168 rising 9th-12th grade students from Durham and Orange counties. During this program students engage with scientists and educators and conduct hands-on and minds-on science and mathematics activities to examine the interconnected topics of climate and energy as well as the current and emerging solutions designed to promote a sustainable future. The program is administered in conjunction with the Morehead Planetarium and Science Center (MPSC) with support from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund. Climate LEAP is conducted in partnership with the Alliance for Climate Education and the UNC Department of Physics and Astronomy.
The goals of Climate LEAP are to:
- Increase student competence in science and mathematics by examining the interconnected topics of climate and energy;
- Increase student enthusiasm for science and mathematics by showing how the above topics are relevant to their daily lives;
- Increase student interest in science careers by highlighting the diversity of career opportunities and emphasizing emerging science and technology careers; and,
- Provide an opportunity for students to communicate their scientific knowledge to others through completion of community outreach project.
Students participate in a free one-week, non-residential Summer Institute on the campus of UNC-Chapel Hill and at least four academic year follow-up activities to be held on Saturdays and during teacher workdays or early release days. In addition, students are invited to conduct a community outreach project to develop their leadership and science communication skills.
Dana Haine, Program Director
Chapel Hill, NC 27599