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Louisiana Preparatory Program (La Prep): A Highly Successful Engineering And Science Enrichment Program For Grades 7 9

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2000 Annual Conference


St. Louis, Missouri

Publication Date

June 18, 2000

Start Date

June 18, 2000

End Date

June 21, 2000



Page Count


Page Numbers

5.437.1 - 5.437.4

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Paper Authors

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Carlos G. Spaht

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 2686

Louisiana Preparatory Program (LaPREP): A Highly successful Engineering and Science Enrichment Program for Grades 7-9 Carlos G. Spaht II Louisiana State University-Shreveport


Louisiana Preparatory Program (LaPREP) is an intervention program in engineering and the mathematical sciences for high-ability middle school students that is held on the LSU-Shreveport campus over two consecutive summers. Its ninth summer session will begin in 2000. Eighty percent of the participants have been minority students and sixty percent have been female.

LaPREP stresses hard work and discipline; students must maintain a 75+ average to stay in the program. Activities include course work in engineering and the mathematical sciences. Lab experience, including “hands-on” research activities, introduces engineering, math, and science as active and participatory processes.

The program has been very successful in identifying high-ability middle school students and encouraging and educating them. Evaluations contributed by the participants, their parents, and by local and state officials who have visited LaPREP have been very high. No current or former participant has dropped out of high school and 84% of exiting participants have indicated that LaPREP has increased their desire to study math and science. Moreover, all 55 former participants who are eligible have enrolled in college and more than 90% of those responding to a survey indicated they were majoring in math or science. This is considerably different from the survey taken from these same students when they entered LaPREP where only 53% of them indicated an interest in attending college and majoring in math or science.

LaPREP has received local, regional and national attention. It has received awards from the Shreveport City Council, the Mathematical Association of America and the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Foundation for it’s contribution to mathematics and science and to the youth in Louisiana. Also within the past three years, it’s program director has won several awards, all due in part to his work with LaPREP. They include the Carnegie Foundation’s award as the Louisiana Professor the Year, the Mathematical Association of America’s award for the Louisiana/Mississippi college math teacher of the year and the Jefferson Award for service activities benefiting local communities.

Part of the reason for LaPREP’s success is because it is a good program with good course content and excellent instructors. However, it also does an excellent job of advertising its product. The program and marketing strategy will be discussed in this paper.

Spaht, C. G. (2000, June), Louisiana Preparatory Program (La Prep): A Highly Successful Engineering And Science Enrichment Program For Grades 7 9 Paper presented at 2000 Annual Conference, St. Louis, Missouri.

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