Louisiana Tech to serve as state’s only site for 2019 STEM apprenticeship program

The Research & Engineering Apprenticeship Program (REAP) is a science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) summer program that allows high school students to enjoy a research apprenticeship in a STEM field at area colleges and universities.

Louisiana Tech has been approved as the state’s only REAP site in 2019.

Offered through the Army Educational Outreach Program (AEOP) — a program founded to develop and implement STEM experiences and programming — REAP targets groups historically underserved in STEM. This is why students must meet two of the following requirements to be eligible:

  • attend a rural, frontier, or other targeted outreach school;
  • be female with a study focus on certain STEM fields such as physical science, computer science, math, or engineering;
  • be a minority that is historically under-represented in STEM (Alaskan Native, Native American, African American, Hispanic, Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander);
  • qualify for free or reduced lunches, be an English as a Second Language student, or be a first-generation college student.

Through the eight-week program, students will work with a scientist or engineer conducting research and receive a $1,500 stipend for their work. The goal is for the student apprentices to gain both confidence in their abilities as researchers and exposure to STEM career opportunities. At the end of the program, students will present their research to their peers. 

Throughout his teaching career, Tech REAP Director and UTeachTech Master Teacher Chris Campbell has worked to find opportunities for students to do challenging hands-on activities and research, whether that was through the International Science and Engineering Fair, Science Olympiad, or educational field trips. Campbell hopes that this encouraging opportunity through REAP will inspire high school students to pursue studies in STEM disciplines in higher education and become leaders in the field as a result of this internship experience.

“It is a privilege and honor to host Louisiana’s only REAP summer STEM program here beginning in June,” Campbell said. 

Tech will host the student researchers from June 10 to Aug. 9. The students will focus their studies in biomedical engineering and chemical engineering. College of Engineering and Science faculty Dr. Mark DeCoster, Dr. Bryant Hollins, and Dr. Joan Lynam will guide the student work and mentor the REAP student researchers.

High school students have until Feb. 28 to submit an application, available at www.usaeop.com/program/reap/. In May, students, mentors, and lab coordinators will receive their welcome letters and placements for the apprenticeships