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Director Message Carlos Mattei


Dear LEAP friends and community members,

One student told me that he loves being in the Fab-Lab because he can develop and learn new skills that are directly applicable to his community. In other words, our program is not just about the technology, it is about teaching our students the skills that will prepare them to be global citizens.

In view of this we have exposed our students to challenging design projects and provided them with cutting edge technology to develop local solutions to global problems. We have a committed and diverse group of teachers from a variety of backgrounds and content areas, such as Engineering, Science, Chemistry, Physics, Biology, Math, Latin American Studies, Industrial Art, Spanish and Business. Our teachers play a very crucial role in our mission to build global citizens. They are constantly finding new, creative and innovative ways to develop engaging projects with the students.

Furthermore, an exciting project that we started this year is the Urban Food Forest. An interdisciplinary team of LEAP and Rutgers students and staff with the leadership and support of Dr. Gloria Bonilla-Santiago, developed a proposal that earned $5,000 from the Rutgers–Newark School of Public Policy and Administration. This opened the door to start an Environmental Justice Club here at LEAP. The club will be in charge of engaging with our local community on best’s practices for urban farming, poverty alleviation and maintaining LEAP’s food forest. The students have been busy designing the planters, sowing the veggie seedlings and watering the plants. In fact, the kindergarten teachers have taken the lead and take turns watering the plants with the students every day.

Building global citizens is our vision and our projects and program pave the way for students and families to become global citizens. During the summer we jumpstarted our Gifted and Talented Enrichment Summer Program for LEAP students. This fun and exciting program gave our students the opportunity to collaboratively work on fun projects while learning science, arts, math, computer and Spanish concepts.

Our Fab-Lab is growing, this year we scaled the Fab-Lab through the district and now students are exposed to Project Based Learning (PBL) from an early age and through the LEAP pipeline. These are exciting and innovative times and I am happy to be part of the team that makes it happen. .

Carlos Mattei-Ramos
Director of the Fab-Lab LEAP Academy University Charter School