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At LEAP, nearly 300 Mount Holyoke students present about their internships and research experiences. You will hear from future policy makers, activists, entrepeneurs, data scientists, teachers, researchers, and market analysts. Most will tell stories of unmitigated success and transformative learning. Others will share details of unexpected challenges they faced, and how they were required to shift and adapt in response. Students worked in 42 countries in every imaginable field. They will discuss important issues of social justice, relate how they met challenges of communication and expression in new contexts, and talk about how to find and succeed in summer internships.

LEAP is designed to give students who aspire to undertake internships and summer research the opportunity to learn from their peers. It is also for the whole Mount Holyoke community where family, friends, faculty, staff and our alumnae come together to celebrate the work and contributions of the presenters.

We are hugely impressed by students in College 211 and inspired by their individual success and collective learning. Their work in bringing the LEAP Symposium to fruition was exceptional. We thank the faculty, staff, alumnae, donors, and internship and research providers whose contributions have make this event possible.

LEAP presenters: Congratulations.
avatar for Aizpea

Aizpea

Psychology Major
Thinking Critically with Preschool Children
Over the course of this summer I worked in the preschool classroom at Gorse Children’s Center, a private research-based school. I taught alongside two other preschool teachers who worked together to create a stimulating and individualized classroom curriculum for children three to five years of age. My work involved building personal connections with students and creating an educational environment that felt safe, fun and engaging. Introducing my own projects into the classroom was part of my role as a preschool teacher. I focused on observing how children in the classroom thought about gender roles and stereotypes and how they engaged with these ideas through play and discussion with their classmates. I engaged with students in conversations about these topics by introducing children’s books that addressed these issues and activities that helped continue discussions about these topics. These books addressed themes such as gender stereotypes, discrimination, and diverse families in ways that were applicable and easily understandable to preschool children. In engaging with students through books and activities, children began to question their assumptions and have thoughtful conversations with each other and their teachers. This experience taught me how valuable and necessary it is to engage children in critical thinking with issues that not only impact their lives but the lives of others as well.