Application season is under way at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts.

Opportunities for students include half-day and after-school arts classes or full-day arts and academics instruction.

For the half-day and after-school programs, accepted high school students attend NOCCA either at 1:15 p.m. or 4 p.m. during the school year while receiving elective credit for their coursework.

These programs are audition-based, tuition-free intensive arts training sessions in arts disciplines including: classical instrumental music, culinary arts, creative writing, dance, drama, media arts: filmmaking and audio production, musical theater, jazz instrumental music, theater design, visual arts and vocal music.

Middle school students (grades six and seven) are eligible to apply for after-school classes in classical instrumental, dance, drama, musical theater or vocal music.

To apply, download and complete a NOCCA Arts Application, available at Students who mail in a completed application by Jan. 25 will be scheduled for an audition in the spring.

The Academic Studio is NOCCA’s full-day high school option for students — one that includes not only training in the arts, but also college and TOPS-preparatory study in the academic subjects of English, foreign language, math, science and history.

This program relies on the same rigorous, highly individualized and personalized approach to learning that lies at the heart of NOCCA’s arts training program.

Prospective students must successfully complete an application, available online, by Jan. 25. Because NOCCA expects more students to apply for the Academic Studio than there are spots available, qualified participants will be selected via lottery. Students in eighth grade are eligible to apply.

DuPont offers essay contest

The DuPont Challenge essay contest calls for middle and high school students to research and propose solutions to global concerns using science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Submit original essays of 700 to 1,000 words online at by Jan. 31. The website also includes official rules, an entry form and details on awards.

Eight winners will be selected with essays judged in two divisions — Junior Division (grades seven, eight and nine) and Senior Division (grades 10, 11 and 12) — and divisional winners chosen from each of four essay categories:

  • Together, we can feed the world.
  • Together, we can build a secure energy future.
  • Together, we can protect people and the environment.
  • Together, we can be innovative anywhere.

Out of those eight winners, a grand prize winner, first runner-up and two finalists will be chosen for each division.

The grand prize winners receive a $5,000 U.S. Savings Bond, and the first runners-up receive a $3,000 U.S. Savings Bond.

The four finalists each receive a $1,000 U.S. Savings Bond. Honorable mentions in both divisions each receive a $200 U.S. Savings Bond.

All winners receive digital reference materials and apps from Britannica Digital Learning and the NBC Learn Science Collection for both their personal use and for their schools.

In addition, the grand prize winner and first runner-up from each division receive an expenses-paid Awards Trip to The Walt Disney World Resort and Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Sponsoring teachers of all eight winners also receive an expenses-paid trip to the 2014 NSTA National Conference as well as teaching grants.

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