In 2015 LAS launched its annual student-led Globe Day science fair, which expanded to include invited international and national secondary schools from around Switzerland. Based on NASA’s GLOBE Program, the conference extends broadly to citizen science at schools and also to STEM projects.
The first event, in March 2015, initiated the tradition of poster sessions by LAS students followed by keynote presentations by leading scientists. In 2015, the keynote was presented by Dr. Christophe Randin, a Swiss professor at the University of Lausanne and expert on our local mountain ecology and how it’s affected by climate change. The second event, in March 2016, featured Professor Wilfred Haeberli, a renowned glaciologist and climate scientist from the University of Zurich. Globe Day 2017 featured Dr. John Francis from National Geographic, Dr. Chris McOwen from United Nations Environment Program, and Dr. Jason Grant from the University of Neuchâtel. Read about them here. In 2018 we were delighted to welcome Mary Ford, director of education and citizen science for the National Geographic Society, and Margaret Gold, an all-purpose science dynamo at the Museum of Natural History in London who now works for the European Citizen Science Association. Read about them here.
In recent years we’ve been welcoming a half-dozen regional international schools who’ve brought over 60 students and teachers to share their work and be inspired by others. Won’t you be one of them? Please see our invitation letter here.
- Globe Days excite secondary students by engaging them in projects and then honoring their valuable work. Students carry out original science or investigate interesting topics and present their findings to a conference of their peers in a prestigious setting. Those interested in science not only feel like real scientists, they are real scientists, engaging in the full scientific process from conception to research and finally, to the presentation. The same principles apply to all the disciplines, from art to social studies and even after-school clubs. The prestige of the conference stimulates students and teachers alike to do their best work.
- Leading up to Globe Day are the projects themselves. Students are challenged to develop their own projects that are carried out prior to the conference. Globe Day encourages cooperation between schools in joint research and provides overall framework and guidance. But it is the informally competitive element of presenting their research in a full conference setting that drives students and schools to carry out their finest and most original work.
- The Globe Day conference features keynote speeches, workshops, and poster sessions. In addition to presenting their work, students engage with experts, train in scientific methods, and are coached by teachers and scientists. There are also fun activities, including skiing on the local mountain.
Looking for inspiration on the power of student conferences? Watch these two incredible short trailers: