LAS students and teachers resources

GLOBE Day 2017 invitation to schools

Hello Science Department,

(UPDATE: Keynote speakers have been chosen.)

The science department at Leysin American School invites you and your students to join us for our upcoming “GLOBE Day” student science conference on Wednesday, 8 March 2017, from 10:00 to 14:30.

GLOBE Day 2017 will be our third annual science conference, where students present posters of their projects and listen to short keynote speeches by scholars. Until now the conference has been purely for LAS students. This March we’re inviting several international schools from western Switzerland. In the future we intend to open the conference to more schools across Switzerland, both private and public.

We call it “GLOBE Day” because the concept springs out of NASA’s Global Learning and Observation to Benefit the Environment program, a citizen science program that aims to put student collected environmental data into the hands of scientists.

But don’t let the name fool you. This conference is not exclusively GLOBE. The dual themes are citizen science by students (of which GLOBE is a prime example) and STEM in education (including IB science Internal Assessments). The vital element is to give students the opportunity to participate in a science conference with their peers. Attending the conference is itself a valuable experience, but so is the motivation this provides for students to conduct “independent” research and to distill this into a presentable science poster. “Independent” is in quotes because we’re not stringent. In-class projects are fine. The main thing is for students to present their own work, which is a skill that will serve them inside and outside of science.

If you’d like to learn more about the educational value of student presentations, you might watch the 2-minute trailer to the Most Likely To Succeed Film. You can learn more about GLOBE Day on our website.

We’d greatly appreciate a quick indication of your level of interest. If you are indeed interested, when could you commit?

We very much hope you can join the 2017 GLOBE Day, thereby helping to launch what we expect will become a long-running tradition that will benefit all of our students.


John Harlin
Alpine Institute at LAS

Here is the schedule of events for GLOBE Day 2017 in Leysin, Switzerland.

Wednesday, March 8th 2017:

09:30 – 10:00 Breakfast (optional for visiting schools)
10:00 – 10:30 Set-up in the gym of the Savoy Campus
10:30 – 10:35 Welcome from John Harlin, Director, LAS Alpine Institute
10:35 – 10:55 Keynote Speech #1
11:00 – 12:00 Poster presentations
12:00 – 13:00 Lunch
13:00 – 13:50 Breakout sessions
14:00 – 14:30 Keynote Speech #2 and closing remarks

Approximately 60 LAS students from 7th-12th grades will give presentations; more will come to watch and listen. Participation means completing a project, designing a visual presentation showing that project (poster, video, slideshow, etc), and giving a brief 2-3 minute presentation during the poster session. Participants will also watch the keynote speeches and attend the breakout sessions.

BREAKFAST (9:30 – 10:00)

Breakfast will be provided in the school cafeteria. This is optional for visiting schools.

SET-UP TIME (10:00 – 10:30)

Students will hang their posters and complete any set-up of physical props. Video screens and tables will be made available upon request. Please make all requests by March 1st to .

KEYNOTE SPEECH #1 (10:30 – 10:50)

Keynote speakers will address the conference themes of citizen science and STEM in education. Speakers in the past have discussed topics such as glacier science, high mountain ecology, and grassroots development of citizen science projects. Speakers for GLOBE Day 2017 are listed here.

POSTER SESSION (10:50 – 12:00)

During this time students will alternate between standing next to their projects giving brief, 2-3 minute talks and circulating around the room and listening to talks. Groups will be divided up so that all groups have a chance to both present their project and listen to other students present. The poster session will take place in the school gym.

LUNCH (12:00 – 13:00)

Lunch will be provided by LAS in our school cafeteria. The menu will include vegetarian options.

BREAKOUT SESSION (13:00- 13:50)

Students who are especially motivated and want to present longer than 2-3 minutes have the opportunity to apply to host a “breakout session.” These sessions will consist of smaller groups of students, will likely happen in classrooms (not the gym), and will run for 15-20 minutes, including time for question and answer. Students chosen to give breakout sessions will present twice. ALL participating students will attend two breakout sessions. Students who wish to apply to host a breakout session must send an email to j with a paragraph or two explaining their interests by no later than March 1st.


Keynote speakers will address the conference themes of citizen science and STEM in education, as explained in Keynote #1, above.

RECEPTION (14:30 – 15:30)

Schools are invited to stay to discuss this year’s GLOBE Day and early plans for GLOBE Day 2018.

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