LAS students and teachers resources

Globe Day 2018 Invitation to Schools

Hello Science Department (other departments welcome, too!),                                    January 2018

The science department at Leysin American School invites you and your students to join us for our upcoming “Globe Day” student science conference on Friday, 16 March 2018, from 10:00 to 14:30.

GLOBE Day 2018 will be our fourth annual science conference, where students present posters of their projects and listen to short keynote speeches by scholars. Originally the conference was purely for LAS students. Last year we were joined by six international schools, bringing about 60 students and teachers, many of whom presented their own posters. This year we’re opening the conference to even more schools across Switzerland.

We call it “Globe Day” because the concept was originally inspired by NASA’s Global Learning and Observation to Benefit the Environment, a citizen science program that aims to put student collected data into the hands of scientists.

Our primary themes are citizen science by students, STEM in education (including IB science Internal Assessments), and big issues such as those addressed by the Global Issues Network. The one vital element for Globe Day is to give students the opportunity to actively participate in a 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 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. But it’s also just fine if you wish to bring students to observe this year and hopefully present next year.

Our keynote speakers this year are Mary Ford, director of education and citizen science at the National Geographic Society, and Margaret Gold, an all-purpose dynamo from the Natural History Museum in London. Read more about them here.

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. Also, posted a great article about Globe Day 2017, and an excellent podcast.

Finally, for teachers only, there is an overlapping multi-day Europe-wide COST Action workshop on citizen science in the classroom that you may wish to join. More info is here. Space is limited.

We very much hope you can join us for Globe Day 2018.


John Harlin
Director, Alpine Institute at LAS, +41 79 517 4983

Below is the schedule of events for Globe Day 2018 in Leysin, Switzerland.

Friday, 16 March 2018:

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 120 LAS students from 7th-12th grades will present posters. Participation means completing a project, designing a visual presentation showing that project (poster, video, slideshow, etc), and being able to talk one-on-one for 2-3 minutes about their work during the poster session. Participants will also watch the keynote speeches and attend the breakout sessions.

Here are our keynoters for 2018. Mary Ford is the director of education and citizen science at the National Geographic Society. Margaret Gold is a dynamo from the Natural History Museum in London.

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 2018 have not yet been chosen. We welcome suggestions for dynamic, engaging speakers who can talk informally to a young audience about issues, research, the environment, or especially about citizen science.

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 everyone has a chance to both present their project and listen to other students present. The poster session will take place in the school gym (see photo).

LUNCH (12:00 – 13:00)

Lunch will be provided by LAS in our school cafeteria. Menu includes 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 consist of smaller groups of students in classrooms (not the gym), and will run for 15-20 minutes, including time for questions and answers. 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 with a paragraph or two explaining their interests, preferably by February 1st (later applications will also be considered).   


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