The LAB Program is centered on four thematic principles: environmental science, project-based and place-based learning, student leadership, and cross-cultural navigation. Students form teams and conduct research on their project related to the LAB annual theme which is always tied to environmental science. Although structured as a competition, the program emphasises the scientific research and learning process and gives students the opportunity to showcase their projects and learn from one another. In this process, we connect students and teachers to their counterparts, encourage student-centered learning, and inspire students to take initiative in their learning and their community.
Through their research and LAB project, students take a hands-on approach to their education, learn more about problems in their community, and begin to see themselves as active agents in addressing and improving the situation. Teachers can use LAB as a means by which to bring student-centered, project-based, and place-based education into the classroom.
Every year, LAB has an annual theme, which all projects must be related to. Individual topics can be on an issue of local, national, or global scope, but the research and conclusions must be related to the theme. Project topics which are more specific can make the research process more manageable and allow for more in-depth understanding.
Our everyday actions affect nature. These actions can be positive, such as conservation efforts to help endangered animals, or negative, such as pollution or littering. But one of the biggest ways that we’ve affected nature, and that is now affecting us as well, is climate change. Climate change is a phenomenon that is affecting the entire world but in different ways. We cannot ignore this issue anymore. That’s why we’ve chosen this year’s annual theme to be “Changing Climate, Changing Planet.” Climate change is an urgent matter and to better understand it and prepare for it requires the attention of everyone – including you! Use your LAB project as an opportunity to see how climate change is affecting your community and you too can become part of the solution!
How do I participate?
3 Simple Requirements
There are two age divisions in the program: Junior (grades 4-8, approximately ages 10-14) and Senior (grades 9-12, approximately ages 15-18). To participate in LAB, a team must be guided by a mentor and may consist of 1 or 2 students. The same teacher can mentor multiple teams. Other specialists or parents can also assist with guidance and mentorship. For a step-by-step guide, please read our LAB Guide Book and LAB Rule Book.
To qualify for the Global LAB, all teams must participate in some form of a regional LAB. In some countries, we host LAB national rounds where teams must present their projects to a group of judges. If there is not a LAB national round in your country, you must submit a video of your student’s project presentation which LAB will review and provide feedback for. All LAB national rounds and video submissions will occur between April and May.