Mini-LASR Projects

At The White Mountain School, students develop the ability to ask great questions and follow those questions with rigor and creativity.  Our LASR Project — a semester-long inquiry project — is a major example of this.  To prepare for this type of work, students often engage in “mini-LASR” projects.  These projects allow students to follow their own curiosity, while also developing the skills and habits that correlate with success at college (see the Essential Skills and Habits).

Every student completes mini-LASR projects in science, history and English classes each year. They learn to how turn their curiosity into researchable questions, access relevant resources to explore their question and develop their critical thinking skills as they analyze data and information. They also develop their communication skills as they develop reports or presentations.

Science teachers Gabe Boisseau and Nathaniel Goss led students through a mini-LASR project earlier this year in their freshman biology class. Below are just a few of the topics students studied.

Algal Oil Production

The Artistic Brain

Human Homeostasis and Extreme Temperature Changes

The Big Bang and Carbon Cycling

The Placebo Effect

Uses of Embryonic Stem Cells

Mycorrhizal Networks

Artificial vs. Natural Snow Formation and the Effect on Small Mammals

“Education has become about creating knowledge. Asking the right questions has become critical. Some students have an idea and we work together to explore and expand that idea. The mini-LASR serves as a way to practice the art of asking the right questions everyday in class,” says Sara Kelley-Mudie, Director of Student Inquiry & Research.

To hear more about the importance of inquiry, we recommend podcasts from the TED Radio Hour. Just last month they had an episode entitled The Spirit of Inquiry. It is well worth a listen!

Read more about our LASR program and our inquiry-driven curriculum on our website.

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