Where Learning Happens: Highlights from the 2010 Annual Report

The Science of Life. The LASER initiative enables schools to nurture and sustain children’s innate passion for inquiry. Beginning with school-specific plans that bring teachers together in professional learning communitites, LASER provides a platform for engaging students. In under-resourced classrooms, students may get a chance to try simple experiments using a prism, scales or a compass for the first time, or take a field trip to meet scientists at work in their own communities. LASER adapts to learning styles, helps students become better problem solvers, opens their eyes to careers in science, and draws a bright line between scientific principles and real-world phenomena. “LASER nurtures in students a wonderful relationship with the world around them,” says Kristin Bedell, a teacher at Efland Creek Elementary School in North Carolina. “It gives teachers in our district a common language to focus on building capacity and creating better futures for our children.”

Posted: 3 October 2011
About the Author:

Alex di Giovanni has been editing The Torch since August 2006. Prior to joining the Smithsonian, she worked as a writer and editor for the National Geographic Society, Plexus Scientific, The Nature Conservancy, The National Foreign Language Center and St. Martin’s Press, among others. She has the best job in the world.