Why the name change?
When National Lab Day began, the concept was to pick one day a year to facilitate and promote hands-on learning across our nation’s classrooms. To do so, we created a website designed to connect teachers with professionals and other hands-on related resources in order to make the day as successful as possible.
It quickly became clear that this website had much more potential than supporting one day of year. Rather, it should and could be used as a tool to provide teachers with connections to STEM professionals, local events, and other resources everyday of the year. We began encouraging teachers to take advantage of the amazing resources our program provides on a regular basis, as well as motivating STEM professionals to find ways to give back to their communities through volunteer opportunities relevant to their area of expertise.
Despite all of the wonderful STEM-related activity our website was generating, our name did not convey the value of our website becoming a network of people who are determined and excited to facilitate and support the hands-on learning experience of students across the country. We therefore chose to officially adopt the name National Lab Network. We plan to continue to hold a National Lab Day each year to celebrate the groundswell of participation and the incredible impact our expanding network has on K-12 education. This way, our name can now accurately reflect what we do and the growing community of people involved.
What is a lab?
It's a place where you can explore, experiment, test, and maybe even get your hands dirty. We're not
just talking about test tubes and beakers. A lab could be a laptop to a software designer, a mountaintop to a
geologist, a computer link to a distant particle accelerator to a physicist, or a factory floor to an industrial
engineer. It's a place where hands-on lessons in science and engineering and technology can be designed to
where math can come alive, and it could be anywhere in the physical or virtual world.
What will teachers do?
Teachers are the heart of the National Lab Network effort! You are the experts on your students and
your classrooms. Whether it's additional lab equipment, personal mentoring from a scientist, tech support, or
extra set of hands for a class project, you know how to improve your students' hands on learning experiences. We
asking you to work with local volunteers to meet the needs you identify.
What will volunteers do? Volunteers are critical to the success of National Lab Network! As a university student or
professional in science, technology, engineering, or math we need your help. We are asking you to work with your
elementary, middle, and high schools to help them do more project-based learning with their students.
What kinds of things might they need?
You might install software or identify useful Web resources, fix and find
equipment, implement hands-on projects, help with science fairs, chaperone field trips, help with lesson
and be an advisor for an after-school program. Connect with your teachers through this site and find out!
How can my organization help promote NLN?
- Organizations can reach out to their employees and/or supporters. For a template letter for your organization feel free to contact us.
- Sign up your organization on NLN and optimize your MYNLN page. From here you can create events, post videos and comments, upload resources, support projects and more! for an example of a MYNLN page please Click Here.
- Create a link on your organizations web page supporting NLN. For and example please see IBM's Try Science.
- Organizations can also browse our community tab and reach out to scientist, teachers and volunteers to help stimulate NLN activity in their area.
Documents and Materials