Academics » LASR Program

LASR Program

Leadership, Arts, Service, and Research

At The White Mountain School, all students complete an independent project through our LASR Program. The general categories of Leadership, Arts, Service, and Research demonstrate the range of projects that students choose to undertake. This program is our way of emphasizing that curiosity and student interests matter and that we know every student has a spark that we want to help kindle, a fire we want to help focus. Let us be clear: we find it trite to ask students to “pursue their passion”—since many have not yet “found it” or may have many passions—but we find it absolutely meaningful to help students learn to engage in work passionately, which they do through the LASR Program.

The LASR Program is emblematic of our goals of helping students develop proficiency in our Essential Skills and Habits for Academic Success. Engagement in the LASR Program encourages students to think about learning not in the traditional way—where the teacher determines the topic, content, skills, scope, and sequence—instead, a learning model where students develop questions rooted in their own interests and then pursue projects that flow from these. Through the LASR Program, students will come to:

  • Grow as independent thinkers and learn to ask great questions.

  • Strategically find and use resources.

  • Deal effectively with ambiguity.

  • Manage their time well.

  • Communicate clearly and effectively.

LASR projects focus squarely on these skills. Furthermore, in our commitment to inspiring curious, courageous, and compassionate learners, LASR projects are designed to add value to the world in some form; White Mountain students work to make a positive contribution to society.

Quantum Economy
Kyra Rauschenbach ’15
Barnard College

Chinese Dance
Yixun Wang ’15
Rhode Island School of Design (RISD)

Storytelling Through Dance
Katherine Desimine ’15
Smith College

Women in the Workforce
Yue "Emma" Zou ’15
Wesleyan University

Photovoltaic Systems
Andrew Snead ’15
Clarkson University

3D Digital Animation
Sam Conant ’13
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)

Winter Photography in the White Mountains
Jonathan “J.J.” Berkun ’13
The University of Maine (UMaine)

Computer Programming in Java
Spencer Alderman ’13
Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT)


The Process

Over the course of a year, students pose a question and develop a hands-on experience to immerse themselves in the question. From start to finish, a LASR project process includes:

  • Performing academic research.

  • Finding, contacting, and interviewing experts.

  • Communicating and presenting results through:

    • A paper detailing original research.

    • A public presentation of findings to the White Mountain community.