LAS Journal

Science in the Vineyard Leysin American School in Switzerland

Science Beyond the Classroom

There’s nothing quite like field trips and experiential learning to bring to life the words that students have read in their textbooks. Recently, several of our science classes have gone out into the world to bring home the concepts they have been learning in their classes—check them out below!

Pre-AP Biology Vineyard Trip

The grade 10 Pre-AP Biology students spent the day at Les Trois Terres vineyard. The students took part in the final harvest of the season, collecting grapes which had ripened the most and developed the most fructose. The students discussed how the environment they were in linked to their study of the water, carbon, and nitrogen cycles. One student said that this was her favorite part of the day! She had fun with her friends (despite the bugs), all the while learning about the cycles from biology class! 

Having gathered the grapes, the students were shown the equipment, machines, and processes required to produce the local wine. They were able to taste the grape juice and observe the chemical reaction of fermentation before their very eyes, with the effervescence, the smell, and the change in taste. Having such an enthusiastic tour guide was a brilliant match for our students’ curiosity!

After the tour, the class enjoyed lunch overlooking the vineyard and Lac Léman, and discussed how the business is viable in this sector, the routines and structures in the market, and the challenges faced in the industry. The day ended with a real bang as they celebrated the end of the harvest by setting off the season’s remaining unused bird-scaring flares! 


ESS Field Trip

Forty LAS IB Biology and ESS (Environmental Systems and Societies) students participated in LETS Day! LETS stands for “Leysin Environmental Transect Survey,” a fascinating ongoing study that links past, present, and future LAS science classes together. The goal of the transect survey is to learn about and take note of Leysin’s local ecosystems and record how ecology changes from the valley to the summit of our mountain. 

This year, our students investigated a local stream to find out whether there has been an environmental impact on the fish farm that rests there. Throughout the day they were guided by a professional in the field, helping them to notice important ecological indicators. The survey was a great way to enhance their syllabus content, and many students gained valuable data that they will be using to answer research questions for their Internal Assessment! 

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