Partnerships, Programs, & Projects
Lab students of every age regularly benefit from the University of Chicago's outstanding academicians and access to unmatched resources. As a complement to Lab’s academic program, the Schools offer students the opportunity to participate in a variety of University- and community-partnered programs designed to extend learning from the classroom into the real-world. These opportunities exist throughout the Schools and may take place during the school year or the summer.
For more information about these programs, please contact Alexzandra Wallace.
Since 2015, the Laboratory Schools and the University of Chicago Charter Schools have been engaged in an expansive partnership designed to strengthen existing programs, implement a set of strategies to enhance the Charter School’s college graduation culture, anchor Lab students more firmly in their surrounding community, and help students at both schools learn from one another. With a committed and dedicated group of administrators and teachers representing both organizations, several co-curricular programs have been established or expanded to bring students at all levels together and to create innovative educational opportunities for both school communities.
The Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL), founded in 1888, is a world-renowned private research institution and international center for biological discovery located in Woods Hole, MA. In 2013 the University of Chicago and MBL formed an affiliation to strengthen both institutions’ missions of leadership and innovation in scientific research and education. That affiliation has also benefitted Lab students.
Since 2014, Lab’s relationship with MBL has resulted in professional development activities for Lab teachers, opportunities for U-High senior capstone projects, know as May Project, a seaside webcam for Middle School students to observe tidal fluctuation, and most notably, the Lab–MBL Summer Field Experience, a one-week, hands-on laboratory course held at MBL and taught jointly by Lab faculty and MBL research scientists.
Through a partnership with the University of Chicago’s Office of Civic Engagement and its newly launched Community Programs Accelerator, high school students from both the Laboratory Schools and UChicago Charter School have the exciting opportunity to make a difference on Chicago’s mid-South Side through the Internship for Civic Engagement program. The five-week, paid internship emphasizes leadership development in the context of community-based learning. This experience is designed to strengthen participating students’ grasp of social, political, and cultural issues by connecting academic skills learned in the classroom with the needs and expertise of the community.
The UChicago Faculty Led Seminars project invites professors and lecturers from a variety of disciplines to offer U-Highers seminars on a relevant topic or current issue. With support from the UCLS/UCCS Partnership this program is expanding to include more University faculty to lead this after school series for Lab and Charter School students. Classes use the Socratic method to promote active participation in the full group and via small group work. Recently, UCHicago Mark and Barbara Fried Professor of Law Emily Buss, in partnership with Herschella Conyers, clinical professor of law, led a seminar as did Bart Schultz, senior lecturer in Humanities (philosophy) and director of the Humanities Division's Civic Knowledge Project.
The Laboratory Schools partner with High Jump, a not-for-profit organization with the mission to “equalize access to education for middle school students who have exhibited academic ambition and potential and are of limited economic means.” To that end, High Jump has been providing academic and social support to high potential students across Chicago for 25 years. Lab has been working with High Jump to support their efforts and in 2014, Lab increased its commitment to this program by effectively doubling the space provided by the Schools for High Jump summer and Saturday programs. The increased commitment to High Jump was enabled by the expansion of the Lab campus and undertaken in the hope that talented High Jump students familiar with Lab will seek to become U-Highers.