Community Science Lab

Our Community Science Lab model engages school students in applied projects that seek to understand and improve elements of school culture and curriculum that are important to school communities. We have been collaborating with schools in Leipzig and internationally since our launch in 2019.

What is community science?

Community science is a broad term for community-based approaches to research, often including a range of practices including citizen science, participatory action research, and service-learning.


In our Community Science Lab Model, we integrate pedagogical approaches of inquiry-based, project-based, and cooperative learning as well as disciplinary concepts to support students in investigating and shaping the cultural evolution of their schools and communities. 

It is an approach to youth empowerment that works to bridge our evolutionary past with our preferred futures on issues that matter to students and their communities.

The Cultural Evolution of Cooperation and Educational Innovation

Humans are a uniquely cooperative species, having evolved capacities to work together at scales of time and social organization unparalleled in the natural world. Despite these abilities, the challenges of cooperation seem to be at the heart of nearly every sustainability dilemma that modern communities must face. The science of cultural evolution provides a theoretical framework for understanding the complex conditions that favor or hinder our capacities for cooperation towards the well-being of all. In this context, we are building an interdisciplinary synthesis around the concept of community-based cultural evolution

Schools as Field Sites for Community-Based Cultural Evolution

Part of our Community Science Lab model involves the active development of conceptualizing schools as field sites for community-based cultural evolution.

This means supporting school communities in thinking about their own freely chosen identity as a field site for creating the conditions for valued human development and sustainable development outcomes. 



We are developing training and teaching materials for secondary school students!

Follow the link above to explore our introductory training model for developing your own school-based Community Science Lab! 

In development in English and German.

Our School Portrait framework can support students in exploring diverse themes of school improvement

Get involved!

If you are a student (16+ years old), a teacher, or researcher, interested in our work developing school-based Community Science Labs for educational innovation, then please fill out this form to join us