Center for Engineering, Science and Mathematics Education

Learn By Doing Lab Frequently Asked Questions

1. When are the Learn By Doing Labs?

Learn By Doing Labs take place most Thursdays and Fridays of Winter and Spring quarters at Cal Poly. 

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2. How often do the labs change?

Labs may, but are not guaranteed to, change every year--or even every quarter. This depends on which instructors teach the Learn By Doing Lab class at Cal Poly. There are generally 4 different labs that rotate (in no particular order) throughout the year. 

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3. Is there a cost to participate in the Learn By Doing Lab?

No, the LBDL is completely free!

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4. How many 5th-8th grade students can I bring to the Learn By Doing Lab?

Each Lab day we can accept 100 students. If you would like to bring more than that, be aware that your group will be split over multiple days. If you have certain splitting preferences, please notate them in your registration application.

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5. Is transportation provided?

No, however we do provide free parking passes! There will be designated parking for busses and additional cars.

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6. How many chaperones are required?

The Learn By Doing Lab does not require a specific chaperone/student ratio, but you should check with your school.

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7. What times are the Learn By Doing Labs?

Learn By Doing Labs start promptly at 9:10am and end by 11:30am, and additional afternoon activities can be scheduled through other groups/clubs/organizations on campus.

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8. Lunch provided?

No, but there are beautiful grassy areas (and indoor spaces, too) to eat a bagged lunch and several restaurants on campus.

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9. What activities are available in the afternoon, and how do I schedule them?

A list of afternoon activities hosted by other Cal Poly clubs and organizations, including contact information for each activity, will be on our website soon! In the meantime, please contact the Learn By Doing Lab Program Assistant for more information.

Note: Afternoon activities are completely optional. If you are interested, please contact the respective person, as the LBDL Program Assistant does not schedule the afternoon events. 


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10. How do I register my 5th-8th grade class?

First, check out the available LBDL dates on our Google Calendar, and compare those dates to your school schedule. When registration is open, simply fill out the online registration form (at your convenience!) from the Bring You Class to the Learn By Doing Lab! webpage.

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11. When do I register?

Registration is typically open in the early Fall for both Cal Poly quarters of Learn By Doing Labs. For the 2015-2016 Labs, registration will be open August 31st - September 14th. Check back then!

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12. Can I register my class if I do not teach 5th-8th grade?

The Learn By Doing Lab material is focused on 5th-8th grade, and those grades are given priority in scheduling. However, if we are unable to fill each day with one hundred 5th-8th grade students, we will then schedule 4th grade, and possibly even 3rd. While we believe it is great for students of all ages to experience hands-on science, the material of the Learn By Doing Lab would not be adequately engaging for those older than 8th grade.

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13. How many classes can register per school?

We do not regulate the number of classes that register per school. However, we cannot guarantee that each class will be accepted. As each individual registrant is assigned a priority number, we encourage schools to register together. This ensures that no classes will be left out.

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14. If the 6th grade class from my school is registering, can I also register my 7th grade class?

To avoid students participating in the same lab twice, we encourage schools to choose one grade to bring each year. So, if 6th grade students participated last year, it would be wise to have your 6th grade also participate this year, rather than your 7th grade.

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15. How does the registration lottery work?

Each school is assigned a random number. Slots are filled using three criteria: lottery number, number of students, and available dates. A small percentage of slots are reserved for new schools. 3rd and 4th grades are filled in after all 5th-8th classes, if slots are still available.

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Who Do I Contact?

If you still have unanswered questions, please contact Tiffany Kwapnoski, LBDL Program Assistant, at learnbydoinglab@calpoly.edu or 805-756-2859.

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