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The Authentic Exploratory Research (AER) Program is an independent research course in which students propose their own driving questions in order to explore their passions and career pathways in a variety of fields. Our program is inspired by Palo Alto Unified School Districts highly successful Advanced Authentic Research program.

Students are matched with adult mentors to aid in their research and analysis. Mentors include LBHS staff, Industry experts or leaders, and university-level academics. Students can conduct their projects through various approaches including internships, action projects, and academic research, all of which culminate in an end-of-the-year publication and symposium. Students are expected to spend about 60 hours per semester on coursework, roughly half of which are on the project itself and the other half on instruction, reflection, organization, and other weekly tasks.

Throughout their experience in the AER program, students will learn essential academic skills in preparation for post-secondary education, such as research, argumentation, critical thinking; as well as life and career skills, such as time management, communication, professionalism, and organization.

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AER News

Laguna Beach High School is seeking mentors to participate in Authentic Exploratory Research (AER), a student self-directed project-based learning program set to launch in the fall. Focused on real-world application, AER asks students to identify a field of interest and pairs each student with a volunteer mentor in that field.