The Liger Leadership Academy has gained a global reputation for its innovative approach to Project-Based Learning. 


The following are examples of Explorations from our academy in Cambodia. Our philosophy is that learning is most engaging when it is experiential and opportunity based.  As you read through these scenarios, imagine the possibilities for deep and authentic learning experiences to come in a New Zealand context. The abundant natural environment, prominent culture, and rich history provide a broad palette of endless possibilities for inspiring young minds.


If you’re interested in reading our full summary of past Explorations, please visit here.



The marine ecology off the coast of Cambodia is seriously threatened by overfishing, illegal dredging and a lack of understanding of marine habitats.

The Liger Marine Research Team was formed, comprising a group of eight young explorers ages 13-18. These young explorers are all highly passionate about marine science, researching, protecting and monitoring the fragile marine environment. They also partnered with Marine Conservation Cambodia to regularly survey the coral, seagrass and mangrove areas along the coastline.

Their efforts have included: participating in beach cleanups; writing a proposal to create a business of algae farming as an alternative livelihood for illegal fishermen; and completing personal projects to determine seaweed growing methods.

One of the key focus areas involved designing artificial reefs out of concrete blocks that allowed for recolonisation of fish and coral, as well as doubling as anti-trawling devices. Students have learned to conduct marine surveys on these artificial reefs. The entire team has become certified scuba divers to be able to conduct extensive underwater research.

The young marine researchers also wrote reports on research findings that will be used by marine conservation groups in Cambodia and the Fisheries Administration of Cambodia. They have created podcasts, and plan to write educational materials about marine ecology for the upcoming generations.

These reports allow the team to improve technical writing skills. Students use statistics knowledge learned in maths to support and analyse their data.

Students gain expertise and confidence in their communication skills by presenting their findings and solutions to marine conservation groups, government officials, fishing communities and public schools, to educate them about their marine ecosystem.

Skills and knowledge gained in this exploration:

Scientific Reading

Technical Writing

High Level Presentation

Marine Research

Marine Ecology


Diving Certification

Networking with marine researchers from around the world



There is very little technology available for most Cambodian students in schools and often not even electricity.

A group of our students has been working with the Ministry of Education and several rural secondary schools to develop a programme to bring “high tech” and affordable computer opportunities to students in rural schools that had little or no technology infrastructure. 

In two schools, Liger students have planned and implemented pilot computer labs that are cost effective, solar powered and meant to be a model of technology possibility for other schools throughout the country.

Our learners have raised all funds necessary for the pilot projects. They have worked with a local solar company to design the solar system to run a complete Raspberry Pi (low cost computer) lab without outside electricity.

Additionally, our learners collaborated with a local organisation to implement an English language application on the system along with developing their own high tech coding lessons and other software to use in the labs. 

Then to close the loop, Liger learners designed and implemented a complete training programme for the teachers and students in the pilot schools to be able to successfully use the labs to improve learning in the areas of English instruction and STEM.

The project continues with our learners periodically assisting the students and staff at the pilot schools with technical and educational support for the project.


Skills and knowledge gained in this exploration:

Curriculum Development

Advanced networking with high government and school officials


Adult Training Techniques

Solar Engineering

Advanced Computer Networking

Computer Software Design




Very few resources are available for Cambodians to learn about the geography of their own country. 

Over a period of one school year, the 12 and 13-year-old students took on the challenge to complete a 420-page student-written, student-published book, 'The Geography of Cambodia'. The book is intended to be a reliable and credible source of information about the geographical diversity of the Kingdom. 

The project involved 4200 hours of research, 3150 hours of design, 1848 hours of editing, 5560 hours of revision, and a visit to all 25 provinces and cities around Cambodia.  The book is written in both English and Khmer and all work in the book is original including all photography, graphics, tables, charts, maps, and laying out the book using desktop publishing software.

Our learners wrote a grant to raise US$10,000 to print and distribute the book to schools throughout Cambodia. They also hosted a book launch at a major bookstore in Phnom Penh where ‘The Geography of Cambodia’ is now being sold.


Skills and knowledge gained in this exploration:

Advanced Desktop Publishing


GIS (Geographic Information Systems)

Drone Flying and Photography


Technical Reading

Technical Writing

Geographical Research from Primary Sources

Networking with Social, Cultural, Historical and Government Experts





There are very few scientists, technology experts, engineers and mathematicians (STEM workers) in Cambodia. The mission for this project is to develop future engineers and create positive impacts on students, schools, communities, and Cambodia’s reputation while introducing new technology.

The team is called LigerSat, a team of five senior school students pioneering the way for space projects in Cambodia. The group is attempting  to develop the first Cambodian satellite. In collaboration with advisors from Boeing, CalPoly in California, graduate students from Cornell University Space Science Programme, and other volunteers, students are working to design and build a microsatellite to be hopefully launched into lower-altitude space in the next two years.

Students are learning about the specificities of space sciences, CubeSats (small satellites 10cm X 10cm) and ground station design (how to communicate with the satellite), and researching and brainstorming possible missions. Some of the team has even studied and passed international radio certification to be able to legally communicate with the satellite. 

Our students have raised more than US$30,000 for the project from crowd funding and grant writing.  The role of the LigerSat is to take pictures of the Earth and transmit those pictures back to the ground. The real goal of the project for our learners is to inspire the nation’s youth by designing an educational programme where students from across the country can follow the project by learning about space science and distributing “space kits” so students can download photos from the satellite’s camera. 

The LigerSAT hopes that this project will motivate their generation to innovate and pursue higher education, in both aerospace technology and beyond. The project has the potential to inspire a nation.  All LigerSat team members are extremely passionate and are working hard, over several years, to turn this project into a reality.


Skills and knowledge gained in this exploration:

Electrical Engineering

Mechanical Engineering

Computer Programming

Space Science

3D Design

Curriculum Development

Networking with Government Officials