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Kids doing an experiment in the Forensic Camp (August 2018) in the Department of Biology.

Science and technology permeate your life daily. The morning weather report, the clean water you use to make your morning coffee, your decision to eat (or not eat) GMO food for breakfast,  the medication you take to control your blood pressure, your decision to take (or not take) vitamin supplements, the car you drive to work, down to the light that you turn off at the end of the day have all been brought to you courtesy of science. Science is also at the core of significant political decisions. "Virtually every major issue facing global society today has science and technology components at its core: terrorism and other forms of violence, economic productivity, health status, global warming, and the need for sustainable development." AAAS CEO Alan I. Leshner, executive publisher of the journal Science, wrote in an editorial on public engagement.   

The University of Iowa Department of Biology participates in outreach activities to engage a range of audiences from students at the K-12 level, to residents of surrounding Iowa area communities, and state legislators.

Elementary Students

Department of Biology Outreach Program Staff attend STEM festival events in the local community to educate students at an early age about science.

Middle School Students

In collaboration with Project HOPE (Healthcare Occupations, Preparation, and Exploration developed by Saba Ali, an associate professor in the UI Counseling Psychology Department, the Department of Biology Outreach Program staff engaged students in scientific inquiry through hands-on activitie designed to simulate the work of a research scientist. Students extracted their own DNA, viewed chromosomes through a microscope, and learned about DNA through an interactive trivia game.

High School Students

Each year, the Department of Biology invites area high school students and their parents to an information session to learn about the Biology major at the University of Iowa and career opportunities in Biology. Interested students and parents may also take a tour of a research laboratory within the department to get an idea of the type of work that is conducted at a research institution like the University of Iowa.

"Community at Large"

On August 12, 2013, the Department of Biology Outreach Program’s “Hawkeyes in the Microscope” exhibit was featured at the Iowa State Fair, the single largest event in the state of Iowa attracting more than a million people from all over the world.

Legislators and Staff

Hawkeye Caucus Day is an annual event held at the Iowa State Capitol in Des Moines aimed at informing Iowans and state legislators how the University of Iowa helps make the state smarter, healthier, more livable and prosperous. On April 2, 2013, the Department of Biology Outreach Program, featuring the “Hawkeyes in the Microscope” exhibit, was one of more than 30 UI programs that participated in this event.

Contact Information

The Department of Biology Outreach Program is sustained in part by engaging undergraduate and graduate volunteers to assist with coordinating events and speaking to our targeted audiences.

Interested in volunteering? For more information and to be notified of upcoming events, please contact Steve Kehoe (steve-kehoe@uiowa.edu, 319-335-1050) or Lori Adams (lori-adams@uiowa.edu, 319-335-1322).