Outreach Coordinoator: Isidore Julien
Touching the lives of students, science teachers, and communities
- Stimulate students to study and consider biology as a career
- Improve the teaching and learning of biology by working with high school biology teachers
- Increase the recruitment and retention rates of all students, especially minorities, women, and rural students in the Department of Biological Sciences at Purdue
What We Do
No "ivory tower" here! In the past five years, the Department of Biological Sciences has been visited by 1500 students and 100 teachers from more than 60 schools. Visiting groups learn about the Department's ongoing research efforts as well as the university's programs of study in the biological sciences.
Junior and senior high school biology students, together with their teachers, are invited to visit the Department of Biological Sciences. These visits afford students and their teachers the opportunity to see and learn about biological science research. The department provides laboratory space that allows teachers to conduct hands-on activities with students. The laboratory can accommodate approximately 25 students for any one activity. They also receive information on biology programs at Purdue.
Focus Visits to the Ross Biological Reserve
Considering an outdoors fieldtrip for your class? Please take a look at our ECO-ART program (PDF) at the Ross Biological Reserve.
Biology faculty hit the road to travel to high schools and elementary schools as part of the Faculty in the Classroom program, conducting seminars and working with teachers to stimulate student interest in the science.
The Department of Biological sciences faculty are available to speak with high school students and teachers about their research interests and about careers in biology. Faculty visit the schools at the invitation of high school biology teachers.
Lab experiments made possible! Biology classes requiring sophisticated equipment for lab experiments have the opportunity to use the department's facilities on campus. Equipment such as Spec 20s and pH meters are also delivered directly to the schools via the Small Equipment Loan Program, and fruit flies are made available to teachers free of charge for lab experiments.
Opportunities for Middle and High School Students
The Howard Hughes Medical Institute has provided funding for a summer biology program for high schools biology students particularly students historically underrepresented in the sciences. Students participate in laboratory and field work for research in biological sciences and observe the important role of mathematics, chemistry, physics, and computer science in biological sciences. This is an intense experience for pre-college students. Hands-on laboratory skill sand cross discipline concepts for designing and executing experiments.
This is a year-round program providing unusual research epxeriences. Participants of this program select, design, and execute their own experiments in a special laboratory setting. Students have an impressive record of achievements.
A favorite with visitors, especially children, the Department's Open House is held annually in conjunction with Purdue's campus-wide SpringFest. Observe chicken embryos, run an electrocardiogram, or visit the tidal pool and handle sea urchins, starfish, and sand dollars, all right in the lobby of Lilly Hall of Life Sciences! Thousands try their hand at DNA sequencing. Our faculty and students are available to host demonstrations and share their enthusiasm for biology with young and old alike!
Each year 25 students are invited to visit the department once in the Fall and again in the Spring to engage in day-long activities, attend biology lectures, and visit research laboratories. The program's aim is to follow these students all the way through high school graduation and to encourage them to attend Purdue to study the Biological Sciences.
Teacher Training Programs
Weekend Workshops keep high school biology teachers apprised of the latest developments in teaching and laboratory techniques within the biological sciences. Advanced Placement Biology teachers receive training through the AP Institute for teachers held each summer. This 10-day intensive program provides teachers an introduction to the College Board's AP program and prepares them to teach the AP biology curriculum. Purdue also hosts the state's only AP Institute in Environmental Science.
Weekend Workshops for Indiana Teachers
The purpose of these workshops is to provide an opportunity for high school biology teachers in Indiana to stay abreast of the latest developments in teaching and laboratory techniques within the biological sciences. Areas of specific interest to high school biology are emphasized. In addition, workshops allow teachers to share information and ideas that enhance the teaching and learning of biology in our schools.
High School Biology Institute for Teachers
Each summer the department conducts a one-week institute for biology teachers who teach advanced biology courses (A.P and IB). Participants perform appropriate laboratory exercises and receive updates on recent advances in all areas of biology.
Indiana Association of Biology teachers (ISBT)
The Indiana Association of Biology Teachers (IABT) was founded under the auspices of the Outreach Program at Purdue in 1990. The Indiana Association of Biology Teachers is an organization that provides opportunities for biology teachers in the state to meet and share ideas. IABT is committed to the professional development of the biology educator and is a vital source keeping abreast of developments in biology teaching today.
Website goal: The G.A.M.E. website is a tool for high school science teachers and higher education instructors that teach genomics but do not have a molecular biology background. Useful analogies and resources are available for teachers to use in their classroom.