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Biology Outreach




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

K-12 Focus Visits Program

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.

On the Road

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.

Faculty Visitation Program

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.

Biology Outreach Community Lab

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.

Open House Weekend - Annual Purdue Spring Fest

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!

Student Recruitment

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.

Purdue University Biological Sciences, 915 W. State Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907

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