Our programs

Chemists in the Classroom

Our chemistry graduate students talk about chemistry careers and conduct a variety of demonstrations and workshops for groups at the University, local schools, and in the community.

Energy & U

Our popular show about energy brings 10,000 3rd-6th grade students to the University each year for a dynamic show that includes music, dancing, loud explosions, bright flashes and flames, and the First Law of Thermodynamics. A partnership with the Department of Theatre Arts & Dance illustrates how the arts are perfect links with science, and provides professionalism to the show with sound, lighting, and graphics.

Cool Chemistry

This annual workshop provides 7th-8th grade girls with hands-on opportunities to explore the wonders of chemistry with women in our graduate program.

And there's more . . .

Our faculty and students volunteer bring science into the community with programs in libraries, schools, and other community settings such as centers, parks, and rural settings. Many of our student organizations are actively engaged in a variety of outreach activities.

  • Alpha Chi Sigma: Members of the professional chemistry fraternity Alpha Chi Sigma conduct demonstrations at many events.
  • Chemists in the Library: Volunteers from a variety of chemistry careers and chemistry students help young people and adults with chemistry experiments at community libraries. The Minnesota Local Section of the American Chemical Society organizes this program, and it is coordinated by Chemistry Professor Philippe Buhlmann, buhlmann@umn.edu.
  • Summer experiences: We participate in the College of Science & Engineering's summer camps offering middle- and high-school students opportunities to learn about science careers. Students get hands-on introductions to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. We offer one-day modules on polymers and solar energy.
  • Science for All: Our graduate students involved with Science for All aim to improve science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education in the urban Twin Cities community by performing intricate science experiments with middle school students. If interested in volunteering, send an email to sci4all@umn.edu.
  • SciMentors: Our graduate students involved with SciMentors volunteer in the community General Education Development (GED) and adult literacy programs, providing hands-on science lessons to supplement the curriculum and mentor adult learners.
  • University on the Prairie: At University on the Prairie, professors and students engage young people living in rural Minnesota in three days of hands-on and interactive science learning experiences.
  • West 7th Community Center: Professor Christy Haynes leads a day of chemistry experiments at the West 7th Community Center in Saint Paul.
  • YWCA EUREKA! program: Eureka! is a five-year summer and school year program for girls focused on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), run in partnership with the College of Science & Engineering.
  • Science Museum of Minnesota: Organize outreach activities at special events for Latinx in STEM, Women in Science and Engineering (WISE), and Chemistry Week. Learn more about one of these activities.