IU Biology Outreach Activities
Since 2008, Biology Outreach has been involved with many schools and local activities in the greater Bloomington area.
Our ongoing activities include:
- Kindergarten Program: Along with several IU undergraduate service learners and Science Outreach Society students, we visit seven Kindergarten classrooms at three Bloomington Elementary schools. During 45-minute sessions, we use fun, hands-on projects to introduce basic concepts related to the scientific method, such as forming hypothesis, making observations, and conducting experiments. In line with the State of Indiana life sciences standards for Kindergarten, our projects focus on plant and animal diversity. Our topics have included plant life history, crustaceans, insects, reptiles, the food web, and animal behaviors in winter. We have incorporated live-organism experiments with bean plants, pill bugs, and ants; reptile observations of snakes and turtles; hands-on crafts; and a relevant picture-book story to begin each session.
- Third-grade Program: The third-grade program focuses on topics that follow the Indiana Academy standards for third grade; topics include soils, plant growth, and plant structures, and these experiences often culminate in the students starting their own vegetable or native plant garden at the end of the school year. We also work on projects that demonstrate the importance of conservation and recycling. Our projects have been developed and are supervised by the Director of Biology Outreach and a retired third-grade teacher. We typically visit classrooms once every two weeks, and the programs generally last an hour. Undergraduates from service-learning courses or from the Science Outreach Society work with third graders in small groups on projects or experiments that are inquiry-based, hands-on, and fun.