Since 2008, Biology Outreach has been involved with many schools and local activities in the greater Bloomington area.
Our ongoing activities include:
Along with IU undergraduate and graduate student volunteers, we visit kindergarten classrooms at Bloomington elementary schools. During 60-minute sessions, we use fun, hands-on projects to introduce basic concepts related to the scientific method, such as making observations and predictions 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 growth, crustaceans, insects, birds, the food web, and animal behaviors in winter. We have incorporated live-organism experiments with radish plants and pill bugs, observations of live animals, hands-on crafts, and a relevant picture book story to begin each session.
During 75-minute sessions, we focus on content that follows the Indiana Life Science Standards for third grade; topics have include soils, plant growth, plant structures, and plant and animal adaptations for survival. Biology outreach staff, along with IU undergraduate and graduate student volunteers, work with third-graders in small groups on experiments and investigations that are hands-on and fun. Investigations introduce scientific thinking, such as making and testing predictions, analyzing results, and recording observations and results.