Programs at ISU

4-H Youth Development

The Iowa 4-H Youth Development Program provides opportunities for K-12 youth to develop skills that they can use now and throughout their lives. Iowa 4-H builds upon a century of experience as it fosters positive youth development that is based on the needs and strengths of youth, their families, and communities. Iowa 4-H follows the principles of experiential learning and draws on the knowledge base of Iowa State University and other institutions of higher education in cooperation with the United States Department of Agriculture.


Iowa’s AgDiscovery program is a collaboration with the USDA-APHIS that helps teenagers learn about careers in Veterinary Medicine, Animal Science, Laboratory Technology and Wildlife Ecology. Students live on ISU’s campus and learn from university professors, scientists who work for the U.S. Government, and local agricultural producers and animal welfare and management organizations.

Ames Laboratory

Ames Laboratory has a number of education programs that involve elementary school students through graduate students.

Association for Women in Mathematics

The AWM’s mission is to promote equal opportunity and the equal treatment of women and girls in the mathematical sciences, supporting individuals and institutions as we all work to make a more just and equitable community. Achieving this vision relies on the continued efforts of AWM’s committees and the work that they do. The AWM is governed by an elected Executive Committee, with support from a Board of Advisors. AWM’s bylaws and committee handbooks guide how AWM manages its business, and the Election Lifecycle indicates how nominations and appointments happen for the Executive Committee.

Biotechnology Outreach Education Center (BOEC)

The Biotechnology Outreach Education Center develops educational programming for K-12 teachers and students as well as undergraduate and graduate students. These programs include research experiences, professional development, research collaborations, internships and job placements.

Center for Bioplastics and Biocomposites

A NSF I/UCRC center focused on bioplastics and biocomposites. ISU is the lead institute and Washington State University is a site.

Center for Industrial Research and Services (CIRAS)

Since 1963, we have delivered proven services to enhance the performance of industry. Our approach, “Engage. Educate. Embed.” creates a specific solution that allows each business, along with its community, to prosper and grow. A critical element of CIRAS’ company services includes engaging ISU faculty in solving complex technical problems and performing applied research.

Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning

Faculty are encouraged to motivate graduate students and postdoctoral fellows to attend the Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning (CIRTL) free online seminars and to enroll in CIRTL courses. Faculty are also encouraged to support CIRTL learning communities, sponsor Teaching as Research Projects in partnership with graduate students and postdoctoral scholars future faculty, and to develop CIRTL courses for presentation across the network.


FIRST LEGO® League (FLL) is a program for children ages 9-14 designed to get them inspired, interested and excited about science, technology and engineering. Every year, FIRST releases a new challenge that engages the teams in hands-on robotics design and scientific research.

First Lego League Jr

FIRST LEGO® League Junior (FLL Jr.) is a program for children ages 6-10, designed to get them inspired, interested and excited about science, technology and engineering. Every year, FIRST releases a new challenge that engages the teams in hands-on design and scientific research.

Forward Learning Experience (FLEX)

Through a 16-foot trailer full of high-tech workstations, an Iowa State University industrial design graduate studio has developed a mobile classroom to provide outreach to the K-12 population in Iowa schools. This mobile classroom is allowing the latest design and STEM technologies more accessible and is providing K-12 students and teachers with hands-on experiences.

George Washington Carver Summer Internship Program

The internship program promotes “science with practice” by exposing interns to research opportunities under the direction of College of Agriculture and Life Sciences faculty members. The program seeks to improve the food and agricultural systems enterprise through increased diversity; champion the value of graduate education; and prepare and recruit the best and brightest for undergraduate and graduate education at ISU and beyond.

Go! Magazine

Go! and its Spanish edition, ¡Vamos!, are the only recognized online magazines designed specifically to attract teens to educational and career opportunities in transportation. The e-zines consist of a mix of featured and spotlight articles, curricular and extra-curricular activities, quizzes, brain teasers, and information about upcoming events and contests. As mentors and content experts, faculty members assist Go! student writers with STEM articles related to transportation. Collaborating faculty also have the opportunity to team up with transportation researchers to mentor middle and high school STEM teachers and students, and to pursue collaborative research initiatives.

Honors Program

Faculty can be involved with the Honors Program in several ways. In addition to teaching Honors sections of courses or Honors seminars, faculty can serve as mentors to Honors students in research. In participating in the Mentor Program, first-year Honors students are paired with faculty members who share their academic interests. Students receive one or two academic credits by working with faculty for three or six hours a week on a research project.


Faculty can partner with this program by hosting students for summer and academic research. Faculty can also collaborate across the alliance on pedagogy development and mentoring.

Iowa 4-H Youth Conference

The Iowa 4-H Youth Conference is open to all Iowa youth who have completed 8th-12th grades. This conference provides opportunities for youth to develop leadership skills, learn about career opportunities, and make a difference in the community.

Iowa 4-H Program’s State Science + Technology Fair of Iowa

The Iowa 4-H Program’s State Science + Technology Fair of Iowa (SSTFI) serves as a platform for student researchers (grades 6 – 12) to meet with professional researchers and communicate their findings and understanding of the research process. The SSTFI is an affiliate of the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair.

Iowa Department of Education Math

Iowa Department of Education work with Area Education Math Specialists providing them with professional development and support to help K-12 teachers implement the math core standards. Iowa Department of Education works to improve the math structure in Iowa. They are invested in the math core standards for every school.

Iowa Space Grant Consortium

The mission of the Iowa Space Grant Consortium (ISCG) is to coordinate and improve Iowa’s future in aerospace science and technology and to stimulate aerospace research, education, and outreach activities throughout the state.

Iowa State University Translational Research Network

U-TuRN, facilitates community-engaged scholarship by connecting faculty with community partners to develop and implement innovative translational research programs, practices, policies, and products. U-TuRN is well-positioned to bring broader impacts to life at ISU given our Network’s collective expertise in community outreach and engagement across a wide variety of sectors and disciplines.


ADVANCE will consult with ISU researchers/faculty members on best practices for the recruitment, retention, and advancement of women and women of color in STEM faculty positions.

ISU Extension and Outreach

The land grant mission focuses on three primary focus areas, Research, Education, and Extension. As the outreach/engagement arm of the university, Extension and Outreach serves the state by extending the resources of the land grant university to the citizens of Iowa. Extension and Outreach has four major program areas: Ag and Natural Resources, Human Sciences, Community Economic Development, and Positive Youth Development. Extension and Outreach is embedded in three colleges: Human Sciences, Agriculture and Life Sciences, and Design. Extension and Outreach also has offices in all 99 counties across the state.

ISU Extension – Science, Engineering, and Technology (E-SET)

E-SET reaches out to the youth of Iowa and the adults who work with them to provide resources for hands-on science and technology education.

ISU TRIO Upward Bound

The Upward Bound program provides fundamental support to participants in their preparation for college entrance. The program provides opportunities for participants to succeed in pre-college performance and ultimately in higher education pursuits.

The goal of Upward Bound is to increase the rates at which participants enroll in and graduate from institutions of post-secondary education.

IT – Adventures

Partnering with the Technology Association of Iowa, IT-Adventures is a program that is in over 130 middle schools, high schools and learning agencies across Iowa and has an existing structure for faculty to become involved. We are also interested in new projects that will bring technology experiences to the clubs.

Mathematics of Color Alliance

MOCA is a group of minority graduate and undergraduate mathematic students whose goal is recruitment, retention, and mentoring of underrepresented students by creating a presence in the department, on campus, and around the nation.

Preparing Future Faculty (PFF)

The PFF program helps graduate students and postdocs develop professionally, including future faculty skills- teaching, grant writing, preparing for the academic job search- while participating in a learning community of peers. This program can form an integral part of your broader impacts, including postdoctoral mentoring plans.

Program for Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) 

WISE will partner with ISU researchers/faculty members by collaborating with existing WISE programs or in the creation of new programs which work toward the promotion of women in STEM fields. WISE also has a strong evaluation process that a PI would be able to utilize to ensure their work is evaluated effectively.

Reiman Gardens’ Portal to the Public (Science Communication Fellowship)

Science Communication Fellows are scientists, engineers, graduate students, researchers, faculty and other science-based professionals who have been certified through Reiman Gardens and Portal to the Public as current science ambassadors and excellent communicators. Portal to the Public is a national network of informal science education institutions whose mission is to connect scientists with the general public by offering free professional development in science communication and hands-on activity construction, an public programs designed to showcase current science. This program fulfills many of the Broader Impact requirements for many state and federal grants.

Research Experience for Teachers

RET offers summer internships for middle and high school educators where they gain hands-on science experiences in a lab. Concurrently, the teachers participate in weekly discussions with master educators to turn their new skills into valuable curriculum development, which will be shared with their students.

Research Institute for Studies in Education (RISE)

The Research Institute for Studies in Education (RISE), a unit of the School of Education, was formed in 1974 to conduct comprehensive, integrated research and evaluation studies that enhance PK-20 education locally, nationally, and globally. RISE operates as a self-supporting, nonprofit organization housed within Iowa State University, a public, research-intensive, land-grant institution. RISE promotes the integration of evaluation, research, and policy through partnerships with schools, colleges and universities, federal and state education agencies, and private agencies and foundations.

Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program

The Iowa State University McNair Program prepares qualified undergraduates for entry to graduate school in fields of study where graduate school is a natural path immediately after the bachelor’s degree. The primary goal of McNair is to increase the attainment of PhD degrees by students from disadvantaged and underrepresented populations. McNair has a strong evaluation plan in place as well as a continuous tracking process for maintaining information on program alumni.

SACNAS Chapter

Faculty participation in SACNAS can involve: mentoring, outreach, networking, promoting professional diversity.

Science Bound

Science Bound is Iowa State University’s premiere pre-college program to prepare and empower Iowa ethnic minority middle and high school students to earn college degrees and pursue careers in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). They also have a great history of partnering and collaborating with faculty in areas of broader participation.

Science Center of Iowa

The Science Center of Iowa engages and inspires Iowans along their journey of lifelong science learning.

Science Communication @ISU (SC@ISU)

SC@ISU assists ISU faculty members, researchers, postdocs and graduate students by providing individual consulting or small group workshops focused on developing and implementing broader impact plans for communicating science in the midst of potentially heated public debates.

Student Support Services Program

The Student Support Services Program is designed to improve the retention and graduation rate of college students who qualify as first generation, and/or low-income students and those with disabilities.

The Greenlee School

The Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication aims to support scientists, engineers and other researchers on developing broader impact statements and participating in communication outreach plans for external funding proposals.