Education Research & Outreach
Our Education Research and Outreach Lab is committed to inspiring the next generation of plant scientists. By creating meaningful research opportunities for students at every stage of their education, we can keep students engaged in science and help them build the foundational skills that are critical to a career in plant science. Our programs provide educational opportunities for teachers and students, and use research assessment within the programs to understand how a diverse range of students learn about STEM concepts. Through our education research, we can improve the impact and destination of our education programs.
Research & Outreach
Our grades K-12 STEAM+Ag programs create opportunities for students to explore science, technology, engineering and mathematics concepts (STEM). By equipping teachers and students with the tools and opportunities to engage with science, we can foster the future generation of plant scientists and create a more diverse and inclusive science community. All of our programs are based on cutting-edge education research questions with robust and validated measures of impact evaluation.
Jackie Joyner-Kersee Center Partnership
The Jackie Joyner-Kersee Food, Agriculture, and Nutrition Innovation Center is a unique collaboration between the Jackie Joyner-Kersee Foundation, the Danforth Plant Science Center, the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and University of Illinois Extension to empower youth and communities to grow through urban agriculture, food innovation, entrepreneurialism, and career readiness.
Authentic Research Experiences and CURES
Authentic Research Experiences (AREs) and Course-Based Undergraduate Research Experiences (CUREs) engage student scientists in foundational research happening at the Danforth Center. AREs include Plants Fight Back, Mutant Millets, Genotype to Phenotype, Discovering Volvox Development, and most can be scaled for grade levels from middle school through college. The CUREs, Data Science and Transposable Elements and Thermotolerance, are designed for undergraduates.
Education Technology Program
The Education Technology Program uses cutting-edge technology to engage and inspire students to pursue STEAM careers. Immersive educational experiences are offered through augmented and virtual reality, 3D modeling, computer gaming, and more, making science accessible to all.
Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing (D/HH) Pre-College Outreach Program
The Burch-Smith lab is hosting summer research experiences for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing high school students who are interested in pursuing careers in STEM education. We are strongly committed to the education of all students, and especially those who are deaf or hard-of-hearing. We aim to provide resources and support to young adults of the ages of 16 to 21 who are interested in laboratory experience. Students will have the opportunity to work with real Deaf and hearing scientists and professionals who are experienced in Deaf education and culture.
Undergraduate Research & Outreach
Through hands-on research experiences, we can equip undergraduates with the skills, experiences, and mentors to pursue science careers. Our undergraduate program aims to create a range of research opportunities and activities that help students build a strong foundation in the sciences. Through our education research, we can continue to understand how to transform students into scientists.
We partner with local universities to offer graduate students an opportunity to participate in the cutting-edge research taking place at the Danforth Center. Our faculty have affiliations with universities throughout Missouri, and accept graduate students through their respective universities. At the Danforth Center, students can see how their research will be applied to real-world solutions across the globe.
Committee for Scientific Training and Mentoring
The Committee for Scientific Training and Mentoring exists to bring career training and development opportunities to the scientific staff within the Danforth Center, foster a sense of community through scientific discussions and social functions, and facilitate communication throughout all levels of the center.
Meet the Director of Education Research & Outreach
Dr. Kris Callis-Duehl believes that all students should be able to access and engage in scientific learning and authentic science research. With over 18 years of science education experience, Kris is developing innovative research and outreach programs to bring STEM education to more students while also improving the way we teach those concepts.