Community Lab Space for Your Group

In the heart of Sanford Research, you’ll find a state-of-the-art research lab that provides research space and equipment for the community.

Public and private groups are welcome to use the space for:

  1. Hands-on activities facilitated by the Sanford PROMISE team
  2. Research activities and projects you develop under PROMISE scientists’ supervision

We also host events including a family science festival and a community lecture series.


Community Lectures

Attend the PROMISE Community Lecture Series

Are you interested in science? Have you ever wondered about the scientific research being performed in your own community? The PROMISE Community Lecture Series provides a unique opportunity for science-minded individuals within our community to learn about local research projects from the scientists themselves. Lectures are provided by leading academic and industry scientists within the region.

Follow us on social media and check out our events pages for upcoming community events!


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Sanford PROMISE BRI Days

PROMISE Biomedical Research Investigations Days

BRI day is hosted by the PROMISE Lab at Sanford Research in Sioux Falls, SD. These one day immersive experiences give students the change to dig deep into a topic. They will learn first hand from research scientists and get an inside look at the research lab. During this BRI day, students will dig into the interactions between mind and body and stress and health. 

Topic: Mind-Body Interactions: Research on Stress and Its Influence on Health

The Strahm Lab at Sanford Research focuses on the interactions between stress and health to discern the pathways by which stress affects health, with emphasis on reproductive health and health disparities. 

Time: 9:30am-4:00pm (lunch provided)
Who: Students in grades 10-12
Where: Sanford Research, 2301 E. 60th Street North, Sioux Falls, SD
Fee: There is no fee to attend this event. Attendance is capped at 24 students with first-come, first-served registration. 

Dates for the 2023-2024 academic year:
   Monday, October 9th, 2023
   Friday, November 10th, 2023
   Monday, February 19th, 2024

BRI days are held on days when many local school districts do not have school. Please check your school calendar before signing up to make sure you can attend. Attendance is expected for the whole day. Partial attendance will not be allowed. Please plan to spend the full time from 9:30am-4:00pm at Sanford Research. 

PROMISE Summer Programs

Sanford PROMISE summer programs are a great way to gain hands-on science experience and learn about current research being done at Sanford Research. All programs will operate on a rolling admission with first come, first served. Registration will open in January 2024 and will close when a date reaches capacity. 

Jedi Genetics: Exploring Genetics and Biomarkers Through a Star Wars Lens

What secrets can be discovered about our health and identity at the molecular level? In this program, students will learn about the uses of DNA and biomarkers in the diagnoses of conditions. Students will perform ELISA and gel electrophoresis. 

Open to students in grades 6-8 in the 2023-2024 school year.

June 3rd or July 9th, 2024 - 8:30am-3:00pm (1 day) | Sanford Research Center, 2301 E. 60th Street North, Sioux Falls, SD 

June 13th, 2024 - 8:30am-3:00pm  | Fargo, ND

June 14th, 2024 - 8:30am-3:00pm | Bismarck, ND

June 18th, 2024 - 8:30am - 3:00pm  | Luverne, MN

Finding Your Roots: A Genetics and Genealogy Experience 

What is more interesting than you? In this program, students will use science to answer the question “Who am I?” Students will extract and analyze their own DNA, learn about human evolution, and dig into the stories of their ancestors.

Participants will need parental/guardian permission to submit a DNA sample in April in order to be enrolled in the program. The program is limited to 24 students on a first-come, first-served basis. Upon enrolling, you will be notified within 5 business days of registration confirmation. You must be able to attend all 4 days of this program, partial attendance will not be accepted.

Open to students in grades 6-8 in the 2023-2024 school year.

July 23rd - July 26th, 2024 from 8:30am-3:00pm (4 days) | Sanford Research Center, 2301 E. 60th Street North, Sioux Falls, SD 

Research in Action: An Inside Look at Biomedical Research

Summers at Sanford Research are very lively as college students from across the country join Sanford Research through the Sanford Program for Undergraduate Research (SPUR) which is an immersive 10-week summer program that provide students the opportunity to gain the skills and prepare for a career in science while still in school. During this experience, high school students will be given an opportunity to shadow an undergraduate researcher during part of their routine day. The day will also consist of time in the PROMISE lab to prepare and debrief from the shadow experience.

Open to students in grades 9-12 in the 2023-2024 School Year

July 11th, 2024 - 8:30am-3:00pm | Sanford Research Center, 2301 E. 60th Street North, Sioux Falls, SD 

Student Lab Tours

Tour the PROMISE Community Laboratory

In the heart of Sanford Research’s laboratory lives a high-tech classroom space designed to accommodate up to 24 learners participating in a hands-on science experience. Our team of educators will personalize an experience to meet the content and ability requirements for your group. Public and private school classes, after-school programs, girl and boy scout clubs and others are invited.

Teen Science Café

Attend Teen Science Café
Teen Science Café is a free, fun way for teens to explore advances in science and technology affecting their lives. Teens and STEM experts engage in lively conversations and activities to explore a topic deeply. Teen Science Café brings together teens from all over the greater Sioux Falls region to learn from scientists in their community.

Open to grades 7-12. 

Date: Tuesday, March 5th, 2024
Topic: Polymer Chemistry with the Augie Chemistry Department
Time: 5:30pm-7:00pm
Location: Augustana University | Froiland Science Center
*Please note this session is open to students eighth grade and above. 

Upcoming Events: 

Date: Tuesday, April 2nd, 2024
Topic: Rockets 101
Presenters: Dr. Matt Miller and Dr. Larry Browning from SDSU
Location: Sanford Research | PROMISE Community Lab

Professional Development for Educators

Professional Development for Teachers:

High School Professional Development 

Topic: Modern Microscopy in 2024 (1 credit)

Description: Secondary education teachers will learn about microscope use at Sanford Research through discussions with researchers and hands on activities. Attendees will perform microscope maintenance, colorimetric measurement and make slides using a microtome and a vibratome in addition to talking to researchers about their current research using live cell imaging techniques along with super resolution microscopy. Attendees will learn about Sanford PROMISE's lesson plans and lending library resources while developing a STEM lesson plan introducing current research to their classrooms. 

Dates: Wednesday, July 17 - Thursday, July 18, 2024
Time: 8:00am-4:00pm each day
Location: Sanford Research Center, 2301 E. 60th Street North, Sioux Falls, SD 

Middle School Professional Development

Topic: SEED 592: Finding Your Roots: Genetic Literacy for Educators (2 credits)

Description: Secondary education teachers will learn the ins and outs of genetics, genetic technology, epigenetics, and ethics all while learning about their own DNA through a partnership with Living DNA. Teachers will be expected to create an educational tool that aims to increase genetic literacy for students across South Dakota at the end of the course. Teachers will participate in three days of instruction in the PROMISE Lab. To finish the remainder of the credit hours, teachers will review lesson plans that are currently on the Sanford PROMISE website and implement one of them in their classroom. Data will be collected as to the effectiveness and usability of the lesson plans. 

Dates: Tuesday, August 6 - Thursday, August 8, 2024
Time: 8:00am-4:00pm each day
Location: Sanford Research Center, 2301 E. 60th Street North, Sioux Falls, SD  

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