K-12

Inspire the Next Generation of Scientists

Bring your students to our science exploration classes and tours.

Join us in the Sanford PROMISE Community Lab for tailored, hands-on experiences in the heart Sanford’s working research facility.

Students, teachers, and community groups are invited to learn about our research and what it takes to be a scientist.

Elementary Inquiries

Join us for Elementary Inquiries, a visit to Sanford Research where kindergarten through sixth grade students will experience science in action and learn about the practices of scientists through hands-on activities.

Each session is aligned with South Dakota Science Standards at various grade levels and includes a tour of our state-of-the-art biomedical research facility. Sessions are approximately two hours long and can accommodate up to 100 students.

Sessions for the 2018-2019 school year are:

  • Science to Make You Sweat
  • Diabetes: Finding the Cure
  • Power Up Brain Science
  • Enabling Technologies: The Science of Helping

These sessions are scheduled on a first-come, first-serve basis. Opportunities fill up quickly, so please register early.


Homeschool Science Experiences

Engage with biomedical science and fellow homeschool students during an interactive visit to the Sanford PROMISE Community Lab.

Students will have the opportunity to participate in a meet-and-greet session with a scientist, tour state-of-the-art research laboratories and conduct a hands-on biomedical science activity.

2018-2019 experiences include:

  • Science to Make You Sweat
  • Stem Cells: An Unlikely Journey
  • Power Up Brain Science
  • The Eyes Have It

Middle Level Biomedical Exploration

Middle school is the perfect time for students to gain insight into the core ideas in biomedical research, including the scientific process, sophisticated laboratory facilities and cutting-edge technologies used by researchers.

Activities are aligned with the Life Science Disciplinary Core Ideas from the SD Science Standards. Throughout their two-hour visit, students will rotate through three stations:

  • How do you discover the cure to cancer?
  • What do you know about cancer?
  • Tour of Sanford Research and Q&A with a Scientist

Biomedical Research Investigations

Curious about what it’s like to be a laboratory scientist? The Biomedical Research Investigations Program offers middle and high school students an opportunity to engage with authentic scientific questions by performing a series of connected hands-on laboratory activities.

Participants must meet the minimum age by June 1 and do not need to have a Washington Pavilion membership. Participants must be committed to participating for the entire workshop. Confirmation of acceptance and additional information regarding arrival and other details will be provided one month ahead of the scheduled workshop.

A $30 activity fee includes a Sanford PROMISE t-shirt and is due at the first session (checks payable to Sanford Research). Cancellations that do not occur one week in advance of the start of the workshop will be billed the $30 activity fee. Limited scholarships are available to students in need of financial assistance. Contact Tamara Ledeboer by email or call (605) 312-6590 for more information.

2018 Summer Biomedical Research Investigations Workshops:

  • DNA in Our Bodies
  • Stem Cells in Biomedical Research

Learn more:


Science Discovery Days

At Science Discovery Days, high school sophomores and juniors gain exposure to regional science and biomedical research careers.

Attendees will directly interact with practicing research professionals and regional post-secondary training programs at workshop sessions and exhibit booths, and are provided lunch and a PROMISE science t-shirt.

We invite students who question the science skills and training needed for careers in health research fields to join us for this unique, hands-on experience designed just for you.

It’s All About Science Festival

The It’s All About Science Festival is a hands-on celebration and exploration of all things science, technology, engineering and mathematics (better known as STEM).

Did you know science is all around us, all the time?

The mission of the festival is to promote a science-centered community by displaying “all things science” to you, our community. We encourage you to spend some time exploring and learning about the science all around us.

Student Lab Tours

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.

PROMISE Scholars

Are you a high school junior looking for a unique summer experience? Do you have a passion for science? Are you thinking about pursuing a college degree in science?

This unique 10-week research internship offers highly motivated high school students with an aptitude for biomedical sciences, an immersion experience in laboratory research at Sanford. Work alongside scientists as part of the research team, connect with peers through a scientific journal club, and present your work as a scientific poster at the Sanford Research Symposium.

PROMISE Scholars earn three undergraduate elective credits at the University of South Dakota (BIOC192) and a $2,500 scholarship.

Applicant Requirements:

  • Strong interest in a career in biomedical research
  • Entering senior year in the fall of the upcoming academic year (home-schooled students are eligible)
  • Must be at least 16 years old by June 1
  • Committed to participating in the entire 10-week summer program (minimum of 35 hours/week)
  • Candidates are highly encouraged to participate in other Sanford PROMISE programming for an introduction to the research environment. Opportunities include the Research Shadowing Program, the Biomedical Research Investigations, and the Community Lecture Series.
  • Learn more about our various research groups. Please note, not all labs are able to accept PROMISE Scholars each year.

2019 Applications
Applications available: Nov. 1
Application deadline: Jan. 15
Applicants will be notified of their status in March.


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