Sanford PROMISE is the outreach arm of Sanford Research. We connect the communities in our region with cutting-edge biomedical, behavioral, and clinical research. Sanford PROMISE is the premiere medical research outreach program in the Great Plains region. Through community engagement and rural outreach, we promote science literacy and contribute to STEM workforce development by building awareness of biomedical, behavioral, and clinical research.

Our mission is to build awareness of biomedical, behavioral, and clinical research and its connection to the standards of care, through community outreach and engagement. We are dedicated to creating a science outreach program that stimulates learners to become critical thinkers, problem solvers, and the innovators of tomorrow.

Resources for educators:

  • Lesson plans aligned with national standards, complete with educational slideshows, videos, and hands on activities that are tied to the cutting-edge science done at Sanford Research.
  • Professional Development for educators. There are two courses being offered during the summer of 2024. 
  • Classroom visits: Bring the PROMISE team to your classroom or bring your class to our state-of-the-art facility at Sanford Research.
  • Borrow equipment from our Equipment Lending Library to use for free in your classroom.
  • PROMISE Community Lectures are community events that highlight the work done at Sanford Research. 

Opportunities for high school students:

  • Biomedical Research Investigation Days are day-long immersive experiences in the PROMISE lab. Dive deep into a subject that is studied at Sanford Research on a no-school day.
  • Teen Science Café is a group run by teens for teens. This group meets on the first Tuesday of the month at features a different speaker each time. Come to one or come to them all. Open to students in 7th-12th grade.
  • PROMISE Community Lectures are community events that highlight the work done at Sanford Research.
  • The Research Shadowing Program provides shadow opportunities to students 16 years or older and will give you a chance to check out the daily life of a research scientist.
  • Research in Action Summer Program- July 11th, 2024. 
  • PROMISE Scholar Program- This 10 week program is open to students during the summer after their junior year. Applications open every November and close by the end of January.

Opportunities for middle school students:

  • Teen Science Café is a group run by teens for teens. This group meets on the first Tuesday of the month at features a different speaker each time. Come to one or come to them all. Open to students in 7th-12th grade.
  • Sanford PROMISE offers summer programs for middle school students including one day programs and multiple day programs.

Summer Program Registration is open! Click here to see what programs are being offered and get signed up. 





We spark curiosity and instill problem-solving skills in younger kids – while making science fun.

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Middle School

Students will dive into the basics of scientific learning and examine the “whys” of our world.

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High School

At advanced levels, we help students apply scientific concepts and take charge of their learning.

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The Sanford Program for the Midwest Initiative in Science Exploration (PROMISE) was developed to connect communities in our region with cutting edge science and research. In 2010, Sanford Research created an outreach program to provide science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) experiences for K-12 students across South Dakota and neighboring states...

Learn More About PROMISE


Picture of Sushila Bhattacharya

Meet The Scientists Sushila Bhattacharya

Sushila Bhattacharya Ph.D. is a highly determined scientist who thrives on getting exciting new results. Her principal investigator Dr. Kurt Warnhoff said of Sushila, “When she sets out to address a scientific question, she can be very tenacious.”

Two girls dissecting a kidney

PROMISE summer camp: A camper perspective

Sanford PROMISE offers summer camp experiences for teens that provides them with hands-on experience in a biomedical research lab setting. These day- camps allow students to dive deep into a science topic such as genetics, anatomy, and engineering. We talked to a student who has attended multiple PROMISE camps to learn about her experience. Mazzi Moore is a freshman at Brandon Valley High School in Brandon, SD. She was in 6th grade when she attended her first PROMISE camp.

photo of a teacher with a student in front of a computer

Top 5 Interactive Life Science Websites

This one is for the science teachers. Whether you are exhausted, need a good sub plan, or want to try something different, an interactive lesson is a great way to engage students. Here are a few of the PROMISE team’s favorite interactive life science websites and why we love them.


Delta Dental Feature image

Teen Science Cafe Delta Dental


Teen Science Cafe is a student-led group held at Sanford Research once a month. Students invite speakers to teach them about a science topic and do hands-on activities. In this Teen Science Cafe, educators from Delta Dental teach students about tooth decay and how prevention is a much better strategy than treatment. 

Using Punnett Squares


This worksheet will apply classroom topics to real-life science.

From DNA to Protein


Genetic disorders are traced back to DNA mutations. There any many types of mutations that lead to issues during cell protein creation. In this lesson, students will learn how DNA can affect proteins, discover the effects of a gene mutation, and learn about gene therapy as a treatment option.