Sanford PROMISE Provides Valuable STEM Education

For almost a decade, Sanford PROMISE has connected students, educators and communities with the latest in science and research.


In 2011, Sanford Research created Sanford PROMISE, a new and innovative outreach program connecting students, educators and communities with science and research.

At its inception, “The goal of PROMISE was to create opportunities where thinking is visible for students of all ages,” said Jill Weimer, PhD, one of the program’s founders.

Today, almost ten years later, the mission of the program hasn’t changed, but its impact grows every year. Sanford PROMISE works to increase community understanding of health sciences, raise awareness of the benefits of research and emphasize the role of each in our society.

PROMISE is dedicated to creating a science outreach program that stimulates students to become tomorrow’s problem solvers, future innovators and the next generation of the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) career workforce. The program has hosted over 9,000 visitors since 2011 and continues to find new ways to reach more students.

The outreach program provides a variety of hands-on opportunities, lectures, virtual lessons and community events that engage K-12 students, science and classroom teachers and life-long learners.

Those opportunities play an important role in priming the pipeline for a growing science-based landscape in the Midwest. According to a study of more than 1,400 middle school students, exposure to STEM career activities can enhance their interest in pursuing those careers.

What’s next for PROMISE?

“What we really want to do here is develop self-efficacy in kids, instill a passion for science and inspire kids to ask questions, seek proof and solve problems. Fostering a supportive environment for all kids to envision themselves as scientists, thinkers or innovators is a big part of our vision,” said Amy Baete, director of Sanford PROMISE.