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Girl looking at DNA in vial

Sense of Wonder

Our outreach program aims to inspire and we do that by offering hands-on STEM learning in our community and on campus.

Virtual Events

Virtual Planetarium

Join the UMD Marshall W. Alworth Planetarium for engaging space-themed events via facebook Live

When: Wednesdays and Saturdays at 7 pm starting May 27

What: Learn about space, ask astronomers questions

Who: All ages 

Programs include: Moon phases; At Home AstronomyConstellation Story TimeScale and Wonder of the Universe, Solar System Tour, Star Wars- Fact or Fiction, UFO's & Hubble's 30th AnniversaryExoplanets

Archives of past events can be found here  

Identify Plants and Animals around your Home

Join Minnesota Sea Grant for the Great Lakes Bioblitz

When: April 22- May 20 (anytime within then at your own pace)

What: Be a citizen scientist! How many species of plants and animals can you find in your neighborhood? It's fun and easy- just make observations via the iNaturalist app on your mobile device. The application helps you identify species! Here is the link for info and instructions from Sea Grant. 

Who: All ages 

Connecting with Our Community

We do outreach at Swenson College in a big way. Our students, faculty and staff engage with local students in the surrounding Minnesota and Wisconsin communities to encourage interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

Our Vision

To support and promote more informed and engaged citizens and inspire the next generation of STEM workers.

Our Mission

To provide engaging STEM experiences for 6th-12th grade students, prioritizing connections with underserved students.

Upcoming Events:

On campus event update:

In light of the recent Coronavirus concerns the University is working hard to keep everyone safe. One of our prevention methods will be to decrease the number of people, in large groups, on campus and this includes youth programming.

Spring into Engineering- Saturday March 21


Who: 3rd-5th graders looking for some engineering fun (students are to be dropped off at the event)
When: Saturday March 21st from 12-4 pm

Where: University of Minnesota Duluth

What: Students learn about engineering through engaging, hands-on activities, including:

-Making chocolate at the UMD chocolate lab

-Making liquid nitrogen ice cream!

 Hosted by the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) at UMD and Enbridge. Contact with questions

STEM Discovery Day: STEM Careers of Today & Tomorrow - Saturday March 28


Who: 7th-12th graders
When: Saturday, March 28 from 8:30 am - 3 pm

Where: All across UMD campus

What:  This is a hands-on science, technology, engineering and math activities day designed for middle and high school students here at UMD. This is a free all-day event, including lunch for registered students! Youth choose 5-6 areas to explore throughout the day in the fields of Engineering as well as Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science, Physics, Astronomy, and more! Click here to see activity descriptions

Option for college prep info & activities for 10th-12th graders (Ask a college student about living on campus, info on financial aid & filling out college applications, behind-the-scenes lab tours).

Free busing to and from the following locations to those who register and request first:

Denfeld High School, Harbor Highlands, Lincoln Park Boys & Girls Club, Lincoln Park Middle School, Ordean Middle School, Superior Middle School

More details on the day's activities

UMD Cybergames Youth League, March 30 - May 24


Who: 7th-12th graders, teams or individuals
What: Free online programming fun: Write programs to play simple video games

-No prior program experience necessary

-Need only internet access and browser

-Schools can optionally compete against each other for high scores

-Champion will have highest aggregate score from all challenges

When: March 30-May 24, sign up by March 25

-Four two-week challenges

Where: From anywhere- need only internet access and browser

Sign up by contacting Dr. Peter Peterson (, 218-726-7988)

Astronomy Day: Celebrating 30 Years of Hubble- Saturday April 4


Enjoy a fun-filled day of planetarium shows and activities, chat with UMD scientists, and gaze at the heavens through telescopes. 

Who: All ages!

When: Saturday, April 4 from 1- 10 pm

           Hands-on activities 1-5 pm

           Planetarium shows 1-7 pm

           Star Party with telescope viewing 7-10 pm

Where: Marshall W. Alworth Planetarium and surrounding areas

Science on Deck: All aboard the Blue Heron Research Vessel - Friday May 29


Who: 7th-12th graders: Groups of students strongly encouraged
When: Friday May 29. Three 75 minute tours between 10 am- 2:30 pm

Where: Dock behind Great Lake Aquarium

What: Scientists from UMD’s Large Lake Observatory study the Great Lakes from the Blue Heron and welcome you to join us for a free science tour with 5 different engaging lake science stations

Please fill out the pre-registration survey if interested to let us know what times work for you and how many students you plan on bringing (stations are divided into groups of 25).