Opportunities for K-12 Students

Art 2 Science

Art to Science

This camp is an extension of JINA's Art to Science program which introduces children to the wonders of the physical universe. We utilize a multidisciplinary approach to learning by integrating reading, writing, and a variety of art forms with math and the physical sciences. Participants will learn about math, physics, astronomy, and chemistry by creating works of art and hands-on projects. Chosen activities will be designed by collaborations with local science and art teachers, QuarkNet, Riverbend Math Center, the NASA Planck Mission, and more!​

Celebrate Science Indiana

Celebrate Science Indiana

Sponsored the College of Science, scientists from the University of Notre Dame Physics and Chemistry Departments participate in Celebrate Science Indiana (CSI) each Fall in Indianapolis, Ind. This is an opportunity for K-12 students and the general public to learn about current research through hands-on activities at the Notre Dame exhibit.

Chem Demo Team

CHEM Demo Team

The Chem Demo Team consists of a group of Notre Dame students who demonstrate hands-on activities for Indiana school-children to encourage and develop their interest in science. They share significant research, conduct experiments for them to observe, and oversee the children's participation in their chemistry activities.

College for a Day

College for a Day

College for a Day is a college immersion program that uses interactive methodologies to engage 7th and 8th grade students from the South Bend Community School Corporation by providing a “glimpse” of college. The prime objective of the project is to change attitudes about post-secondary education and in particular the STEM disciplines by providing venues for the students to experience them first hand. One of our core beliefs is that it is extremely difficult to imagine yourself accomplishing a goal if you have no idea of the expectations or of what success in achieving the goal looks like. This project is designed to help students envision themselves pursuing post- secondary education by providing exposure to higher education experiences.


DNA Learning Center

A hands-on science center devoted to modern biology education, the DNA Learning Center will prepare local elementary through high school students to thrive in the gene age. This advanced science education center will be the ideal teaching tool to inspire young students to pursue careers in science and to build a knowledge base that will extend into their educational and post-educational careers. As a licensee of the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory DNA Learning Center in New York, the Notre Dame DNA Learning Center utilizes teaching methods, Internet technology and intellectual property of DNALC such as specialized DNA learning kits that include reagents, supplies, equipment checklists, lab instructions and manuals for learning modern biology.

Expanding Your Horizons

Expanding Your Horizons

Expanding Your Horizons is a day-long conference for middle school girls (grades 6-8) that aims to inspire them to realize their potential and to pursue opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. Workshops are led by women with careers in STEM and the participants interact with female undergraduate and graduate students to learn about studying STEM fields in college.

ICSB Program

The ICSB Summer Program for Educators

The Interdisciplinary Center for the Study of Biocomplexity (ICSB) at the University of Notre Dame uses mathematical and computational modeling to run predictive simulations and suggest new biological experiments. Collaborating with science and math teachers from local high schools in Indiana and Michigan, the center is now hoping to expand the use of these models from the laboratory to the classroom. This program, in partnership with the Notre Dame Quarknet program, allows local high school students to experience a college environment while encouraging them to pursue studies in math and science.


Joint Institute for Nuclear Astrophysics (JINA)

Joint Institute for Nuclear Astrophysics (JINA) fosters interdisciplinary collaborations, research programs and educational activities. Among other initiatives, the week-long JINA Sensing Our Cosmos Summer Science Camp brings students aged 11 to 14 to campus for learning.


Northern Indiana Regional Science and Engineering Fair (NIRSEF)

The Northern Indiana Regional Science and Engineering Fair (NIRSEF) is open to students grades 3-12 in schools in the counties of Elkhart, Fulton, Marshall, and St. Joseph. Participants explain their research to judges including STEM faculty, students, and professionals from Notre Dame and area community partners and compete for prizes and the opportunity to advance to the Hoosier Science and Engineering Fair in Indianapolis, IN.  

ND Lights


Notre Dame Laboratory Instrumentation Giving Hope To Students (ND LIGHTS) takes working equipment and instrumentation from retired or upgraded laboratories at the University of Notre Dame and donates them to Catholic schools in need of laboratory equipment, beginning with ACE schools. The collaboration includes the Office of Sustainability and the College of Engineering.


Notre Dame QuarkNet Center

The Notre Dame QuarkNet Center, sponsored by the National Science Foundation and the Department of Energy, brings together mentors and educators from the Department of Physics with local science teachers for a firsthand experience of current physics research. The relationships aid in developing curriculum and supporting K-12 science teachers. Summer research opportunities are available for high school students interested in deepening their understanding of physics.

Physics of Atomic Nuclei

Physics of Atomic Nuclei

The Physics of Atomic Nuclei (PAN) is an outreach program at two world leading nuclear physics laboratories: Nuclear Science Laboratory located on the campus of the University of Notre Dame and the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory located on the campus of Michigan State University. It is run by the Joint Institute for Nuclear Astrophysics (JINA) and either NSL or NSCL faculty and staff. We welcome students who have completed at least one year of high school and science teachers (primarily high school physics or chemistry, though others have found the program useful). The program introduces participants to the fundamentals of the extremely small domain of atomic nuclei and its connection to the extremely large domain of astrophysics and cosmology.

Science Alive!

Science Alive!

The St. Joseph County Public Library’s Science Alive! program is going into the 23rd year in spring 2014. The event attracts STEM exhibitors from around the county for a day of hands-on learning open to the entire community. The University of Notre Dame has been consistently represented by individual faculty as well as groups from the College of Science. The Joint Institute for Nuclear Astrophysics, Quarknet Center, and CHEM Demo teams are regular contributors.

Science Spectacular

Science Spectacular!

The Experiencing Technology and Hands on Science (ETHOS) Center in Elkhart, IN holds an annual STEM outreach event where exhibitors provide hands-on activities geared toward kids grades K-12 and open to the general public. The Joint Institute for Nuclear Astrophysics, Quarknet Center, and CHEM Demo teams are regular contributors. For current event information, visit ethosinc.org.

Siemens Foundation

Siemens Competition

Siemens Competition in Math, Science, and Technology, one of the nation’s premier competitions in science, holds its Midwest Regional event at the University of Notre Dame, one of six major research universities who host such events. Notre Dame faculty in the College of Science judge the independent research projects that can win cash awards or scholarships.

Study of Biocomplexity

Study of Biocomplexity

The Study of Biocomplexity is a web tutorial resource in "Understanding Randomness in Biology" geared towards high school students and undergraduates. It allows students to explore the underpinnings of modern mathematical biology – all done very gently and with a strong qualitative approach – and discover one of the many directions life science is traveling.

Triple C's Juday Creek visit

Triple C

Triple C (Camping, Climbing, Cameras) takes a three-pronged approach to connecting youth to the outdoors. The program seeks to engage youths with limited access to opportunities that allow for them to grow in their appreciation and utilization of the outdoors in three ways: education in ecology and wilderness preservation; sports and nature photography; and participation in outdoor recreation, including kayaking, hiking, bouldering and rock climbing. Students from sixth grade through high school are paired with mentors who work with them personally to develop self-confidence and leadership skills. The program is a collaborative effort with the ND Climbing Club, ND GradLife, Robinson Community Learning Center, and La Casa de Amistad, as well as volunteers, including biological sciences faculty, graduate student instructors from the Departments of Biological Sciences and Art, and undergraduate mentors.