Participate in outreach activities

Participate in outreach activities

Learn about science and technology through an outreach event

Whether you're an educator, part of a local civic organization, or a campus partner, Beckman likely has an outreach activity for you.

Middle school students pose at Beckman
Preschoolers learning about MRI

Beckman's outreach activities include:

Have questions or want to get started? Contact Lexie Kesler.

Beckman offers activities for all ages. Here are our currently available activities for kindergarten through fifth grades:


The magic of imaging

How can doctors and scientists safely see inside of our bodies? One way is through medical imaging. This lesson provides students with a framework for understanding what an MRI scanner does. A fun matching game also allows them to test their ability to imagine what different kinds of fruit would look like from the inside.


Learn about microscopes and dive into the microscopic world of creepy-crawlies and pond water. Bugscope sessions typically last one hour and can be done remotely.


Build an MRI machine

How does an MRI machine work if it never touches your body? Students will create a model of a mini-MRI machine to study how an MRI uses a magnetic field. This activity can also be paired with a visit to the MRI exhibit at the Beckman Institute where students will see the first-ever human MRI machine. The exhibit also includes an interactive game, where students investigate how MRI machines work, the history of MRI at Illinois, and MRI safety.

Who was Arnold O. Beckman?

  • A curious boy who became interested in science after finding a book on chemistry in his attic
  • A talented musician and pianist
  • A successful inventor, businessman, and philanthropist
  • All of the above!

Students will explore what makes a scientist as they investigate the life of Arnold O. Beckman. Through an immersive storytelling exercise, students will put themselves into the past and be faced with the same decisions Dr. Beckman faced. Will students make the same decisions, or would they have chosen a separate path?

Molecule Maker Lab

Whether we know it or not, molecules are all around us. They are the building blocks of everything! From fuel, to the nutrients humans need to sustain life, to the dyes and pigments used to create the colors around us, molecules are everywhere. The Molecule Maker Lab introduces students to molecules and how scientists use patterns to predict the qualities molecules will have. In this classroom and lab visit, young scientists will try their hand at creating an Illini-orange molecule.


Learn about microscopes and dive into the microscopic world of creepy-crawlies and pond water. Bugscope sessions typically last one hour and can be done remotely.

Why are lemons sour?

Problem: The year is 1934. A former classmate comes to you needing an easier and more reliable tool to measure the acidity in lemon juice for Sunkist. How will he know they are ripe without biting into them?

Solution: Enter the pH meter, developed by Arnold O. Beckman. This tool, still used today, provides a way to measure the acidity or basicity of lemon juice and more! Young scientists will learn about the pH scale and meter. They will then use the scientific method to make hypotheses and test how acidic or basic different household solutions are.

Have questions about outreach at the Beckman Institute? Contact us:

Lexie Kesler's directory photo.

Lexie Kesler Outreach and Communications Specialist

Meg Dickinson's directory photo.

Meg Dickinson Executive Director of Communications