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.


Are you a Beckman staff or faculty member interested in outreach? Learn how to develop your own outreach activity or program.

Middle school students pose at Beckman

Participate in Beckman's outreach activities by:

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

Students looking at x-ray images

Beckman case files: The case of the scrambled subjects

Three Beckman research groups were on the brink of groundbreaking discoveries ... until someone broke into their labs and mixed up their final test subject files. Groups are tasked with learning everything they can about the last three test subjects and the techniques and equipment used in each of the labs. Only then, will they be able to correctly return the final test subject to the correct lab.

Target grades: 3-6

Painted plaster brain

Brain power!

From helping us to solve a conflict with our friend, to coordinating our muscles so we can ride a bike; our brain is incredibly involved in our everyday lives. It even keeps us breathing when we’re asleep.

Students will use their temporal lobe to create fun memory devices to help them understand the various parts of the brain. They’ll experience some of the research that’s been done to explore how the brain works and create a model of the human brain.

Target grades: 4-8

Insect under a microscope


Dive into the microscopic world of pond water, learn all about microscopes, and meet creepy-crawlies up close during a live Bugscope session. Sessions can be done remotely, which means no matter the distance, your class can be a part of this engaging experience. Sign up online or contact Lexie Kesler.

Target grades: K-12

Illinois MRI Exhibit

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.

Target grades: 3-5

Preschooler holds up pepper and MRI image of a pepper

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.

Target grades: K-3

Students in Molecule Maker Lab

Molecule Maker Lab

Molecules are everywhere: in food, medicine, and dyes and pigments. During lab visits, young scientists work together to create their own molecular rainbow and see the robots that automate the process of making these colorful molecules. Longer sessions will allow visitors to apply their knowledge to make their own solar cells and try their hand at a sustainability problem: Can we figure out what colors can generate the electricity best?

Target grades: 5-12


Students playing with slime

Slime time

It’s a liquid. No, it’s a solid. No, it’s a viscoelastic fluid! Prepare to get messy in this interactive session! Students will review the characteristics of solids and liquids before moving into an exploration of viscoelastic fluids. Once students observe some of the characteristics of these strange materials, they’ll use their knowledge to complete some challenges as a team.

Target grades: 2-7

Statue of Arnold Beckman

Who was Arnold O. Beckman?

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?

Target grades: 3-5

Students measuring pH

Why are lemons sour?

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

Enter the pH meter, developed by Arnold O. Beckman, a tool still in use.

Young scientists will learn about the pH scale and meter. They will then use the scientific method to test how acidic or basic different household solutions are.

Target grades: 3-5

What's new with Beckman outreach

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