University on the Prairie

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University on the Prairie 2016 dates: July 26-28, 2016

University on the Prairie is a three-day summer program at the SWROC for students entering grades 7-12. The program immerses participants in hands-on activities showing them what they can do with a science education. Students conduct experiments, participate in hands-on labs, and learn new skills while exploring science-based career opportunities related to chemistry, engineering, environmental and agricultural science, food science and health science. University of Minnesota faculty, staff and graduate students lead each career track and share their experiences working in the science field.

For students

uopAt University on the Prairie, you will be grouped with other students your age and rotate throughout each day to explore the five career tracks. You won't spend the day sitting listening to lectures—all tracks feature hands-on activities and allow you to explore the topic firsthand. In recent years, the career tracks have explored the following topics and careers:

  • Chemistry—Using chemical reactions to develop photos, investigate a crime scene, create energy and understand how it is used and consumed, and understand the way various fuels work.
  • Engineering—Solving world problems through wind energy, circuit boards, motors, electrical and computer engineering and solar power.
  • Environmental & Agricultural Science—Insects and microorganisms, turtles and their habitats, the water cycle, fishing, soil science and plant growth.
  • Health Science—Pharmacy, dentistry, medical research, physical and occupational therapy, nursing, public health, medical laboratory technology and emergency medical services.
  • Food Science—Food safety, culinology, nutrients, meat marketing and processing, food product development and cooking competitions.

For teachers

Area K-12 teachers participate in University on the Prairie by serving as associate teachers. These teachers work closely with a group of participants and rotate with their assigned group to the various career tracks. This allows teachers to assist the track leaders while learning new skills and curriculum ideas to take back to their own classrooms.

For more information

With questions or to find out how to apply, contact Pauline Nickel at or 507-829-8257.

University on the Prairie 2015

University on the Prairie 2015 - Student Experiences

K-12 and Family Programs Contacts

For more information on any of our K-12/family programs, please contact:

University on the Praire Student Voices

University on the Prairie - From the Students