K-12 Learning

Proud Member of STEM Forward

STEM Educational Experiences

Offering educational experiences and tours that are hands-on and interactive are important to help increase knowledge of STEM education and The Hormel Institute’s research. Experiences include visits to labs to hear from scientists, viewing protozoa and other samples under the microscopes, 3-D stations, experiments with liquid nitrogen and dry ice, learning about the Institute’s Cryo-EM microscope (one of the most powerful microscopes in the world), and opportunities to learn about the Institute’s history, mission, and work. To learn more about the Education Experiences and how to schedule one, visit https://www.hi.umn.edu/education/educational-tours/.

7th Grade Tours

7th grade classes come to The Hormel Institute for a special tour of the Institute. They meet scientists, see hands on experiments, and see where scientists work!

Middle School Scientist Visits

The Hormel Institute scientists go to different middle school science classes and talk about biomedical research, science careers, and more!

Science Fair

The Hormel Institute scientists help judge the science fairs. Winners of local science fair and their families get a special one on one tour of The Hormel Institute.


Science Saturdays

At The Hormel Institute we feel it is important to allow youth to explore and learn through hands-on activities. Each child will receive hands-on learning kits to inspire your young scientist to want to learn more about the world of science and all it has to offer. In this kit you will find instructions for a science experiment as well as the supplies you will need to complete the experiment. 


Family Learning Days at The Hormel Institute

Family Learning Days provide opportunities for families to engage in hands-on learning activities focused on STEM education. Participants have the chance to learn more about The Hormel Institute, its rich history, and the research that is currently being done. 


Career Fairs

Scientists from The Hormel Institute participate in career fairs hosted by schools and organizations, including Riverland Community College. Scientists talk about STEM careers, their journey to becoming a scientist at the Institute, and their research. The goal is to inspire the next generation of scientists.


Art of Microscopy

“The Art of Microscopy” is an exhibit that can be found in the hallways of Riverland Community College in Austin. These art showcases images captured by microscopes at The Hormel Institute and serve as a unique way to showcase the research. Thirteen additional images are available to be checked out as a traveling exhibit to be used around the region. Please contact Community Outreach and Education Manager, Kelly Vincelette at kelly521@umn.edu for more information.