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Our programs extend beyond the classroom and engage young people statewide.

The Future is Now

We believe in engaging and inspiring the next generation of scientists. That’s why our outreach is focused on K-12 students and includes everything from DIY home experiments designed by faculty experts to our one-of-a-kind floating classroom on the Neuse River. Check out our current outreach opportunities below — we’d love to work with you.

K-12 Outreach

Are you interested in having a plant biologist talk to your K-12 class?

Our faculty members are leaders in plant biology research and extension. We can tailor an in-class program for elementary, middle and high school students that fits your needs and your students’ interests. For example, members of our faculty go to Root Elementary School in Raleigh every year as STEM presenters to discuss plants with kindergarteners.

In addition, we participate in NC State’s Grow Academy, a summer workshop that gives North Carolina high school teachers a unique opportunity to gain hands-on experience in agriculture and life sciences education.


Dr. Chad Jordan
Undergraduate Coordinator
Phone: 919-515-2222

Laura Tuning
Undergraduate Program Assistant
Phone: 919-513-3808

North Carolina Floating Classroom

Dr. JoAnn Burkholder directs the North Carolina Floating Classroom program as part of the Center for Applied Aquatic Ecology (CAAE). The program operates a research vessel year-round, offering hands-on experiences for young people (secondary and high school age) and their teachers to educate them about the factors that influence estuarine water quality and aquatic communities, as well as the various tools used to identify, characterize and manage our state’s water resources.

Visit the CAAE website to learn more about the Floating Classroom program.

Alonso-Stepanova Laboratory

The Alonso-Stepanova Laboratory has designed several “plant-it-yourself” schoolyard and home experiments for elementary school children, available in both English and Spanish. These experiments are a fun way for school-aged children to learn about how plants grow, find an answer to a question or test an idea.

Additional Outreach Opportunities

Student Programs

We are also dedicated to providing out-of-the-classroom opportunities for our undergraduate and graduate students. From clubs and associations to study abroad, the options are diverse. And our global plant health internship is a unique immersion experience that gives students the chance to learn about global plant health, food security, emerging plant diseases and trade issues in the tropics.