With a world-class research university and high-tech workforce, our city and our campus are home to many science outreach efforts. From star parties to radio programs to blogs, The University of Texas at Austin and our broader community have much to offer.
Events, Programs and More from UT
Explore UT (Host: UT Austin)
Known as "The Biggest Open House in Texas," this day long event features close to 400 programs across campus including performances, exhibits, lectures and activities for the entire family. Held every year in March. Free.
Fun with Chemistry (Host: Department of Chemistry, UT Austin)
The program, that goes into schools and elsewhere in the Austin community, makes chemistry come alive and fosters interest in learning and discovery for students of all ages by participation in hands-on activities. Get the latest updates at: https://twitter.com/FunWithChem.
Hot Science – Cool Talks (Host: Environmental Science Institute, UT Austin)
Leading researchers from UT Austin and other prominent universities communicate their research to the public. Each event features a lecture, interactive science demonstrations and educational materials for teachers and families.
Not So Math (Host: Department of Mathematics, UT Austin)
Discover what mathematics is about in a #notsomath way! The talks will show that you don't need to know math to be able to enjoy and understand the essence of it. Ideas are presented in an approachable way to the general public. Free.
Physics Circus (Host: Department of Physics, UT Austin)
A traveling educational program for K-12 schools with exciting demonstrations of heat, motion, states of matter, and key concepts of classical physics.
Present your PhD to a 12 yr-old (Graduate Science Outreach student group)
Science Doctoral students at UT Austin present a simplified version of their Ph.D. thesis in kindergarten through 12th grade classrooms.
RESEARCH+PIZZA (Host: University of Texas Libraries, UT Austin)
Wondering about the work professors do outside of the classroom? Want to know more about how research is done?RESEARCH+PIZZA brings together UT students and researchers for informal lunchtime presentations (sometimes on science topics) and discussions over pizza.
Saturday Morning Math Group (Host: Department of Mathematics, UT Austin)
This program is aimed at junior high and high school students, their teachers and their parents. Math professors and graduate students present entertaining and informative lectures and activities.
Science Under the Stars (Host: Brackenridge Field Lab, UT Austin)
A free, monthly public outreach lecture series founded and organized by graduate students in the Department of Integrative Biology at UT Austin.
Science Study Break (Host: University of Texas Libraries, UT Austin)
Join UT researchers for food and chat about popular movies and TV shows that deal with science topics.
Scientist in Residence Program (Host: Environmental Science Institute, UT Austin)
This program (formerly called GK-12) provides teachers and students with innovative learning activities in biology, environmental science, aquatic science, geology, meteorology and oceanography and relates these topics to the impact of environmental change on Texas habitats and residents.
Shadow a Scientist (Host: Freshman Research Initiative, UT Austin)
This summer program pairs middle school students with a scientist at the University of Texas for a tour of the scientist's lab and experiments in progress. The goal of the program is to provide the opportunity for young students to cultivate their interest in science and allow them to experience first-hand what a scientist does on a daily basis.
Star Parties (Host: Dept. of Astronomy, UT Austin)
The Astronomy Department hosts three weekly viewing nights for the public - every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday while UT is in session. Be sure and double check the website for current schedule and locations.
UTCS Roadshow (Host: Department of Computer Science)
UT Austin students go to middle school and high school classrooms to excite students about computer science. They give a 45-minute presentation about cutting-edge technology, challenge the students with logic puzzles, and demo an AIBO robotic dog that plays soccer.
UTeach Outreach (Host: UTeach)
UTeach Outreach is one of the college’s largest outreach initiatives, with over 300 UT students and volunteers teaching hands-on science lessons in 40 Austin-area schools every semester as part of the UTeach Outreach service-learning course. UTeach Outreach also organizes middle school after-school STEM clubs, leads hands-on science activities during community events, hosts sustainability-themed field trips, runs a first-year interest group, sponsors a student organization, and supports CNS research educators with strategic partnerships in NSF grants and more. To find out more about UTeach Outreach, please visit their website or get information about their impact here.
H2 from H2o
The H2fromH20 outreach program is designed to educate high school chemistry students and middle school science students about the possibility of generating a renewable resource (hydrogen fuel - H2) from one of the simplest molecules on Earth - water (H2O). Instructors can check out, free of charge, an all-inclusive class experiment kit and are also provided with UT Austin student volunteers to assist during class.
The university's natural history museum features exhibits on paleontology, gems and minerals, plants and animals. Spotlighted in the exhibits are spectacular specimens found in Texas, including the largest flying creature ever found – the Texas Pterosaur, with a wingspan of 40 feet – and the 30-foot Mosasaur that swam the shallow sea that once covered most of the state. The museum is also site of numerous education and outreach activities, including Identification Day and Texas Wildlife Day.
Views & Brews (Hosts: KUT-FM and Cactus Café, UT Austin)
Twice a month the Cactus Cafe hosts KUT’s Views and Brews, a free space for the community to explore a wide range of subjects and ideas, sometimes including science.
Out of Town
Estuary Explorium (Port Aransas, TX)
The Explorium, located at the University of Texas Marine Science Institute in Port Aransas, encourages self-guided exploration of estuaries through the use of interactive exhibits that you can feel, move, and hear.
McDonald Observatory (Fort Davis, TX)
At the Observatory Visitors Center, outreach events include star parties, public tours, K-12 teacher and student activities and more.
Summer Camps and Academies
Alice in Wonderland (Host: Advanced Atomic Design Group, UT Austin)
This outreach program from the Department of Physics connects high school girls with opportunities to learn about concepts and careers in physics.
First Bytes (Host: Computer Science Department, UT Austin)
A one-week summer residential program on campus serving high school girls interested in computer science.
High School Summer Research Academy (Host: College of Natural Sciences, UT Austin)
This program offers high school students and incoming University of Texas at Austin freshmen the chance to join researchers in the College of Natural Sciences where they will become members of a research team.
UTeach Outreach’s Summer STEM Programs (Host: The College of Natural Science, UT Austin)
These academic, rigorous camps last for one to six weeks on UT’s main campus. Students take advanced courses in science, technology, engineering, and math while exploring campus, interacting with industry professionals, touring labs and having fun. Four levels of UT PREP, taken during four consecutive summers, are offered and encouraged.
UT Summer Science (Host: Marine Science Institute, Port Aransas)
An exciting, inquiry-based learning experience for students entering 3rd through 8th grade. Working alongside marine scientists from the University of Texas, students will experience science outside of the classroom.
Fun with Chemistry (Host: College of Natural Sciences, UT Austin)
Fun with Chemistry will be hosting three one-day camps this summer for students entering grades 4-8 for the 2017-2018 school year. All three sessions will be located on the UT Campus and will run from 9 AM to 4 PM. In each session, your student will focus on the theme of Combustion with a particular emphasis on the energy released from combustion reactions. These reactions can occur inside a car engine, the human body, or even a hydrogen balloon! Additionally, your student will participate in several hands-on STEM experiments, interact with highly-esteemed chemistry professors, enjoy a luncheon with undergraduate and graduate students, and finish by assisting Dr. Kate Biberdorf with an explosive Chemistry Circus! It’s a day of STEM that your students do not want to miss!
Organizations, Venues & Programs around Austin
An art gallery and science communication space dedicated to art-science fusion of all kinds. Located in Austin, Texas, it is one of the nation’s first art galleries to feature exclusively science-related artworks. The gallery also hosts Art.Science Labs, which are workshops focused on science communications. Scientists also periodically give free public talks about their research.
Astronomy on Tap ATX (Host: professional astronomers in Austin).
Each FREE event features accessible, engaging science presentations on topics ranging from planets to black holes to the beginning of the Universe. Events are held every third Tuesday of the month.
Austin Nature & Science Center
The ANSC is dedicated to the exploration of the natural world through wildlife viewing and hands-on educational exhibits such as the Dino Pit, where kids can dig in a sand pit for life-size dinosaur fossil replicas.
The Austin Planetarium is a non-profit established to build a world-class science museum, technology center and planetarium. The planetarium has not begun construction, but the organization does bring its mobile planetarium program to schools and other organizations.
Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum & IMAX Theater
The museum tells the story of Texas, including the history of human spaceflight (Texas is home to the Johnson Space Center after all), and the state's vital contributions to the nation's energy supply and computer industry. The museum's IMAX theater often features films about science and the natural world.
A group of UT Austin students focused on encouraging and promoting education, self-image, and mentorship for young girls in the Austin area.
Girlstart is the only community-based informal STEM education nonprofit in the nation specifically dedicated to empowering and equipping girls in STEM through year-round STEM educational programming.
Informal Science Education Association of Texas
A community of teachers and science communicators from museums, zoos, parks, and nature centers working to improve bridges between schools and community spaces where learning science is part of the focus.
Nerd Nite Austin
A monthly event held in more than 75 cities across the globe during which several folks give 18-21-minute fun-yet-informative presentations across all disciplines – while the audience drinks along. Austin's Nerd Nite is every second Wednesday of the month.
Starry Nights at Girlstart (Host: Girlstart)
Girlstart's STEM Studio and Mini-Planetarium is a unique space for families to explore astronomy! Starry Nights are held the first Thursday of every month (except January, June, July and August), with each month featuring a new astronomy experience.
Every October, SXSW Eco attracts a global community to explore, engage and co-create solutions for a sustainable world.
The Thinkery is an evolution of the Austin Children’s Museum, a place where science and families play side by side. With an emphasis on hands-on learning, kids explore water, electricity, engineering, woodworking, nutrition and much more.
WeatherFest (Host: Girlstart)
An interactive day focusing on science, technology, engineering and math related to weather! Held every year in March.
A podcast by neuroscience graduate students.
Based in the in the Department of Nutritional Sciences, Cook'em is an online collection of student-produced instructional videos designed to promote healthy eating through the application of nutritional science in daily life.
EarthSky is a news service and blog covering the entire spectrum of science and nature, from the deepest ocean to the farthest stars.
Point of Discovery
The Point of Discovery podcast takes you on a behind-the-scenes journey to the front lines of science where you'll meet the brilliant, quirky scientists who do it. Produced by UT Austin's College of Natural Sciences.
Science and the Sea
Science and the Sea is a weekly radio program produced by the University of Texas Marine Science Institute that provides entertaining stories and activities that teach about the marine world and even convey how scientists approach, and ultimately solve, some of the oceans' mysteries.
StarDate is the public education and outreach arm of the University of Texas McDonald Observatory. The StarDate radio program airs daily on more than 300 stations and the StarDate bimonthly magazine is the perfect skywatching companion for amateur astronomers or anyone interested in celestial events and space exploration.
They Blinded Me With Science
TBMWS is a weekly half-hour radio program featuring science news and interviews with scientists. Produced by The University of Texas at Austin's student-run radio station, KVRX.
Tumble is a science podcast for kids, hosted by Lindsay Patterson and Marshall Escamilla.
Two Guys on Your Head
This lively, often humorous weekly radio show about human psychology features professors Art Markman and Robert Duke from The University of Texas at Austin. Produced by Austin public radio station KUT.