Skip to main content
ARS Home » Midwest Area » Peoria, Illinois » National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research » Docs » NCAUR Outreach

NCAUR Outreach
headline bar

NCAUR Outreach          

Outreach activities at NCAUR, strives to encompass broad interactions with the general public as well as specific groups to help them learn more about agricultural research and how it affects their lives every day, and educating the future scientific work force.  The Outreach committee is currently chaired by Molly Schumacher  and is comprised of a group of dedicated volunteers.

During August 2017-September 2018, NCAUR completed 21 outreach activities, some of these events happened on site, while others happened off-site at schools and local museums. The following are summaries of select activities and photos of a few of the events during this past year. Please note that we do have consent and photo release forms on file for all of the photos in this summary.

For more information about outreach activities and how to schedule a tour, please contact Molly Schumacher at

Science Rocks, at Peoria Riverfront Museum, September 8, 2018

Science Rocks was a collaboration with the Peoria Riverfront Museum. NCAUR provided 5 booths with demonstrations and hands-on activities relating to our diverse research projects. The Peoria Riverfront Museum estimated that approximately 1,715 attendees came through the museum during the Science Rocks four hour free event.

/ARSUserFiles/50100500/New-2018/outreach/2018-AgDiscovery.jpgAgDiscovery visit on July 18, 2018

Students and mentors from the 2018 AgDiscovery Program (sponsored by USDA/APHIS) learned about the research, history, and resources available at NCAUR during their visit to the building. They visited the ARS Culture Collection, learned about the process of converting biomass to energy, talked to Dr. Jill Moser about her research on functional foods and inspected cabbages (in the field) for cabbage loopers.


/ARSUserFiles/50100500/New-2018/outreach/2018-WIU.jpgWestern Illinois University visit on April 27, 2018

Two teachers and fifteen students from the Western Illinois University Dietetics program came to NCAUR to learn about the history of the building, visit the Functional Foods Pilot Plant and learn about oils as it relates to their studies about nutrition.


Quest Academy mini STEM camp on April 6, 2018

Middle school students from Quest Academy in Peoria, IL received hands-on experience in basic experimental techniques used every day by NCAUR researchers.  Students learned the importance of measuring, weighing and recording observations.  The students were guided by NCAUR scientific staff members.

/ARSUserFiles/50100500/New-2018/outreach/2017-science-rocks.jpgScience Rocks, at Peoria Riverfront Museum, September 9, 2017

NCAUR provided seven booths (representing each of our Research Units) with demos and hands-on activities relating to our diverse research projects at the Peoria Riverfront Museum’s Science Rocks event. The Peoria Riverfront Museum estimates that 1050 people go through the museum during Science Rocks event.


/ARSUserFiles/50100500/New-2018/outreach/2017-ASM-camp.jpgAmerican Society for Metals (ASM) Materials Camp at NCAUR, July 24-26, 2017

American Society for Metals (ASM) Materials Camp introduces & encourage area high school students to choose engineering as a career. This year, two teams participated in the project at NCAUR. Students from the two teams were assigned two projects to perform at the AgLab over three days.


/ARSUserFiles/50100500/New-2018/outreach/2017-4G-STEM.jpg4G Stem Camp at NCAUR, June 28, 2017

The 4G STEM camp was a collaboration with the University of Illinois Extension office, designed to introduce girls entering sixth, seventh, and eighth grades to careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). This year NCAUR hosted 35 girls for a full day (7 hours) of doing hands on science experiments.

Quest Charter Academy-Middle School Teachers Visit to NCAUR, May 27, 2017

High school teachers and the development director from Quest Charter Academy toured NCAUR and spoke to several of our research scientists about possible outreach and mentorship opportunities between Quest Academy students and NCAUR.


/ARSUserFiles/50100500/New-2018/outreach/2017-WIU-dietetics.jpgWestern Illinois University Dietetics Students and Faculty Visit NCAUR, April 20, 2017

Western Illinois University Dietetics Students and Faculty visited NCAUR facilities on 20 April 2017 to learn about the pilot plant, oils, and the history of NCAUR.

/ARSUserFiles/50100500/New-2018/outreach/2016-studentresearchday.jpgStudent Researcher Day at NCAUR, November 8, 2016

Through the Student Researcher Day Program, high school students gain hands-on experience with some of the same research techniques used daily by career researchers at the lab. Students rotated through three different laboratories, interacted closely with research staff and gained a deeper understanding of how the multi-disciplinary teams at NCAUR solve research puzzles of national importance, one piece at a time.