The Biology Department has several successful outreach programs that influence the community and future biologists. For example the Mobile Molecular Laboratory whose primary goal is to provide opportunities for students from traditionally under-served communities to develop an interest in science and to develop confidence in their ability to pursue university- level studies and careers in science. Since the initiation of the program, 6,000 New Mexico High School students have participated in intensive weeklong visits to their high schools. During these visits, Outreach scientists lead students through laboratory activities that emphasize the understanding of phenotypes and genotypes using the student’s own DNA and modern molecular biology techniques and equipment.
Another program the Biology Department has in place is the Access to Science Center. The ASC’s goal is to support teachers as they develop the ability to successfully integrate real-world science methodologies and concepts into their classrooms. The ASC provides teachers equipment and supplies, instructional support through site visits and through a web-based platform, as well as instructional support through a series of summer workshops and content refresher courses.
A program that is ran by Dr. Michele Shuster that focuses primarily for young students is the Bioinformatics in the K-8 Classroom program. This outreach project investigates a particular approach to outreach, and the impacts on teacher and student attitudes and learning. It has served approximately 1600 K-8 students in Las Cruces in its first three years. This project is carried out under a NMSU IRB-approved protocol.