School Presentations

Bring the Sanford Underground Research Facility into your school or classroom! Our programs are available to schools across South Dakota, free of charge. These are short, engaging presentations suitable for an assembly or individual classrooms.


Elementary (Grades K-5)

A Day in the Life of a Sanford Lab Scientist: Working a mile underground is unique. How do the scientists who work at Sanford Lab every day get underground? What do they wear and what do they do? This presentation will have students playing scientist in an underground research laboratory.

Particle Accelerators–Smashing Science: Students are introduced to the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment (DUNE). They will have an opportunity to dig into the science concepts that underpin the particle accelerator that makes this experiment possible. Recommended for grades 3-5.

Middle School (Grades 6-8)

Discover Exciting Career Opportunities: Students learn about the current work at Sanford Lab and discover potential careers in STEM fields. Operating a research facility nearly a mile underground requires personnel with a wide range of skills. This is a great way for students to learn about the scientists, engineers, and other professionals who build and design the spaces, develop the tools, collect the data, support the work, and research the questions that are behind these cutting-edge experiments.

Dark Matter–It's A Matter of Gravity! Students are introduced to dark matter, a mystery particle that is much more abundant than anything else in the universe, but that has not (yet) been detected because it neither emits nor reflects light. Students apply their understanding of gravity to examine the evidence for dark matter and draw their own conclusions about its existence. They learn how scientists are attempting to detect these elusive particles in experiments at Sanford Lab.

High School (Grades 9-12)

Neutrinos–Just Passing Through: Students explore the properties of the universe’s most abundant particles-elusive neutrinos. Then they learn about the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment at the Sanford Underground Research Facility, which will detect neutrinos as they oscillate their way through the earth from Illinois (and its accelerator complex at Fermilab) to South Dakota. Construction will start in a few years, and experiments in this new facility at Sanford Lab will last decades.

What Can We Learn From A Borehole? Students are introduced to the microenvironments of the Sanford Underground Research Facility through examination of one of its many boreholes, looking at interactions among geology, water chemistry, biology and human intervention. How do the different fields of science and engineering intersect in this environment, and what interesting careers are possible as a result?

For more information, or to request a Sanford Lab program for your school, please contact