K12 Students

Programs, events, and resources for K-12 students and their families.

Unraveling the enigma of life in universe

When he enrolled in Purdue University for his doctoral studies, after graduating from the University of Kansas in 2006 with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry, Dr. Joshua Sebree hoped to study meteorites. There was one problem, though: the faculty member working on meteorites was not accepting any new students.
Fortunately, there was another professor who was using physical and organic chemistry methods to study gases in the atmosphere of Saturn’s largest moon, Titan.

FIRST Robotics Competition comes to UNI

Mark your calendar. March 24-26, 2016. The UNI campus will be abuzz with robots as the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) Iowa Regional  gets under way at the McLeod Center and the UNI Dome.


FRC won’t be quite like Real Steel, the 2011 Hollywood science-fiction sports drama starring Hugh Jackman. No, there will be no Atom and Zeus fighting it out in the boxing ring.


However, there will be robots trying to breach their opponents’ defense and capture their towers.


Looking at life through evolution lens

Nicole Hindman has always had a passion for learning about animals, plants, and insects. When in high school, she first learned about the Theory of Evolution; it gave her “a lens to appreciate life at a deeper level.” The decision to major in biology, with an emphasis on ecology and evolution, was thus easy to make.
The decision to enroll in the University of Northern Iowa wasn’t too difficult, either. She found the atmosphere “very welcoming” when she visited UNI.

Dream defined in diversity

It all started with a couple of short and simple questions: Who decides what we get and what we do not get?
“I have always been a curvy girl,” says Keyaira Phillips. “So, before it was ‘in’ to be curvy, I had the hardest time finding in Waterloo/Cedar Falls areas a selection of clothes that were trendy and cute, and that fit.”
Of course, Phillips did not know then that “there were actual buyers and teams that pick out clothing assortments and that what was available varied per locations/regions.” However, she knew one thing for sure.

Passion for learning

Cody Law was in high school then. He was part of the Upward Bound Math and Science Program at the University of Northern Iowa. There, he came to know about the UNI Science Symposium.


“I was informed that the symposium awarded scholarships in the fields of natural science,” he recalls. “I participated and was awarded a scholarship in the field of Physics.”


Law enrolled in the Department of Physics in the fall of 2001.


Never too late to go to school

Paul Rael’s decision to enroll in the Department of Technology at the University of Northern Iowa in 2000 for a bachelor’s degree in electromechanical systems must have been surprising — to his friends, colleagues, and family.


After all, he already had an associate’s degree in electronics engineering technology from Hawkeye Community College and had been working as an electronics technician for more than 10 years.


He had his reasons, though — two, to be precise.


Mastering the Multi-player

For elementary and secondary education students across the country, summer is typically a time to hit up the pool for an afternoon of swimming, participate in summer reading programs at their local library or venture away from home on a family vacation. For many students in the Cedar Valley, though, a part of this past summer was spent on UNI’s campus participating in a UNI STEM Summer Camp. Of the hundreds of kids who participated this summer, though, one of them hails from a little farther south; Florida to be exact.

Transferring with Ease

Each year, hundreds of students transfer to the University of Northern Iowa to continue their education at this institution. In fact, this year alone, 978 students made the decision to transfer after previously completing coursework at a different college or university. In 2013, Benjamin Nettleton decided that UNI was the right fit for him and made the transition to life at a 4-year college after completing his associate’s degree at North Iowa Area Community College (NIACC) in Mason City, Iowa.


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