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University of Iowa News Release


Oct. 29, 2007

K-12 program delivers science to Iowa classrooms

"Germy the Germ" is returning to classrooms across Iowa, along with "Stream Critters," "Edible Aquifer" and 12 other hands-on science programs delivered by University Hygienic Laboratory (UHL) staff over the Iowa Communications Network (ICN), beginning Nov. 8 and continuing throughout the 2007-08 school year.

University Hygienic Laboratory staff members will present these 50-minute classes that explore the environment, biological sciences and health issues through the Iowa Public Television (IPTV) "K-12 Connections" program.

"The UHL's participation in the 'K-12 Connections' began three years ago as part of our centennial celebration and since then has continued to provide students with interactive, age-appropriate science lessons," explained UHL Director Chris Atchison. "Through this collaboration with IPTV, we hope to generate an early interest in laboratory science for young learners and introduce older students to public health as a potential area of further exploration."

Hundreds of Iowa students access Connections through the ICN system that broadcasts programming from a central location over a fiber-optic network to schools across the state.

"Iowa Public Television's 'K-12 Connections' project delivers educational content of all curriculum areas to a statewide pre-K-12 audience on a daily basis via the Iowa Communications Network," said Abby Brown of Iowa Public Television. "It's important that students in Iowa interact with professionals in our state not only for the educational value but, in the case of the University of Iowa Hygienic Lab, for the exposure to the real world, to women in science-related fields and, of course, for the fun of it."

A complete list of "K-12 Connections" classes presented by UHL is available online at Registration is available on the IPTV Web site at in the "Education" section.

The University Hygienic Laboratory is the state of Iowa's environmental and public health laboratory, with facilities located on the UI's Oakdale Campus in Iowa City and at the Iowa Lab Facilities in Ankeny, a Des Moines suburb. Among its many services, the laboratory functions as a consultative and analytical support facility for state agencies, health professionals, and citizens. UHL is part of the University of Iowa and has developed and maintained effective and productive collaborations with the Iowa Department of Public Health, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Geological Survey, and local public health agencies.

UHL performs analyses on samples from virtually all matrices, including human clinical specimens, air, drinking water, wastewater, soil, sediment, industrial effluents, oil and fish. In addition to performing analyses by specified methods, the UHL provides methods development and procedure verification for nonroutine analyses. Additional information about UHL, its programs and services is available online at

STORY SOURCE:  University Hygienic Laboratory, 102 Oakdale Campus, H101 OH, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-5002

MEDIA CONTACT: Pat Blake, 319-335-4177,