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University of Iowa News Release


Dec. 4, 2008

Hygienic Lab's K-12 program brings hands-on science to classrooms

Elementary, junior high and high school students across Iowa soon will be able to view Iowa bugs and fish through a "Critter Camera," build their own "edible aquifer" and explore public health career pathways during presentations by University Hygienic Laboratory staff as part of the Iowa Public Television (IPTV) "K-12 Connections" series, beginning in January 2009.

"At a time when public health faces an aging workforce, we recognize the importance of introducing students to the sciences as a great way to attract future scientists," said Beth Hochstedler, training and outreach coordinator for the Hygienic Laboratory.

Students from kindergarten through 12th grade can tune in to the Iowa Communications Network (ICN) for the hands-on, 50-minute sessions about public health and laboratory science. The ICN is the state-operated, high-speed network providing video, data and Internet connections to schools, hospitals and other public buildings across the state.

A video link from the ICN connects Hygienic Laboratory scientists on the University of Iowa Oakdale Campus to students throughout Iowa. Topics presented by laboratory staff in the 2009 "K-12 Connections" series are:

--"Disaster Bingo: Get Your Kit Together," Jan. 15.
--"Stream Critters," Jan. 27.
--"Water, Water Everywhere," Feb. 3.
--"Where's Germy the Germ?" Feb. 17.
--"Edible Aquifers," Feb. 26.
--"Public Health: Pathway to Adventure," March 3.
--"Mom, Why Can't I Eat Hamburgers?" April 21.

Descriptions of the "K-12 Connections" classes are available online at

Additional course listings and online registration is available on the IPTV Web site at by clicking on the title of the course.

The University Hygienic Laboratory is part of the University of Iowa and is the state of Iowa's environmental and public health laboratory. The UHL is the designated laboratory for the Iowa Neonatal Metabolic Screening Program, with facilities located on the 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. The UHL performs analyses on samples from virtually all matrices, including human clinical specimens, air, drinking water, wastewater, soil, sediment, industrial effluents, oil and fish.

For more information about UHL and its programs and services visit

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

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