Extension and Outreach


As a land-grant institution, Iowa State University and the College of Human Sciences are dedicated to extending research to the people of our communities, state, nation, and world. We do this in a variety of ways, such as:

  • Programming from Iowa State University Extension
  • 4-H Youth Development
  • Community restoration
  • Community education
  • International outreach partnerships
  • Study abroad trips to the far regions of the globe

Our research starts in labs located in Ames, Iowa, but truly knows no boundaries, as alumni, students, faculty, and staff work the world over to bring improvements to people’s lives.


Curriculum and Instruction graduate students are working with area school children to improve their literacy and reading skills through the Fred Dufflemeyer Reading Clinic. This donor-supported center offers tutoring for the children who need it most, advancing their skills and improving their chances of academic success.


Human Sciences Extension and Outreach is the outreach arm of the College of Human Sciences. One of its hallmark programs, The Strengthening Families Program for Parents and Youth 10-14 (SFP 10-14) was named the most effective program for decreasing the onset of drug and alcohol problems in youth out of 6,000prevention and intervention programs. The Pan American Health Organization and the United Nations has adapted SFP 10-14 for use in other countries.

Community engagement

On any given day, our students are working with members of society through internships at local retirement homes or the revitalization of a downtown community through the MainStreet Iowa initiative. Faculty members are teaching students the fundamentals of applying research concepts to different populations, with the outcome of enhancing lives and overcoming challenges.


Extension and Outreach News

A ribbon cutting for the centerpiece of the MacKay Hall remodeling — the 214-seat Catherine J. MacKay Auditorium, built in 1926 and named after the longtime dean of home economics — will be held from 3-5 p.m. Oct. 9. The event will include self-guided tours, speakers, and refreshments. Photo by Wyeth Lynch.MacKay Hall remodeling ends, ribbon cutting scheduled

The dust and noise of the past 14 months will give way to shiny and bright, new and restored, state-of-the-art facilities when the remodeling of MacKay Hall on the Iowa State University campus wraps up this week.

Participants in Preserve the Taste of Summer learn how to safely pressure can green beans during a hands-on workshop in Council Bluffs. Contributed photo.Iowa State works to keep Iowans safe as interest in food preservation grows

As the price of food rises and interest in sustainable agriculture grows, consumers are finding increasing value and convenience in preserving foods. Iowa State University is working to make sure that those participating in the recent trend are staying safe.  

Caine Westergard of Akron, who just graduated from Iowa State in apparel, merchandising, and design and was the College of Human Sciences\' college marshal, reflects on the role 4-H played in her success. Photo by Wyeth Lynch.Westergard credits much of her success to 4-H
Former Plymouth County 4-H’er Caine Westergard always had dreams of becoming a fashion designer and credits a large part of her success to the nine years she spent in 4-H.

Planting a garden is just one option that Erin Bergquist (left) and Linda Naeve recommend for people interested in local foods. Photo by Bob Elbert.Iowa State experts help consumers get back to their roots

Interest in local, sustainable food sources is motivating more people to plant their own gardens each spring or shop their local farmers market for fresh produce. As a result, registered dietitian nutritionists are fielding more questions from clients about what to plant, how to plant it, and when certain fruits and vegetables are in season.  

New Staff Orientation, an educational program available through Human Sciences Extension and Outreach, helps child care centers improve quality of instruction. File photo. Iowa State improves quality at Iowa child care centers

An educational program offered by Iowa State University is helping child care center staff and supervisors throughout the state succeed.

New Staff Orientation provides professional development to supervisors and directors, who then return to their child care centers to educate new early childhood teachers.

Denise Nebbe (left) uses the skills taught in Powerful Tools for Caregivers as she helps care for her mother, Alice Thompson (right), who lives in a retirement community in Boone. Photo by Wyeth Lynch.Iowa State provides assistance to growing number of family caregivers

People across Iowa are learning to thrive, not just survive, as they provide care to their loved ones who are chronically ill, aging, or have a disability.

Treats such as cherry pies, games, and learning will intermingle at College of Human Sciences activities as part of Iowa State University\'s annual Veishea 2014 festivities, April 7-13. Contributed photo.College of Human Sciences students offer Veishea 2014 activities

8srb-208-4webImportant April 9 update

Iowa State University President Steven Leath announced that the remainder of this year’s Veishea celebration is suspended, effective at 5 p.m., April 9.

The healthy recipes provided by Iowa State University\'s nutrition education program are so quick and easy, Shelli Wilson\'s children are learning to make their own snacks and meals. Photos by Wyeth Lynch.Iowa State helps families to eat healthier on a tight budget

As a single mother of four, Shelli Wilson of Ames had a secret.

Students in Iowa State\'s entrepreneurship in human sciences class got a tour of Spencer\'s Main Street as they began their work for the Iowa Retail Initiative. Contributed photo.Iowa State students offer businesses ideas to stay competitive

Iowa State University students are providing independent, locally-owned retailers across the state with fresh ideas to keep their businesses competitive.

More than 350 ethnic minority high school students from Des Moines, Marshalltown, and Denison recently came to the Iowa State University campus to visit science labs and learn about STEM careers as part of the Science Bound program. Photos by Wyeth Lynch.Science Bound produces engineers, researchers

An Iowa State University outreach program that’s empowered thousands of ethnic minority students to consider careers in math and science has produced highly sought-after engineers and researchers.

  • Service learning in Uganda

    Darrin Vander Plas, a senior double-majoring in kinesiology and agronomy, has embraced study abroad and service learning opportunities at ISU to work in nations such as Uganda. Video »