Consultation and support resource for engaged planning, designing, and implementation of Broader Impacts programs.

Wisconsin Idea STEM Fellows Home

The Wisconsin Idea STEM Fellows is a program that supports researchers in developing interactive stations as part of their broader impact activities.

Becoming a STEM Fellow is a matter of having the desire to learn and work with others to develop an interactive station, participate in two 4-hour workshops, and engage with the community after the workshops. You can participate as an individual, a lab group, a department, or even as a research center.

Register will soon open for our upcoming 2 session workshop series from 4-8pm with dates to be determined!

Registration page

Training involves a total of 8 hours at 2 workshop sessions.  Exploration station building will vary depending on your station, but dedicate appropriate time to get your station ready for major public engagement with science events like UW-Madison Science Expeditions, Wisconsin Science Festival, and Engineering Expo.

General Expectations 

  • Training Session One – 4 hours
  • Training Session Two – 4 hours
  • Build your station (free to collaborate broadly to develop your station)
    • Participate in one of the consulting/build sessions at the Discovery Building
    • Schedule a one-on-one meeting in your lab with a mentor
    • Build on your own or with your partners anytime that you can
    • Test/prototype at a future Science Alliance meeting (Genetics/Biotech 1360)

Following the training, fellows will develop their stations and commit to three public programming events. Fellows will engage the public through Exploration Stations or public presentations at events such as UW Science Expeditions, Wisconsin Science Festival, Engineering Expo, Science Cafe, Nerd Nite, family science nights and more. Through their training, fellows will develop their stations and presentations with the help of the training team.

Participation in a total of 3 public outreach events will be part of the requirements of the program including a major public engagement with science event.


“Portal to the Public” is a program that was created with support from NSF and IMLS to help researchers and STEM professionals engage with science in the public to promote appreciation and understanding of current science research. Portal to the Public focuses on enhancing face-to-face interactions between you and a few people rather than emphasizing mass communications.

The Portal approach has been designed and refined through NSF and IMLS funding at the Pacific Science Center (PSC) and now in the home of the Institute for Learning Innovation. The original principal investigator Dennis Schatz is a UW-Madison alum in astronomy and a member of the Wisconsin Union Directorate as a student.  When Dennis proposed Portal in 2007, he envisioned it as a way for researchers at universities to connect to the resources of science museums & science centers as places to engage the public. Many of us here at UW-Madison share Dennis’ combination of a passion for science as exploring the unknown and a commitment to sharing science with learners of all ages.

Portal to the Public Network- Institute for Learning Innovation

Early in September 2014 UW-Madison became a member of the Portal to the Public network. The co-founders of the team includes Tom Zinnen, Biotech Center; Megan Madsen, WIPAC; Sara Kobilka, Institute for Chemical Education; Kevin Niemi, WISCIENCE; Travis Tangen, WARF; and Dolly Ledin, WISCIENCE.

(Photo by Bryce Richter / UW-Madison)
(Photo by Jeff Miller/UW-Madison)

We are delighted to note that UW-Madison is a pioneer in Portal to the Public: the other 35 institutions have all been science museums, science centers, zoos, arboretums, and nature centers, some within universities. We look forward to the opportunity to find ways to adapt the Portal approach of connecting researchers to public audiences to the particular environment of public land-grant research universities. Portal can enhance the already remarkable resources that strengthen the commitment to the Wisconsin Idea and to work in the public service mission of UW-Madison.

Portal to the Public at UW-Madison will be implemented through Science Alliance and will be called the Wisconsin Idea STEM Fellows Program. Researchers and STEM professionals of any age and at any career stage will be encouraged to participate.

Fellows training will build on their prior experience and extend their talents. By providing structured, short-term training and long-term connections, the Wisconsin Idea STEM fellows program uniquely expands the array of training already available on campus, such as the CIRTL course for graduate students and post-docs, the WISCIENCE course for undergraduates, and volunteer training sessions provided, for example, by the Arboretum and Town Center.

Outreach Events

wdt_ID Program (brief notes) Weblink Contact Contact Email
2 UW-Madison Science Expeditions Tom Zinnen
3 Invite to Science Alliance Join the weekly listserve by emailing Kevin Niemi
4 DELTA Don Gillian-Daniel
5 ARMS – Adult Role Models in Science Dolly Ledin
6 Division of Continuing Studies Varies
7 Wisconsin Science Festival Travis Tangen
8 DIY Science Travis Tangen
9 Family Gardening Day
10 Engineering Expo
Program (brief notes) Weblink Contact Contact Email
Rachel Angel
Basudeb Bhattacharyya
Jennifer Bratburd
Tom Bryan
Zachary Ceperley
Kara Cromwell
Allison Didychuk
Amanda Drennan
Tracy Drier
Kevin Galles
Maria Gracia Garcia Mendoza
Zachary Handlos
Brittany Jacobs
Nasim Jamali
Katherine Jeffris
Francisca jofre
Jenni Kempf
Kathy Kline
Dolly Ledin
Jonathan Lenz
Edward Leonard
Laurence Loewe
Jay Ludden
April MacIntyre
Wes Marner
Mary Carol McCartney
Aaron Miller
Dan Murphy
Yuliya Preger
Maia Pujara
Harisha Rajanala
Sri Ram
Jim Reardon
Kate Scheuer
Gretchen Seim
Arnaldo Serrano
Melanie Swannell
Ben Taylor
Ross Tredinnick
Aayushi Uberoi
Paul Williams
Tricia Windgassen
Tianqi Zhang
Robyn Amos-Kroohs
Basudeb Bhattacharyya
Val Blair
Jenny Bratburd
Adrienne Cheng
Allison Didychuk
Zachary Handlos
Katherine Jeffris
Joshua Knackert
Tina Lynch
Wes Marner
Yuliya Preger
Ross Tredinnick
Aayushi Uberoi
Kendra Taylor
Beth Dalsing
Jennifer Riehl
Tom Bryan
Jennifer Bratburd
Steven Zwickel
Victor Outlaw
Wei Liao
Katie Yang
Chen Song
Michael Pinkert
Kristy Wendt
Ellen T Arena
V L Anjani Sreeprada Chakrala
Anil Kiran Chokkalla
Debayan De Bakshi
Leroy Williams
Hector Salazar
AnneLynn Gillian-Daniel
Uzma Zakai
Deborah Muganda-Rippchen
Holly Cho
Eric Larson