Education / Training




The State Hygienic Laboratory collaborates with educators to train the current workforce and also to inspire the next generation of environmental and public health laboratory scientists.

Activities and Lessons

Hands-on, career-oriented lessons support educators in teaching students about public health laboratory science in a way that is relevant and engaging.

Lesson materials related to many topics in environmental and public health include:

  • Field of Streams

    Introduce students to careers in limnology through a water quality lesson.

  • Color Chromatography

    Teach students about environmental testing using a chromatography activity.

  • Disease Detectives: Zombie Outbreak

    Engage students in an outbreak investigation to learn about epidemiology.

  • Emergency Response Simulation

    Teach students how the emergency response process works by testing plans, making decisions and facing unexpected events.

  • Did You See That? Board Game

    Introduce students to public health laboratories and careers using a board game combined with video clips.

  • Newborn Screening: Growing up with PKU

    Watch an interactive presentation about the State Hygienic Laboratory’s work in newborn screening.

  • “That’s Sick!”

    Find links to a variety of public health lesson plans, including lessons about influenza, genetics, preparedness, environmental monitoring, antimicrobial resistance, vaccinations and food safety.

Questions? Email Beth Hochstedler.

Teacher Externships

The State Hygienic Laboratory hosts teachers who spend part of their summer working with SHL lab staff on environmental and public health projects. These teacher “externs” work as part of the SHL to experience the real-world applications related to the STEM subjects they teach.

The goal of the externship program is to provide teachers the tools and experiences that they may share with students in the classroom.

STEM Teacher Externships are coordinated by the Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council. For more information about programming, eligibility and applications, visit the STEM Advisory Council website.


SHL maintains internship, practicum and fellowship programs for students and recent graduates. The SHL Student Mentorship Program is on hold and is not accepting applications at this time.

To learn more about opportunities for students, visit the Students page.


Last updated October 17, 2019