Education Outreach


Salk Institute for Biological Studies - Education Outreach - About

Education Outreach

Jonas Salk founded the Salk Institute with the philosophy that it should both drive scientific breakthroughs and inspire the next generation of elite scientists. Out of Jonas Salk’s vision, the Institute’s Education Outreach department was born. Its mission is threefold:

  • To teach students, teachers, and the community about scientific literacy in addition to the role of basic biological research in our world.
  • To inspire enthusiasm and interest in advanced levels of science instruction, and particularly in science as a career.
  • To promote public awareness of Salk and the value of basic research as it relates to career readiness, critical thinking skills, and the development of an informed citizenry.

Salk Education Outreach serves San Diego county students of all ages through its core programs: Mobile Science Lab, Heithoff-Brody High School Summer Scholars, March of Dimes High School Science Day, and the Ellen Potter Research Connections for Teachers Symposium. These programs are offered at no cost to students, teachers, and schools, thereby reducing economic barriers to high quality STEM education. Over the past 40 years, Salk Education Outreach has delivered innovative, engaging STEM learning experiences to thousands of students — a majority of whom come from underrepresented and underserved communities. Salk’s world-class faculty and staff are key partners in Salk Education Outreach, imparting their passion and knowledge of innovative research that impacts human health to help inspire and launch the next generation of scientists.

To learn more about Education Outreach programs or to participate as a volunteer, please browse the pages in this section or email

Salk Education Outreach is possible thanks to philanthropic support from private foundations, corporate partners, and individuals from the community. This includes:

Albany Bank & Trust Company
Andrew Gao
Bruce J. Heim Foundation
Bryan Meyer
Burroughs Wellcome Fund
Ellen Potter and Ronald Evans
Illumina Corporate Foundation
Ionis Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
La Jolla Golden Triangle Rotary Club
Pratt Memorial Fund
Price Philanthropies Foundation
Samuel H. French, III and Katherine Weaver French Fund
Samuel I. & John Henry Fox Foundation
San Diego Foundation Science & Technology Program
San Diego Gas & Electric
Stavros Niarchos Foundation
The Ray Thomas Edwards Foundation
William H. Hannon Foundation

Our programs are also supported by generous endowed funds from the March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation Endowment, Anne and Neal Blue High School Science Fund, Heithoff-Brody High School Summer Scholar Program Endowment, Bruce J. Heim Foundation Student Fund for Research, The Edwards-Yeckel SciChats at Salk Endowment, and The Ellen Potter Science Research Connections for Teachers Endowment.