BioTrek is the science outreach program of the University of Wisconsin Biotechnology Center and of UW Madison – Division of Extension.

BioTrek’s mission is “Sharing Science With Wisconsin.”

We offer field trips, workshops and tours for:

  • Teachers
  • Students of any age
  • 4-H and other UW Madison – Division of Extension groups
  • Community Clubs
  • After school Groups
  • Any Interested Group



BioTrek offers a number or workshops and field trips designed to be engaging, fun, and interactive learning.


From activities to analogies, these resources invite learners to explore and test ideas through experiments.


BioTrek’s goal is to cultivate science savvy: To transform how people view and do science, and to enable people to use science better in making personal choices, in forming public policies, and in making decisions in the face of uncertainty.

BioTrek’s approach has a strong focus on the nature of science and on epistemology, the branch of philosophy that asks “what is knowable and what is not knowable?” BioTrek encourages learners of all ages to consider “What is science? How is science different from other ways of knowing?”

BioTrek’s outreach work is in keeping with a commitment expressed by UW President Charles Van Hise in his speech on February 15, 1905 to members of the Legislature and the Wisconsin Press Association. He ended with a passage that included, “I shall never be content until the beneficient influence of the university reaches every family of the state.”

Van Hise’s commitment from 1905 still forms the cornerstone of what has since become known as The Wisconsin Idea.


  • Hospitality is reciprocal. UW-Madison needs to continue to welcome the public to campus if university scholars can expect to be welcomed into communities all across Wisconsin.
  • Citizens are stakeholders in the scientific enterprise. Taxpayers fund $44 billion of the $66 billion each year that fuels research & development at US universities. By virtue of the state sales tax, in Wisconsin every kid who buys candy, clothes or computer games is also a taxpayer.
  • Epistemology counts. Among the most valuable things we have to share are the ways scientists view and do science as a way of probing the unknown and of inventing the future.
  • Science is intriguing. It’s a vital & vibrant part of the human drive to learn from the past, to explore the unknown and to create the future.

BioTrek engages the public in the outreach mission of the University by providing field trips & tours at the Biotechnology Center on the UW-Madison campus, and workshops anywhere in Wisconsin.

We offer hands-on learning opportunities for learners of all ages. Schedule a field trip, tour, or workshop with us today. Come experience science as exploring the unknown.


Please consider donating to our BioTrek Outreach program. Your donation will help support more activities, workshops, and other supplies to make our outreach program even stronger.

“I’ve taken three field trips to the BioTrek Outreach program, and each one has been a positive experience for my students.  BioTrek staff work with the teacher to make sure every student receives a hands on, inquiry based experience at UW. The student experience makes them feel as if they were University students, working in a real lab and working together to solve real world problems.”

Deb Minahan, Mendota Elementary School – Madison, WI

Click here to make a donation!