March of Dimes High School Science Day

The Salk Institute and the March of Dimes have a rich history of collaboration. The partnership began in 1948 when the March of Dimes (then known as the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis) provided support for Jonas Salk’s quest for a vaccine against polio. The organization also provided the funding that enabled him to fulfill his vision to create the Salk Institute in 1960. In 1990, as the Salk Institute planned for its 30th anniversary, Jonas Salk was eager to give back to the community, promote scientific literacy, and encourage young people to choose life science careers. To accomplish these goals, he launched High School Science Day. On February 25, 2023, we celebrated the collaboration between the March of Dimes and the Salk Institute with the 33rd annual March of Dimes High School Science Day event, generously supported by the Anne and Neal Blue High School Science Fund. During the half-day event, 160 high school students and their teachers participated in interactive lab tours, where they met scientists, heard about current research, and learned hands-on fundamental skills necessary for laboratory research, such as micropipetting. Of the students who attended, 86 percent identified with a historically underrepresented community; 60 percent qualify for free or reduced-price school lunches; and 85 percent said they were more interested in STEM careers after attending. One student commented that the most impactful part of the day was “talking with scientists and realizing that they have so many different backgrounds but the same passion—it inspires me.” The event, organized by Salk’s Education Outreach team, was held in person after two years of remote programming, but creative virtual content is still available to teachers in order to maintain accessibility to fundamental research and unique educational opportunities. To learn more about this event and other Education Outreach opportunities, please visit

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