Become a Discovery Box Curator!

Are you interested in sharing your international research and cultural knowledge with students and teachers throughout Wisconsin? If so, consider contributing to a new initiative: IRIS’s Discovery Box program.

What are discovery boxes?
Discovery Boxes are small (15”L x 12”W x 10”H) boxes containing items that bring an international story to life for K-12 students. Discovery boxes are mailed to K-12 teachers free of charge and are flexible enough to be useful to teachers of all grade levels and a wide range of subject areas.

The Swahili Box and the Things Fall Apart Box, both developed by the African Studies Program, are good examples of the types of boxes we are looking for. They are focused on a theme or book rather than a country, and each box features a wide range of items and useful short descriptions for teachers to use.

IRIS is in the process of expanding its Discovery Box program with the help of a Baldwin Idea Seed Project Grant, but we need help creating new boxes for teachers to use. We would love for these new Discovery Boxes to highlight the amazing international research taking place at UW-Madison. This is your cue!

How can I get involved?
We are looking for faculty or students to serve as Discovery Box curators. Curators will:
– Define a topic or theme (potentially related to your research) for the box
– Collect 8-20 items that bring this theme to life
– Write short descriptions of each item, contextualizing the item and connecting it to the box topic or theme
– Identify 2-5 online videos or other digital resources that also contextualize the items and theme.

What’s in it for me?
In addition to having the opportunity to showcase your research or international interests in K-12 classrooms around the state thereby inspiring the next generation of globally-aware citizens, you will:
1) Receive a $150 stipend for your participation
2) Be reimbursed (up to $100) for any purchases you make

I’m interested, but unsure of what international story I might tell.
We’re here to help! African Studies will assist you in refining your idea to ensure that it is suitable for our K-12 classrooms.

What do I do next?
Interested? Please contact Lauren Parnell Marino ( and include a note with a brief description of a proposed theme and a list of potential items you might include in a box, and we will follow up with you.

Thanks very much for your interest and your support as we work to bring global knowledge to the students of Wisconsin!