Ames Laboratory takes an active role in the community. Employees contribute approximately $10,000 annually to the United Way of Story County. In past nine years, more than $18,000 has been donated to a variety of local charities through the Ames Laboratory Employees' Holiday Auction. Lab employees hold an annual blood drive for the American Red Cross, have participated in the Story County Winter Weatherization program and have entered a team in the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life for more than a decade.
Ames Laboratory's outreach efforts also include participation in a variety of school science activities and science-related activities at the Ames Public Library. The Lab hosts tours throughout the year and routinely hosts/sponsors a Business After Hours event through the Ames Chamber of Commerce.
The Lab also sponsors and hosts Regional Science Bowl competitions for high school and middle school students from across Iowa. In 2010 the Lab was honored for 20 years of service as a charter sponsor of the High School Science Bowl. The two-day Middle School Science Bowl has been held for seven years.