A collaborative population-based project for bowel cancer prevention provided an ideal opportunity to involve nursing students in applying theory to practice. In this article, described is how the engagement of students and subsequent application of a population health template contributed to a community-based bowel cancer education and screening campaign. The campaign was a valuable teaching-learning experience for students and contributed to the goal of reducing and reporting on the number of bowel cancer deaths in the local area. Project evaluation data provide insight into student learning outcomes and reveal ways to strengthen the population health initiative for future years. Originally, a scholarly pursuit of discovery and application developed in response to growing rates of bowel cancer and advances in effective screening programs, the project has evolved into the domain of teaching and learning. This evolution has benefited students, project organizers and community members.