If you are into science, technology, engineering and/or math, Northern Illinois University’s STEMfest is the place to be this weekend. The popular annual event will amaze and inform thousand when it hits the NIU Convocation Center from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, October 8.
Now in its seventh year, STEMfest is a free, family-friendly festival that celebrates innovations in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) through hundreds of hands-on activities, including cow eyeball dissection, fun-fly sticks and a telescope station.
More than 200 exhibitors including NIU STEM departments, student groups, regional corporations, museums and national laboratories will offer learning games, interactive demonstrations, informative talks and even art projects, all designed to draw visitors into exploring STEM concepts and careers.
STEMfest 2015 event attracted nearly 7,500 attendees to the DeKalb community, and new exhibits this year include a 3D printing demonstration courtesy of Dremel 3D, a “superconducting levitation” display made possible by a grant from the DeKalb County Community Foundation, soldering stations set up by 2Dkits where students can create their own STEMFest pins, a virtual reality experience created by Zspace, and BLOCK Fest® for young children and their parents.
“The look on kids’ faces as they watch a design materialize right before their eyes is truly amazing,” says STEM Educator and DeKalb resident Pettee Guerrero. “The pure excitement of that moment motivates them to dive deeper into the STEM world.”
The STEMfest Stage will host special presentations throughout the day, including a reading from the Toy and the Tide Pool, the second book in the STEM-themed Stuffed Bunny Science series written by Gillian King-Cargile of NIU’s Center for P-20 Engagement. This adventure story introduces young readers to ocean animals, biodiversity and earth system science.
STEMfest is hosted by NIU STEAM Works, and organizers credit the hundreds of NIU students, faculty and teacher volunteers who work with event attendees to inspire today’s youth to become tomorrow’s STEM innovators.