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Top Stories

(Note: Web articles are organized in descending order from the most recent to the oldest articles.)

Aerospace Engineering Camps Seek to Ignite High Schoolers’ Interest in Aerospace, STEM

July 17, 2018

Remember building and flying a kite as a kid? Remember the exhilaration you felt as you watched it soar way up high? Even more rewarding is the feeling participating 9–12th grade high school students are getting this summer as they launch the gliders and rockets they designed and built during Aerospace Engineering’s (AeroE) three residential camps: Aerospace Engineering GAMES and two Illinois Aerospace Institutes (IAI). Eyes focused heavenward, the campers watch them soar (or let’s be realistic—“crash and burn!”) during the end-of-the-week launch event—all courtesy of the coordinator of the three camps, Brian Woodard, and his AeroE team.

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Mid-GLAM Camp Exposes Middle School Girls to Materials Science and Engineering

July 11, 2018

What better way to get a bunch of middle school girls excited about Materials Science and Engineering than to let them explore color and making things pretty? That’s exactly what Mid-GLAM, named after its sister camp GLAM (Girls Learn About Materials) did by exposing them to different hands-on activities and design challenges. Mid-GLAM is a summer day camp for middle school girls interested in learning about Materials Science and Engineering. It made a second annual debut from June 25 – June 29 and served students from all over the state.

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High School Students Experience Nuclear Engineering—and More—at the New Exploring NPRE Camp

July 6, 2018

Exactly what is nuclear engineering? It has to do with power plants, right? The 18 high school students, rising juniors and seniors mostly from the Chicagoland area, who were on campus the week of June 25–29th for the first-ever Exploring NPRE camp discovered that nuclear power is just one emphasis of NPRE (the Department of Nuclear, Plasma, and Radiological Engineering). And the high schoolers who attended NPRE’s week-long, residential camp not only learned about nuclear engineering, but plasma and radiological engineering as well, and how they impact our lives. Plus, they learned a bit about Illinois, and what it might be like to be an engineering student on campus.

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ChBE GAMES Camp Introduces High School Girls to Chemical and Molecular Engineering

July 3, 2018

It is time to change the status quo in the male-dominated STEM fields, and Illinois is definitely impacting chemical engineering in this regard through the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering (ChBE) GAMES (Girls' Adventures in Mathematics, Engineering, and Science) camp. So with the goals of increasing the number of women in chemical engineering, and of helping participants understand what chemical engineering actually is, the ChBE GAMEs camp brought 24 rising high school freshmen through seniors to campus from June 17–23, 2018. The camp not only helped the girls to explore concepts in chemical engineering, but was the deciding factor in some choosing careers in the field as a result.

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GLEE GAMES Camp Seeks to Spark High School Girls' Interest in Electrical Engineering

June 28, 2018

Ever flip a switch and marvel at the magic of electricity accomplishing a task? During the week of June 17–23, the 17 high school girls who participated in GLEE (Girls Learning Electrical Engineering) G.A.M.E.S. (Girls’ Adventures in Mathematics, Engineering, and Science) camp not only learned about Electrical Engineering, but they did some engineering themselves. And helping lead the activities were several female ECE students—role models who demonstrated that girls can become electrical engineers.

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GLAM GAMES Uses Common—and Not-So-Common—Materials to Introduce High School Girls to Materials Science

June 28, 2018

Sweet, yummy chocolate—which most girls crave. The ubiquitous polymers. Wild and wacky non-Newtonian fluids. Biomaterials, composites, and crystals. These are just some of the materials 16 girls dabbled in during GLAM (Girls Learn About Materials) GAMES (Girls’ Adventures in Math, Engineering, and Science) camp from June 17–23, 2018. Plus, a design project allowed the young women to explore the characteristics of a commonplace, everyday material, such as cardboard, malleable metal (tin foil), tape, or plastic, to come up with a use that's different from how it’s normally used. All of these activities were designed to give the girls a glimpse into what materials engineering is and what a materials engineer does.

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A BioE GAMES camper practices life-saving techniques on a dummy at the JUMP Simulation Education Center in Peoria. Bioengineering GAMES Camp Uses Cyborg Theme to Introduce High School Girls to the Discipline

June 28, 2018

Cyborgs! Most of the 24 high school girls who participated in the Bioengineering GAMES (Girls’ Adventures in Math, Engineering, and Science) camp from June 17–23, 2018, had no doubt seen movies about them: human beings, like Wolfman of the X-Men, whose physical abilities have been extended beyond normal human limitations via mechanical elements built into their bodies. But the girls’ adventure during the week-long, BioE GAMES camp wasn’t just the stuff of sci-fi movies. They were introduced to some of the real science behind the notion. But participants were not only exposed to a variety of opportunities available to bioengineers. As they rubbed shoulders with role models who look like them—both female and an African-American— they were also exposed to the idea that they, too, could be Bioengineers Plus, they discovered what it might be like to be BioE student or even a medical student at Illinois.

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Local kids play Orphy's Escape to Space in the Orpheum's new Astronomy Kids' CornerOrpheum Launches New Astronomy Kids' Corner With Help from Community Friends

June 19, 2018

"My overall philosophy is that the museum is here really as an educational resource for the community. So that's what you elevate. That's what you focus on, and that's what we raise the bar on.” – Doug Brauer, Orpheum Children’s Science Museum Executive Director

Kids who dream of exploring "a galaxy far, far away," are intrigued with “launching” rockets, or who long to do astronaut stuff like mining asteroid rocks or climbing into a lunar lander, might want to visit the Orpheum Children’s Science Museum’s new Astronomy Kids' Corner. With some help from Busey Bank and a number of Mechanical Science and Engineering (MechSE) seniors who designed two space-related exhibits, the Orpheum in downtown Champaign launched the first stage of its new astronomy exhibit at a grand opening on Thursday, June 7th. The exhibit is part of Executive Director Doug Brauer’s efforts to expand the museum’s role as an educational resource for the community.

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Suzanne PetersonAerospace Engineering Junior Suzanne Peterson Returns to G.A.M.E.S. Camp

June 13, 2018

Most undergraduates rarely get an opportunity to participate in an immersive experience relating to their future career paths as early as high school. But rising senior Suzanne Peterson is a 5-time veteran of the University of Illinois G.A.M.E.S. camp, having first attended when it was still open to middle school students. Girls’ Adventures in Mathematics, Engineering, and Science (G.A.M.E.S.) is an annual, week-long event which allows high school girls to explore scientific ideas through demonstrations and activities. This year, Peterson will be on the other side of the event as a lab assistant who teaches several classes and sessions. Her own experiences at these camps as a young girl opened up the possibility of studying engineering, and she wants to pay it forward, saying, “I'm really passionate about outreach, and I would like to be [an inspiration] for somebody else.”

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SPHERES 2018 CohortSPHERES Fosters the Next Generation of Scientists and Engineers Via Research Opportunities for Local High School Students

June 4, 2018

Are you a local high school students who'd like to get paid to assist world-renowned scientists with their cutting-edge research plus expand your horizons while preparing for college? If so, you might want to consider SPHERES (Sparking High Schoolers’ Excitement for Research in Engineering and Science), which sounds like a win-win, both for Illinois and the students. New this summer, SPHERES aims to engage local community high school students in an opportunity to gain research experience at a world-class research university under the mentorship of several people who are invested in fostering the next generation of scientists and engineers.

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By Women, for Women: Kristina Allen Discusses Her Research in Women’s Health

June 4, 2018

When most people think of anthropology majors, they may not picture them in a research lab. But rising senior Kristina Allen doesn’t let stereotypes cramp her style. She studies biological anthropology, which explores concepts ranging from human evolution to human biosocial variation from a scientific perspective. Her research focuses on reproductive ecology, and she jokes that she may be the first woman to ever say, “I love menstruation.” Allen held a love for science throughout her school years, and originally wanted to be a doctor, but switched out of premed after taking a few anthropology courses and realizing that her passion lay elsewhere. She seems to have found her niche, saying “I love what I do now.”

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