Stories about...6–8 STEM Outreach

TechTogether Chicago TechTogether Chicago to Redefine the Hacker Stereotype

July 10, 2021

The nonprofit organization TechTogether formed with the aim to increase diversity in the hackathon community with their events and chapters. Now, the new chapter TechTogether Chicago aims to grow upon this mission with their work in organizing one of the few gender-focused hackathons in Illinois. In addition, TechTogether Chicago will be using the virtual environment as an opportunity to innovate and produce new workshops that can help inspire students to pursue careers in technology.

FULL STORY


I-MRSEC’s Music Video for EOH ’21 Plugs Graphene, 2D Materials

April 7, 2021

Although 2021’s Engineering Open House (EOH) was not the traditional live, on-campus event but virtual due to COVID-19, I-MRSEC researchers who are passionate about STEM outreach didn’t let that stop them. Unable to engage in person with the public, specifically the numerous children who usually attend, they figured out how to meet with them face to face anyway—via a music video. Their goals? To communicate about 2D materials research, to show the public how tax dollars are being spent, and to share benefits to be gained from scientific research. They also hoped youngsters watching might be intrigued, and eventually pursue careers in research. Along with inspiring the public, they hoped to rekindle their own excitement by reminding themselves why they’d chosen science careers

FULL STORY


Andrea Perry shows Franklin students how to take apart the magnetic drawing board they received in their kitMusical Magnetism: Encouraging Franklin Middle Schoolers to Express Science Via the Arts

March 24, 2021

What does art have to do with science? And vice versa? Some might opine, “Absolutely nothing!” However, those who orchestrated and taught I-MRSEC’s spring 2021 Musical Magnetism curriculum to Franklin STEAM Academy’s seventh and eighth graders would beg to differ. They suggest that art—including music videos, haiku, glass sculptures—even tap dance—can be used to communicate about science. Thus, as part of the program, several Materials Science experts shared about their favorite science topics, with some addressing how specific arts might be used to express them. By the program’s end, students had not only learned about science—they’d even tried their hand at describing the science they’d experienced via various art forms.

FULL STORY


Carmen PaquettePaquette Conveys Her Love of Science, Dance to Franklin STEAM Students Via Musical Magnetism

"As a kid, I found science fascinating; it felt like a good mystery book, and the more I learned, the more I understood about the world, as well as myself.” – Carmen Paquette

“I have always loved to dance. My parents constantly had music playing in the house growing up, and they often tell me that I came into the world dancing.” – Carmen Paquette

March 9, 2021

Carmen Paquette loves science. (Her dad, a material scientist, used to quiz her on the names and atomic numbers of the elements.) Carmen Paquette also loves tap dancing. (Her parents claim she came into the world dancing.) And she’s particularly passionate about expressing science via the arts—specifically, tap dance. So, when I-MRSEC planners decided that their spring 2021 edition of the Musical Magnetism curriculum at Franklin STEAM Academy would emphasize using the arts to convey science ideas, it makes sense that they would invite the summer 2019 I-MRSEC REU participant back to be involved. So, on February 18th, the materials scientist/professional tap dancer shared how she combines her two passions—science and dance—using dance to illustrate scientific concepts.

FULL STORY


An Engineering Exploration participant exhibits the tower they built as part of the engineering challenge related to Civil Engineering.SWE’s Engineering Exploration Outreach Lives Up to Its Name

March 2, 2021

“What is engineering?” This is one question SWE Illinois sought to answer during its virtual Engineering Exploration outreach on Saturday, February 20, 2021. Their simple explanation was: “It’s the application of science and math to solve problems.” Their bit-more-in-depth exploration of this question included introducing the 77 middle school participants to several engineering disciplines and what engineers in these fields do. Sponsored by the Illinois chapter of Society of Women Engineers (SWE), with the assistance of other engineering students, the outreach taught the younger students briefly about a few disciplines; led them in some related hands-on activities; and showed them that engineers can come in all shapes, sizes, genders, and ethnicities.

FULL STORY


Isabel Diaz, a 5th year Civil & Environmental Engineering senior and long-time WYSE volunteer leads the young participants in the Hot Cocoa Machine mini-workshopChiS&E’s Family STEM Day Helps Chicago Youngsters Progress Along the STEM Pipeline Toward Engineering

February 23, 2021

For Chicago kids (and parents) stuck inside because of the frigid winter weather, the ChiS&E Family Winter STEM Day on February 13th came just in the nick of time. A win-win for both the kids and their folks, the virtual outreach provided sessions and activities that were both educational and entertaining. For instance, parents discovered resources that might make sending their kids downstate to Illinois affordable. Plus, while doing creative, hands-on activities and bonding with the family over STEM, their kids learned a bit about the various engineering disciplines they were exploring. And hopefully, after successfully completing the activities, the kids discovered that they too have what it takes to become engineers someday.

FULL STORY


Kathy WalshOn Her First Foray into STEAM, Kathy Walsh Acquaints Franklin Students with Microscopy, Haiku

On this microscope
The lens moves up step by step,
Saves what's in focus.

February 17, 2021

The above haiku by Kathy Walsh describes one of the toys the MRL scientist gets to play with day in, day out—a 3D Optical Profiler. Specializing in nano/microscale surface topography, she uses the instrument to help researchers in their materials analysis by taking very accurate 3D measurements of the roughness or height of a material’s or specific object’s surface. So, when presented with the opportunity to participate in I-MRSEC’s Musical Magnetism curriculum and share her love of microscopy with Franklin STEAM Academy seventh and eighth graders, she jumped at the chance. Also thrilled that the program’s STEAM emphasis meant adding the Arts to STEM (Science Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), she further embraced the opportunity to expose the young people to another passion of hers—writing haiku about science.

FULL STORY


A CPS student shares during the December 5th session.Illinois Undergrads Encourage ChiS&E CPS Students Toward Possible Careers in Engineering

January 19, 2021

“This is an opportunity to contribute to the narrowing of the opportunity gaps.” – Lara Hebert.

Instead of sleeping in or vegging out on Saturday mornings during fall, 2020, Lara Hebert and around 16 or so engineering undergrads in the WYSE LEADers program, along with several others, exposed around 80 Chicago Public School (CPS) students to engineering. Devoting their mornings to virtual classes, the volunteers led the middle and high schoolers in some fun, hands-on activities ranging from Scratch to circuits to Arduinos. Have no idea what those are, what they do, and/or how they work? Well, about 80 CPS students now do, thanks to Hebert and her cohorts. Plus, students learned about engineering careers, tips on how to apply to Illinois, and what being a student at Illinois might be like.

FULL STORY


CEE student describes what being an Illinois student is like.IMAGINE Family STEM Nights Strive to Interest Underrepresented Students in Engineering

"Scientists in textbooks and on TV don't look like me." "No one in my family has done it." "Math is hard, and you can't do science if you're not good at math." "Only A+ students go to STEM." "The 'cool' kids don't go to STEM." "Math is for 'nerds.'" "A math degree won't pay the bills." "I don't want to work in a lab." "I'll need to go to grad school and that means a lot of student debt." "STEM degrees are more expensive." "I'll never get into X University." "I'll never get a scholarship." – Rafael Tinoco Lopez on misconceptions about STEM.

December 14, 2020

While young African-American, Latino/a, and Indigenous students might face a lot of real challenges in regards to choosing careers in STEM, according to Civil Engineering Assistant Professor Rafael Tinoco Lopez, some misconceptions concerning representation, skills, social life, future perspectives, and resources could be contributing to their not considering STEM careers. To rectify this, he and numerous other folks from both the University and the community are taking part in IMAGINE (Identifying Misconceptions of Access of Underrepresented Groups in Engineering) Family STEM Nights. Their goal? To foster inclusion of underrepresented students in engineering by helping middle grade students and their families learn more about engineering, especially specific disciplines. Plus, IMAGINE isn't just focusing on familiarizing students with what engineering is. Planners hope to address misconceptions about skills needed to be an engineer; foster discussion regarding issues of equity, access, and representation in engineering; and talk about resources available for first-time college students.

FULL STORY


STEAM TRAIN: Middle Schoolers Perform Autonomous, Student-Driven Research Encouraged by Near Peers STEAM TRAIN: Middle Schoolers Perform Autonomous, Student-Driven Research Encouraged by Near Peers

December 2, 2020

“So, it’s kind of a combination of working with these different levels of students and giving them the reins rather than us telling them what they should do.” – Daniel Urban

Every Tuesday afternoon after school, six groups of around 24 excited Franklin STEAM Academy students hang around online a bit longer to conduct independent research on topics of import to them via a scientific exploration project called “STEAM TRAIN.” Mentoring the 6th–8th grade students are some near peers—Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology (IGB) undergrads, grad students, and post docs, plus—even closer in age to the target group—a dozen University Laboratory High School (Uni High) students. The hope is that experiencing research by exploring issues they’re passionate about might foster the middle schoolers’ love of science—and possibly even solve some of today’s intractable problems.

FULL STORY


Delta Camp participants make a Delta sign with their hands. Virtual SIM Camp Assuages 8th through 12th Graders' Quarantine-Related Blues Via Fun and Intriguing Math Activities

August 21, 2020

As with many disciplines that offer summer camps year-in, year-out on the Illinois campus, rather than not hold a camp due to COVID-19 quarantine mandates, Mathematics chose to modify the program of its established summer camp for 8th–12th grade students to hold the 2020 Virtual Summer Illinois Math (SIM) Camp. The camp ran for two separate sessions: Camp Epsilon, which hosted around 35 rising 8th–10th graders (ages 12–15) from June 8th–12th, and Camp Delta, which worked with around 25 rising 10th–12th graders (ages 15–18) from June 22nd–26th. Unlike some camps which specifically target girls, SIM Camp was open to any students who fit the age and grade criteria, regardless of gender identity.

FULL STORY


SWE’s Engineering Exploration Shows Middle School Girls: Women Can Be Engineers!

March 5, 2020

The name of SWE’s new Engineering Exploration outreach pretty much sums up the event. The 40 or so mostly middle school girls who showed up for the February 22nd all-day event had a chance to explore the different engineering disciplines available; were exposed to women in engineering—from current students to practicing engineers; and discovered, while successfully completing the various hands-on activities, that they too could do engineering.

FULL STORY


Franklin Steam Academy Students Experience Cutting-Edge Science at MRL

February 27, 2020

Explore a different reality via VR. Cover up from head to toe in a strange suit, safety glasses, and gloves and experience a cleanroom. See firsthand what equipment like a 3D Optical Profilometer and a Contact Angle Goniometer do. These are just some of the cool things Franklin STEAM Academy students got to experience during their field trip to the Materials Research Lab (MRL) on February 20th (the 7th graders) and 21st (the 8th graders). During their brief hiatus from the classroom, the students not only got to see, but get their hands on, some real-world, high-tech stuff MRL scientists use every day in their research.

FULL STORY


NGS Students Address Global Issues at 2020 Science and Engineering Fair

February 24, 2020

This year, for the Next Generation School (NGS) annual Science and Engineering Fair, the organizers made a slight change. Rather than students choosing to research any area as long as it was related to science or engineering, their projects were to address global issues. “We always want to keep things new and fresh for our children,” admits Head of School Chris Woller, “because we feel like that's also the world of science and engineering—new things are always popping up.”

FULL STORY


Musical Magnetism’s Destroy-A-Toy Activity: Messy, But Definitely Curiosity-Driven and Educational!

February 13, 2020

The challenge for the Franklin STEAM Academy seventh and eighth graders participating in the Musical Magnetism’s Destroy-A-Toy, hands-on activity was to discover what makes toys like a Magnadoodle or an Etch-a-Sketch work. After all was said and done, they learned that it was magnetism. (After all, in a program called Musical Magnetism, it’s apparent that either one or the other must be involved.)

FULL STORY


Virginia Lorenz & Franklin student Physics' Lorenz Shines a Light on Invisible Light as Part of I-MRSEC’s Musical Magnetism Program at Franklin

January 21, 2020

What better way to get Franklin STEAM Academy seventh and eighth grade students interested in science than by couching it in fun, hands-on activities and demonstrations and encouraging them to express what they’ve learned in some mediums they love—music, hip hop/rap, and videos. This was the goal of the Musical Magnetism program sponsored by I-MRSEC (the Illinois Materials Research Science and Engineering Center), Illinois’ NSF-funded center which focuses on some of the properties of materials, such as magnetism. The main project of the Jan 13–March 6, 2020 program is this: students are to select a specific topic related to magnetism, research it, then create a music video to be previewed at a video release party on the final day of the program.

FULL STORY


Virginia Lorenz & Franklin STEAM Academy studentChicago Students Experience STEM, Illinois During ChiS&E Campus Visit

January 16, 2020

So excited about STEM that they put their usual Saturday morning activities on hold, a number of Chicago Public School 7th and 8th graders (and even some parents) travelled down to Illinois on December 7, 2019, for a campus visit sponsored by Grainger Engineering’s ChiS&E program. The goal was to further reinforce the youngsters’ journey along the STEM pipeline. Event planners hoped to pique the students’ interest in STEM through a variety of fun, hands-on engineering activities; introduce them both to the campus and to some of its people; and, as the name of the event—“Young Physicists and Computer Scientists”—implies, instill in them the notion that they too can achieve careers in STEM.

FULL STORY


Using Lasers Enlightens Judah Christian School Students About Coordinate Math

December 12, 2019

Rather than just poring over a math textbook studying coordinates, or simply using graph paper to map them out, students at Judah Christian School used cutting-edge technology to learn about coordinates, courtesy of University of Illinois master teachers Joe Muskin and Adam Poetzel. On Thursday, November 21st, students from 11 different classes used coordinate math to design shapes which they then displayed using laser light shows. Not only was the activity educational and fun, but students would most likely never forget what they’d learned about coordinates. For example, as one student, Piper Hawk admitted: “You’ve gotta’ be specific with it.”

FULL STORY


A team of Mid-GLAM campers test the toothpick/gumdrop structure they built by stacking academic journals onto it.Middle School Girls Learn About Materials While Doing Cool Hands-On Activities to “Make Stuff Better”

“I do this, and I will always do this because I think that this is a very crucial age group.” Cecelia Leal on why she does the Mid-GLAM camp.

August 5, 2019

Twenty-two middle schoolers showed up on campus from July 15–19 for Mid-GLAM, a summer day camp designed to pique middle school girls’ interest in materials engineering. In its third year, the camp, led by Materials Science and Engineering (MatSE) Assistant Professors Cecelia Leal and Robert Maass, introduced girls to materials via fun, hands-on activities.

FULL STORY


SIM Campers Experience “Ah-ha! Moments” Over the Beauty, Complexity, Oft-Misunderstood Nature...and Fun...of Mathematics

June 14, 2019

“What is the point of this?!” a middle school student asked several of the 22 Summer Illinois Math (SIM) Camp Epsilon participants during an activity on the first day of week-long day camp which ran from June 10–14th. Tied into a “human knot,” he and several of his fellow campers were trying to get untangled. Here’s how they got in this predicament: they stood in a circle facing each other; each raised their right hand and took the hand of someone across from them, then took another’s hand with their free hand. The goal? To untangle the knot without letting go of each other’s hands, deciding which players should go over, under, backwards, or forwards until they all ended up in a single circle, still holding hands.

FULL STORY


A local eighth grader learns about milk's hydrophobic and hydrophyllic properties.MCBees Share Their Passion for Science With Jefferson Middle School Students

May 21, 2019

Thanks to the MCBees, Jefferson Middle School eighth graders learned about some basic science topics in spring 2019, such as cells and the pH scale. A couple of times a month from February through May 2019, nine members of Illinois’ School of Molecular and Cellular Biology (MCB) graduate student organization dropped by Elizabeth Wheatman’s and Sammy Yoo’s  classes to lead students in some fun, STEM hands-on activities. The MCB Ph.D students (and postdocs) hoped to pique the younger students’ interest in science and possibly add some diversity to the field. Plus, the eighth graders weren’t the only ones to benefit; the scientists themselves got a lot out of the partnership. Some just enjoyed getting out of the lab for a bit, and others were reminded why they had become passionate about science in the first place.

FULL STORY


A Franklin student experiences virtual reality during the students' visit to MRL.Franklin Steam Academy Students Experience High-Tech Science at MRL

March 27, 2019

On February 25th, Franklin STEAM Academy eighth grade students took a break from their science textbook to experience some real-world, high-tech science first hand during a visit to MRL (the Materials Research Lab), home of I-MRSEC (the Illinois Materials Research Science and Engineering Center). The field trip was one of the highlights of I-MRSEC’s “Musical Magnetism,” a multi-disciplinary curriculum that used rap and music to expose students to materials science and magnetism. At MRL, the university folk pulled out all the stops, proudly introducing the youth to some of their million-dollar equipment and exposing them to some of the cool stuff they do—all while practicing another of I-MRSEC’s main emphases: scientific communication.

FULL STORY


Christing Mehr (center) gives some advice to a couple of students building their egg-drop apparatus.Clinton 4-H Group Visits Campus, Experiences STEM at Illinois

March 20, 2019

On March 4th, ten junior high and high school students, members of Clinton County’s 4-H Federation leadership group, traveled up from southern Illinois to spend the day on the Illinois campus. During their visit, they participated in STEM hands-on activities and briefly toured a number of campus buildings, including the IGB. While here, they were exposed to several STEM disciplines, dabbling a bit in Mechanical Engineering, Math, Aerospace Engineering, Molecular and Cellular Biology, and Entomology. Plus, they got to interact with a number of Illinois students to find out what being a student at Illinois might be like, as well as some possible career options.

FULL STORY


An eighth grader experiences virtual reality during the students' visit to MRL.I-MRSEC’s Musical Magnetism Curriculum Uses Hip Hop to Teach Science

March 12, 2019

It’s not your mother’s science class…or music class, for that matter! The goal of I-MRSEC’s “Musical Magnetism” curriculum was to expose Franklin STEAM Academy eighth grade students to materials science and magnetism, but also to another of the center’s main emphases: scientific communication. What’s unique about the lesson plans is that they embraced a medium today’s kids can probably get into: hip hop or rap. So, after a number of Illinois researchers, students, and staff, who also served as role models, had exposed the students to multidisciplinary lessons in several related areas, the kids teamed up to create then present raps about specific areas of magnetism.

FULL STORY


Natalie Beccera helps Wiley Elementary students test their solar car.Becerra and Muskin Expose Wiley Fifth Graders to Engineering Via Fun Solar Projects

March 7, 2019

On most Tuesday mornings since the end of January, Tanissa Tutwiler's 5th grade class at Wiley Elementary has been learning some things about mechanical, electrical, even environmental engineering via some cool hands-on projects, including making a solar cell and designing a solar car. The activities were presented by a couple of Illinois staff who are passionate about STEM education: Natalie Becerra, who currently works as Extra Help for the Graduate Office in Academic Affairs, but who dreams of doing STEM outreach permanently, and Joe Muskin, the Education Coordinator of the Mechanical Science and Engineering Department.

FULL STORY


A participant tests the battery she and her teammates made.Middle School Girls Discover Engineering Is Fun During SWE’s Round Robin

March 6, 2019

Nine 5th through 7th grade girls showed up on Saturday, February 23rd, for Engineering Round Robin, hosted by the Illinois chapter of Society of Women Engineers (SWE). The idea was to pique the girls’ interest in engineering by exposing them to some of the different engineering disciplines, plus to serve as role models for them to show them that girls can be engineers too.

When deciding on which disciplines they would expose the girls to, the organizers went with some of the most common fields of engineering, such as electrical and computer engineering, and mechanical engineering. However, Rose Carroll, the Round Robin coordinator who’s a freshman in agricultural and biological engineering, reports that in previous years, the event had done a lot of civil engineering activities, like bridge building, and she had wanted to change that up a bit. “I wanted to do something different,” she reports, “especially with me being in agricultural and biological engineering. There's not many activities that are incorporated into large-scale events like this.”

FULL STORY


A Next Generation student shares about her project.Next Generation School’s New-Look Science and Engineering Fair Imparts the Same Old In-Depth Learning and Life-Long Skills

Feburary 28, 2019

"Courage to Be Curious," Next Generation School’s Science and Engineering Fair on February 15th, had a bit different look than in previous years—you could see from one end of the gym to the other! What was missing was the roomful of large display boards on which students had explained their research in the past. In their place were laptops, which the older kids (4th grade and up) used to present their research on websites they’d created using Weeble, an online platform. Other than that, it was exactly the same. As in previous years, it was the highlight of the year for scores of excited kids who presented to community experts. Also as in previous years, there was no 1st place winner, but every child was a winner as they learned more about their chosen topic, embraced the scientific method or engineering process, and gained communication skills…including learning how to make a website!

FULL STORY


Student looks through a telescopeSTEAM Studio AstroTech Unit Focuses on Telescopes Courtesy of Astronomy’s Wong

Feburary 22, 2019

When folks at STEAM Studio, Next Generation School's after-school program that emphasizes STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math [STEM], plus Art) were planning a curriculum on Astro-Technology, they recalled that the father of one of their students was an astronomer. So it made perfect sense for Illinois Astronomy Professor, Tony Wong, to come and present to Kristi Hiatt’s Tera class (3rd–5th graders). During his visit, Wong didn’t get to share much about his research in molecular clouds, star formation, or the evolution of galaxies, but he did get to zero in on a tool he uses on a pretty regular basis: the telescope. And not only did the students learn about different kinds of telescopes and what they’re good for, they actually got to put together some Galileo telescopes and look through them to see what they could see.

FULL STORY


A Monticello Middle School student assembles her team's incubator.Monticello Teacher Exposes Students to the Engineering Process Via a POETS-RET-Developed Curriculum.

Feburary 20, 2019

For the last month or so, eighth graders in Jennifer Smith’s class at Monticello Middle School have been learning a whole lot about what being an engineer might be like. They’ve been designing infant incubators as part of a month-long curriculum Smith helped design when she participated in the POETS’ Research Experience for Teachers (RET). While doing so, they’ve not just learned some science and about the engineering process; they’ve experienced what working on a team is like.

FULL STORY


I-MRSEC, Champaign Educator Jamie Roundtree, Embrace Hip Hop/Rap to Reach Youth at Their Level

Feburary 14, 2019

“So if you can find value and show value for what students value, then they are going to find value in the things you are asking them to value.” – Jamie Roundtree

While some folks might insist that Hip Hop or rap doesn’t belong in the classroom, some of those involved with I-MRSEC’s Musical Magnetism curriculum, including Champaign Unit 4’s Director of Elementary Teaching and Learning, Jamie Roundtree, would disagree. They’re using the medium as a way to teach the students at Franklin STEAM Academy about, and get them engaged with, science—specifically magnetism. As part of the multidisciplinary curriculum, students are creating a rap song about one of a number of principles related to magnetism.

FULL STORY


Joe Muskin explains an experiment to Cornerstone Christian Homeschoolers.Cornerstone Christian Homeschoolers’ Students Design Infant Incubators Using POETS RET-Developed Curriculum

January 24, 2019

Over the last several months, 7th through 12th grade students who are a part of a home school support group, Cornerstone Christian Homeschoolers, have not only been learning some things about engineering and heat, but they have been discovering that engineers work to solve real-world problems. Using a POETS RET-developed curriculum, Joe Muskin, Education Coordinator for the NSF-funded POETS (Power Optimization for Electro-Thermal Systems) Engineering Research Center, has been working with the students who, after learning some of the science and engineering they might need to draw on, have been designing infant incubators for the developing world.

FULL STORY


A student mashes strawberries so that she can collect the DNA from it.Jefferson Middle School Students Experience Cool Hands-On Science, Courtesy of the MCBees

December 12, 2018

Extract DNA from strawberries. Look at human cheek cells via a microscope. Make paper helicopters. These are some of the fun, hands-on STEM activities Jefferson Middle School eighth graders are getting to do courtesy of the MCBees, a graduate student organization from Illinois’ School of Molecular and Cellular Biology (MCB). So, a couple of times a month from October 2018 through May 2019, MCB Ph.D. students (and postdocs) are putting their research on hold for an hour or so in order to share their passion for science with Elizabeth Wheatman’s and Sammy Yoo’s eighth grade students. The two science teachers appreciated the MCBees’ spring 2018 activities so much that they invited them back for the entire 2018–2019 academic year too.

FULL STORY


During Sonia Math Day, a participant writes down data as they participate in the Local Girls Make Strides In Mathematics During AWM’s Sonia Math Day

December 3, 2018

On Saturday, November 10, 2018, during Sonia Math Day, a number of math grad students from the Association of Women in Mathematics (AWM) put into practice the “Say what you know” idea, taken from the life philosophy of Sonya Kovalevsky. The annual event celebrates the life of Kovalesvsky, the greatest female mathematician prior to the twentieth century, and her impact—that women can succeed in and contribute to the field of mathematics. Benefitting from the AWM women’s wisdom (and that of some male students who support women in math), were five local girls who did some unique, math-related activities probably quite different from what they normally are exposed to in school. Plus, they not only met other local girls also interested in math, but networked with some role models during the event, women who are currently on a trajectory to careers in math.

FULL STORY


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.

FULL STORY


MCBees Expose Jefferson Middle School Students to “Cool” Science Activities

April 23, 2018

Helping to bring the material in science textbooks alive, and maybe even introduce some stuff not found in textbooks, eight MCB PhD students have been dropping by Jefferson Middle School during the spring 2018 semester to share their expertise with eighth graders. Slated to visit twice a month, from February through May, the Illinois students, members of the MCBees GSA (Graduate Student Association), were tasked with presenting various topics and leading some corresponding hands-on activities in Sammy Yoo and Elizabeth Wheatman’s eighth-grade classrooms. Their goal? To foster interest in science and maybe even impart their own passion for research to the younger students.

FULL STORY


NGS’ Science Social Café Exposes Girls to Women in Science—Broadens Narrow Notions About Careers in Science

March 30, 2018

Most Thursdays, eleven middle school girls from Next Generation School can be found at the school’s brand new Science Social Café Club, chatting over lunch with local women who are scientists. Besides learning about different potential careers, as the girls hear how these women got to where they are today, they’re also absorbing some pointers about discovering their own careers. Some key ideas they’ve learned are: 1) If you discover that you don’t really like what you originally planned to do, it’s ok to change your mind. 2) You can fashion a career out of some very disparate disciplines. 3) If there’s something you love and are passionate about, you just might be able to make a career out of it.

FULL STORY


A particpant during the string art workshopMiddle School Girls Experience Math’s Role in Art During GEMS Workshops

March 27, 2018

What do origami, tessellation, and string art have to do with math? Hoping to find out, a number of local 6th–9th graders participated in the GEMS (Girls Engaged in Math and Science) Workshops which ran for four Saturdays in a row (February 10th through March 3rd). Held in Altgeld Hall in the heart of the Illinois campus (and the Pottery Place in Champaign), GEMS allowed a group of girls to experience first-hand some of the ways math can play a role in art. And besides teaching participants that math is more than rote memorization and repetition, the goal of GEMS was to show the girls that math is all around them, to help them meet other local students interested in math, and to expose them to female mathematicians who might serve as role models.

FULL STORY


MCB PhD student Andie LiuAt NGS’ Science Social Café, MCBees Women Serve as Role Models, Exemplify Careers in Science

March 19, 2018

On Thursday March 9th, six MCB PhD students briefly put the work in their labs on hold to drop by the Science Social Café at Next Generation School’s STEAM Studio in Champaign. There, while a group of 11 middle school girls (and one boy) ate their lunches, they served as role models, explained a bit about how they ended up in science, shared what doing research as an MCB graduate student at Illinois is like, and described their career goals and other possible careers in their field. Plus, they were available to answer any of the younger students’ questions. The goal of the event? According to STEAM Studio Director Angela Nelson, it was to “break the boundary of ‘You could be a doctor, an engineer, or a lawyer,’” and open the youngsters up to the myriad possible careers, such as in science and research.

FULL STORY


Centennial High senior, Edward Lu, getting the laptops set up to display the laser light shows.Team of Educators, Students Design Flashy New Lesson Activity—a Laser Light Show—to Teach UMS Students Coordinate Math…and a Whole Lot More

March 5, 2018

In a fun, exciting way to learn math using cutting-edge technology, on Friday, March 2nd, two of Jason Pound’s 8th grade algebra classes at Urbana Middle School used coordinate math to design a shape which was then displayed using a laser light show. And almost as spectacular as the light show itself was the number of people, both on and off campus, who were involved in various ways to contribute to what MechSE Education Coordinator Joe Muskin calls, “a really cool outreach activity.”

FULL STORY


Students Hone Their Research Skills, Learn From Experts at NGS's 2018 Science & Engineering Fair

February 22, 2018

It was Friday, February 16th, 2018, the day of “Exploring Our Potential,” the Next Generation School’s (NGS) long-anticipated 2018 Science and Engineering Fair. The students finally got to stand in front of the poster they’d meticulously labored over and present the results of their research to a community expert. But while the experts had been instructed to give students not just positive feedback, but also things they could have done better or could improve upon, no doubt when mom and dad listened to their spiel during the evening session, they got only rave reviews.

FULL STORY


During SWE’s Round Robin, Girls of All Ages Become More Well-Rounded in Engineering's Disciplines

November 2, 2017

On October 7th, about 50 girls from all over the state of Illinois converged on Loomis Lab for Engineering Round Robin. Hosted by the Society of Women Engineers (SWE), the outreach program, with its appropos Robin (and Batman) theme, was designed to expose young women to “the different engineering disciplines," explains Katherine Kiang, the event's coordinator, plus "provide them some perspective on what it’s like to do engineering as a career.” Designed for girls in grades 6 through 9, the program allowed high school students of any age to attend but was primarily targeting younger girls in order to get them exposed and interested at an early age.

FULL STORY


POETS’ Education Program Introduces Students of All Ages to Interdisciplinary Research in Electro-Thermal Systems

August 31, 2017

In addition to cutting-edge research in electro-thermal systems, the NSF-funded POETS (Power Optimization for Electro-Thermal Systems) Engineering Research Center has educational programs that expose students (as well as the teachers) to POETS’ research via educational activities, research, and courses that foster interdisciplinary collaboration and expose learners to the unique research that takes place in the Center.

FULL STORY


Girls Have Fun With Chemistry at the WCC Girls Day Camp, Bonding With Chemistry

July 13, 2017

This summer, the 10th annual WCC Girls Day Camp, Bonding With Chemistry, brought 90 rising 6th–8th grade girls to campus to do as its name suggests… bond with chemistry. Held at the Chemistry Annex from 9:00 am to 3:30 pm on both June 24th and July 8th, the day camp provided hands-on, chemistry-related activities for the 45 students who participated each Saturday.

FULL STORY


Local Middle School Girls Learn about Materials at Mid-GLAM Day Camp

July 7, 2017

From playing with Oobleck, the non-Newtonian fluid made famous by Dr. Seuss (which turned out to be quite messy), to making (and tasting!) chocolate ice cream frozen with liquid nitrogen, 20 local middle school girls not only had fun at the first-ever Mid-GLAM camp held June 26–July 1. According to the camp’s co-directors, Materials Science and Engineering Assistant Professors Cecelia Leal and Robert Maass, the plan was that as the girls had fun learning some things about materials science, their participation in the camp might also pique their interest in science or even plant the seed that they too could be materials scientists..

FULL STORY


Uni High 8th Graders Grow Big Idea Projects to Make a Difference in Local Community Gardens

June 14, 2017

This past semester Sharlene Denos planted the seed of innovation in her University Laboratory High School (Uni High) 8th grade science students. In collaboration with local Champaign-Urbana community gardens, and funded by the Illinois Learning Sciences Design Initiative (ILSDI), her students unearthed problems encountered by managers of the gardens, then, based on science learned in school, as well as via research, got to work on how to effectively solve these problems. While the science aspect of their projects was important, the main focus was really on the design element.

FULL STORY


Local 8th Graders Build Solar Cars Courtesy of POETS' RET

Local Youths' Renewable Energy Invention Propels Them to the Regionals in Toshiba’s ExploraVision Contest

April 20, 2017

One doesn’t have to be an adult to be an inventor. Nor does one have to be an adult to be green. Dina Hashash and Lawrence Zhao, two local 7th graders at Next Generation School in Champaign are doing their part to promote renewable energy in order to help solve the energy crunch. As part of ExploraVision, Toshiba’s K–12 program designed to “engage the next generation in real-world problem solving, with a strong emphasis on STEM,” the two invented the BioKT. It's a watch-like device that harvests both kinetic and thermal energy from the body of its wearer. Their innovative design helped them reach the Regionals of the contest, an achievement celebrated by an awards ceremony at their school on April 13th.

FULL STORY


NGS Middle Schoolers Build Bridges, Experience Engineering During EOH Design Contest

March 23, 2017

It had all come down to this. It was crunch time—figuratively, and possibly literally, if their bridge built as part of the Engineering Open House (EOH) Middle School Design Contest collapsed while being tested. For weeks, three teams of eighth graders from Next Generation School (NGS) in Champaign had been designing bridges—building their prototypes, testing them, working out any kinks. Finally, Saturday, March 11th, the day of the contest, had arrived. With their fingers crossed, each team eagerly watched Illinois engineering students attach a bucket to their bridge then slowly fill it with sand. The idea was to see how much sand could be added before their bridge buckled. And whether they won an award or not, they’d learned a lot: about teamwork; about the engineering process; and what being a Civil Engineer might be like.

FULL STORY


At the 2017 NGS Science & Engineering Fair, Every Student Is a Winner!

March 6, 2017

Friday, February 17th, 2017 wasn’t just any day at Next Generation School in Champaign; it was the day of the much-anticipated 2017 Science & Engineering Fair. And just as in previous years, it wasn’t a competition— no individual student or team won a ribbon or prize for having the best project. All the students were winners: they designed and completed a research project, learned the scientific or engineering method, and prepared a poster. Then, after working on their project for weeks, students finally got to present them to community experts, many from the University of Illinois, who provided not only positive comments about what students had done well, but ways they needed to improve, and even suggestions regarding further research they might do in the future.

FULL STORY


Student Spotlight: Hani Awni–Engineering for Social Justice Scholar

March 1, 2017

Hani Awni was not always interested in the role engineering should play in regards to social justice, but after venturing into the real world, he realized there was more. Hani is an engineering student who studied what he found “technically interesting” during his undergraduate years, but following two years working in Silicon Valley, he was left looking for more.

FULL STORY


Engineering for Social Justice Scholars Program Helps Students Rethink Engineering's Role in Society

November 10, 2016

Are you passionate about righting historical inequities in our society? Do you have a penchant for STEM outreach to multi-ethnic middle-schoolers? For 18 engineering undergrads, the answer to both of these questions was a resounding “Yes!” So this fall, they signed up for Engineering’s new, two-semester-long Engineering for Social Justice (ESJ) Scholars Program.

FULL STORY


SWE's Rockin' Engineering Round Robin Tells Girls: "You Can Be An Engineer and Still Be Yourself!"

October 17, 2016

SWE’s (Society of Women Engineers) Engineering Round Robin, an outreach designed to expose girls to the different engineering disciplines, isn’t just for high school girls any more. Of the 45 girls who converged on Illinois’ Siebold Center on Saturday, October 8th, 20 were middle school students. Also different from past years was the interdisciplinary emphasis. Not only cutting across engineering disciplines, the program had a hint of STEAM (STEM + Art = STEAM). The goal? To show girls that they could become engineers and still be themselves.

FULL STORY


Illinois Math Women Seek to Keep Kids, Especially Girls, in the STEM Pipeline

June 3, 2016

Like most women in STEM, math Ph.D. students Michelle Delcourt, Melinda Lanius, and Claire Merriman, are articulate, born leaders, passionate about math, and committed to outreach. Also like most STEM women, they want to make a difference…specifically to recruit more young people, especially girls, into their field—mathematics. So all three are actively involved in the Illinois chapter of Association of Women in Math (AWM) and in math outreach, like that of the Illinois Geometry Lab (IGL) and several outreach events sponsored by AWM: Sonia Math Day, the Summer Illinois Math Camp, and GEMS.

FULL STORY


Lynette StricklandMechSE Grads Milner & Armstrong Trade in Sports Outreach for STEM Via ENVISION

May 20, 2016

Mechanical Science and Engineering (MechSE) graduate students Matt Milner and Ashley Armstrong were both student athletes while getting their undergrad degrees in STEM. And they both cut their teeth on athletics outreach— but back then, they did sports camps, not STEM camps. So when they arrived at Illinois to continue their education, both were sensing an outreach-shaped vacuum in their lives and felt it was important that they share their passion about STEM. But since there didn’t appear to be a vehicle through which they could do STEM outreach, they decided to build one—called ENVISION.

FULL STORY


SWE's "Save the World With Engineering" Outreach Targets Middle School Girls

May 16, 2016

Up to date on current research about STEM outreach, the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) at Illinois is aware that middle school is the crucial age to expose youngsters to STEM, and also that today’s young people want careers in which they can make a difference. So on April 16th, 2016, SWE held it’s first-ever SWE (Save the World with Engineering) event, an outreach that both targeted middle school girls and showed them that through careers in engineering, they can change the world.

FULL STORY


ECE's Kitt Peterson Exposes Local Middle Schoolers to Rapid Prototyping

May 6, 2016

While it will be several years before Champaign-Urbana’s current crop of middle school students get the keys to their own car, at least a number of them now have a key chain to put them on. And it’s one that they designed themselves, thanks to ECE graduate student Kitt Peterson and MechSE’s Education Coordinator, Joe Muskin, who developed a curriculum that introduces rapid prototyping to sixth graders. So during the 2015–2016 school year, around 90 middle school students at Jefferson, Franklin, and Edison Middle Schools learned how to use TinkerCAD, a free, online software, then designed key chains, which were then 3D printed.

FULL STORY


Local Students Learn About DNA During I-STEM's DNA Day Outreach Event

May 3, 2016

A group of 29 mostly underrepresented local students from Urbana High School and several Champaign middle schools and high schools visited campus on Friday, April 29 to participate in "DNA Applications: Interdisciplinary Perspectives for STEM Careers."Hosted by the I-STEM Education Initiative as part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH)-sponsored National DNA Day activities, the event, primarily via hands-on activities and tours, introduced the local students to DNA, some DNA research done on campus, and some careers that deal with DNA. Students were also encouraged that they, too, could go to college, and were apprised of several resources available to help them achieve that goal.

FULL STORY


MCBees Help Provide Student Support, Recruit, & Share the Joy of Science

April 26, 2016

In the past, new graduate students coming into Illinois' 10-year-old School of Molecular and Cellular Biology (MCB) didn’t have much interaction with other grad students who had been in MCB for a while. During their first six months at Illinois, they were somewhat isolated as they rotated from lab to lab to find their niche, then got further divided as they entered one of MCB’s four departments: Biochemistry, Cell and Developmental Biology, Microbiology, and Molecular and Integrative Physiology (MIB). Then, once that first semester was done, they didn’t really come into contact with their classmates any more, “because you kind of get busy with your work," admits Biochemistry grad student Amruta Bhate, "and you only meet people from your department."

FULL STORY


NGS Students on the Ball Teaching BTW Kindergarteners About Polymers

April 26, 2016

Garbed in rubber gloves and protective goggles, Next Generation School (NGS) eighth graders on a February 23rd field trip to Booker T Washington STEM Academy (BTW), shared with BTW kindergarteners the art of making bouncy balls. According to NGS Science Teacher Bryant Fritz, it was a win-win for both groups of students. His eighth graders experienced working with young children and how to take the principles they have learned down to a level younger students can understand. BTW youngsters were exposed to some lab principles, learned how to use scientific equipment, and, of course, ended up with a ball that they had made all by themselves (with a bit of help from their older mentors.) And they all had fun.

FULL STORY


2016 NGS Science & Engineering Fair Fosters to Research/Presenting to Experts

March 24, 2016

February 19th, 2016 was probably circled in red on the calendars of many Next Generation School students (and most likely their parents’ calendars, too). After weeks spent choosing a project, learning about their subject in depth, designing and conducting a research project, then making a poster, the day of the school’s Science and Engineering Fair had finally arrived. Projects completed, the students were excited to finally get to present their research—first, to a local expert, who gave them positive, and possibly negative, feedback—then later, to mom and dad during the evening session open to the public..

FULL STORY


ChiSE Program Exposes Chicago Public Schools Students to STEM...and Illinois

January 21, 2016

Instead of watching cartoons or sleeping in, several Saturday mornings a semester, 100+ Chicago Public School (CPS) 5th through 7th grade students can be found doing math and physics activities as part of Illinois' Chicago Pre-College Science and Engineering (ChiSE) STEM enrichment program. Seeking to expose traditionally underserved students (and their parents) to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), ChiSE is comprised of a number of Illinois faculty, staff, and students who also devote their Saturdays to work with these youngsters in hopes of increasing their interest in STEM—and possibly even STEM careers.

FULL STORY


An Illinois researcher (center) interacts with an NGS student describing her science and engineering fair project.2015 NGS Science & Engineering Fair Called the "Most Successful" Ever

February 18, 2015

Like a swarm of bees, a noticeable buzz of anticipation was in the air as students waited to present their science projects during Next Generation School's (NGS) Science and Engineering Fair. After weeks of prep both at home and in the classroom—it was finally the big day! The students would get to present their research to one of the local experts who had gathered for the event. The hope of the organizers was that these students would not only gain valuable feedback about their specific project, but that ultimately they would have gained a better understanding of the scientific process and possibly even a new passion to explore STEM fields when they grow up.

FULL STORY


Mommy, Me and SWE Strives to Convince Girls That They Can Be Engineers Too

November 13, 2015

Twenty-six 4th–6th grade girls and their mothers (plus one dad) visited campus this past Saturday (November 7th, 2015) as guests of SWE (the Society of Women Engineers) to participate in the group's fall outreach event, Mommy, Me and SWE. The goal of the dozens of female engineering students who participated in the event was to pique the girls' interest in engineering and show them that, like their "big sisters," they too have what it takes to become engineers.

FULL STORY


A middle school student watches to see if the geyser he made erupts. (It did!)UMS STEM Night Exhibitors Hope Their Enthusiasm for STEM Is Contagious

April 25, 2014

Excited about sharing their passion for STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) with Urbana Middle School students and their families, some area folks devoted a Thursday evening to participate in the school's fourth STEM Night on April 10, 2014. For example, members of the Fouke Research Group, the Society of Women Engineers, and Materials Advantage brought fun STEM hands-on activities with which to engage visitors.

FULL STORY


Memory Metal to Oobleck: NanoDays Makes Learning About Nanoscience Fun

April 10, 2014

Last weekend, 22 6th–8th grade students from Next Generation School (NGS) participated in NanoDays, a program offering unique hands-on learning experiences about nanoscale science. The two-day event was held at the Champaign Public Library on Friday, April 4th, and the Orpheum Children's Science Museum on Saturday, April 5th. The role of NGS students was to demonstrate to NanoDays visitors the unique properties of nanoscale materials...

FULL STORY


Psychology Professor Kara Federmeier evaluates an NGS student's presentation during the fair.Next Generation School's Science and Engineering Fair: Every Student Is a Winner

March 11, 2014

Compared to most science fairs, Next Generation School's Science and Engineering Fair is unique, in that no one student or team is designated the winner. After weeks researching and learning about a subject in depth, designing and conducting a research project, and finally making a poster presenting their results, during the February 21st fair, each student had the opportunity to present their research to a local expert for feedback—making all the students winners.

FULL STORY


FLL contestant from Da Ex Bots holds some of his team's Lego equipment.First Lego League—More Than Just Robots

January 23, 2014

"Some people think that Lego League is just for nerds, but it's not. It's way more than robots." —Jessica Smith, First Lego League contestant.

With its carnival-like atmosphere more reminiscent of Mardis Gras than a STEM event, the recent First Lego League (FLL) Robotics Tournament held at the ARC on campus gave young robotics aficionados the opportunity to do more than just build and program robots. In addition to the fun of competition, camaraderie with one's teammates, and dressing alike or sporting wild and wacky costumes, hats, or paraphernalia), participants honed important life skills, such as public speaking, working on a team, and learning how to perform research.

FULL STORY


iRobotics member judges an event during the recent practice robotics competition.iRobotics Engages Kids in the Sport to Pique Interest in Engineering

December 16, 2013

Is robotics a sport? According to the internet, it meets all of the criteria: team building, competition, awards, and the possibility of moving to a higher tournament or competition, and, thus, should be classified as a "sport of the mind." But no matter how it's classified, if a local event has something to do with robotics, it's a pretty sure thing that some students from iRobotics will show up.
While a few of iRobotics' 40 committed core members are from outside engineering, most are from Mechanical and Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. But they all have one thing in common—their love of robotics...
FULL STORY


 Danville Lutheran middle school student makes an adjustment while printing a 3D image.Danville Teacher Partners with Illinois To Expose Students to STEM

December 12, 2013

At the conclusion of a Nanotechnology Teacher Institute in the summer of 2010, Joe Muskin, then Education Outreach Coordinator for the Nano-CEMMS Center, encouraged participants to consider the Center—including its facilities, nanoscience supplies for classroom activities, and expertise—to be a resource for them. Kim Wright, a science teacher at Danville Lutheran School, took him at his word. So on December 12, 2013, to reward six 5–8th grade students for doing well on their compound microscope unit, Wright brought them to the Illinois campus to experience a Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) and to learn how to use 3D printers.

FULL STORY


Two brothers blow through straws trying to "levitate" a ping-pong ball in order to observe the Bernoulli principle for themselves.Danville School Experiences a "Night at the Museum" Courtesy of Illinois Researchers

November 25, 2013

Growing up in Chicago, Julia Ossler went to museums a lot. "I remember just loving it, and I didn't want to leave." she reminisces. "My brother and sister would hate it because I kept them there all day." While Ossler wanted the kids at Danville's South View Middle School to have those same kinds of opportunities, obviously taking them all to Chicago museums wasn't feasible. So, as part of her Chancellor's Public Engagement project, she arranged a Science Night and took the "museum" to them.

FULL STORY


Camper models the fiber optics barette she made for her hair.Pollen Power: Exposing Girls to Pollen—and Possibly STEM Careers

July 24, 2013

The 27 middle school girls who participated in Pollen Power camp July 8–12 not only learned about the importance of pollen. They were exposed to the technology researchers use to study it, and to female researchers and graduate students, who both taught them and served as role models. In using mostly women, Pollen Power organizers sowed this seed that they hope comes to fruition in these girls' lives: they too can follow in these women's footsteps.

FULL STORY


GEMS camper enjoying making life-size graph during a math activity.GEMS: Steering Middle School Girls Toward Careers in Computer Science

June 19, 2013

Briana Chapman is a prime example of how exposing youngsters to STEM (science, technology, engineering, & math) at an early age can lead to a life-long interest—and possibly culminate in a career in STEM. Chapman, who attended GEMS (Girls Engaged in Math and Science) camp as a youngster, is not only helping coordinate this summer's edition of the computer-science-focused camp for middle school girls. Her career plans are "to somehow change the world"...via computer science.

FULL STORY


Michael Rivkin and Angela Lee compete in the Water Quality eventMarie Murphy School: A Day in the Life of an Illinois Science Olympiad Team

April 20, 2013

This reporter's foray into the behind-the-scenes world of the Illinois Science Olympiad State Tournament held on campus this past weekend happened by chance. After photographing one of the first events of the day, I stumbled onto Marie Murphy School's homeroom in Noyes Lab, where the team's coaches, 30 contestants (fifteen kids on the Varsity team, fifteen on the JV team, which does trial events), plus parents/chaperones were preparing to compete, planning out their strategy for the day, glued to computers (cramming?), or playing games to kill time.

FULL STORY


Betabrain contestants work to build a tower that will successfully hold up a brick.Betabrain Makes Learning Engineering and Science Fun

March 13, 2013

Instead of sleeping in on Saturday morning, around 400 McClean County middle school and high school kids showed up at Normal High School in Bloomington on March 8 to participate in Betabrain, a science competition involving hands-on, problem-solving challenges. In its second year, the competition changed its emphasis from solely IT/engineering to include biology, chemistry, and physics.

FULL STORY


Pint-sized scientist-in-the-making explains her science project to Illinois Psychology professor Kara Federmeier.Next Generation School Fair: Tomorrow's Scientists & Engineers Meet Today's

March 8, 2013

When Next Generation School needed some people knowledgeable about science and engineering to serve as judges for its 2013 Science and Engineering Fair, it didn't have far to look. Lucky enough to be in the same community as a world-class university, the school found plenty of folks willing to donate some time and energy to help shape some of tomorrow's scientists and engineers.

FULL STORY


Bryant FritzLocal Teacher Uses Project Lead the Way to Prepare Next Generation of Engineers

February 20, 2013

"Mr. Fritz, I'm going to be an engineer!"

This is what science teacher Bryant Fritz's middle school students are telling him when they greet him in the hallway these days. For a couple of years now, Next Generation School in Champaign has been incorporating Project Lead the Way STEM curriculum as part of its science curriculum for the 6th–8th grades, and it seems to be leaving an impression.

FULL STORY


During the Next Generation School tour of the Ford Lab, MechSE grad student Kun Hyuck Lee (left) illustrates the type of model that can be manufactured at the lab, while fellow tour guide Matthew Mayer looks on. MechSE Gives Back to the Community

February 19, 2013

When Next Generation School science teacher Bryant Fritz needed a little help with a Project Lead the Way design and modeling unit involving computer-aided drafting (CAD) and printing 3D models, he knew just whom to call. He contacted the school's big brother to the north—the Mechanical Science and Engineering (MechSE) Department on the Engineering campus of the University of Illinois.

FULL STORY


Sua Myong works with Allegra Amos during lesson on plasmids.Myong, BioE Undergrads Expose Middle Schoolers to DNA/Cell Measurement

October 31, 2012

On Wednesday afternoons, a number of Illinois bioengineering undergrads can be found at Jefferson Middle School teaching seventh and eighth graders about science. The brain child of Bioengineering professor Sua Myong, this year-long, after-school outreach program funded by the Center for the Physics of Living Cells meets once a week to expose students to techniques used to measure things in cell biology.
FULL STORY


GIRRRLS camper making mirrors for her kaleidoscope.GIRRRLS Camp Exposes Local Middle School Girls to Engineering

April 18, 2012

"This is the kind of camp that you'd want your own kid to go to." This was the impression of Nano-CEMMS educator Carrie Kouadio, who taught a number of sessions in this summer's 2012 GIRRRLS Exploring Science and Engineering Camp. Held in the heart of campus at the Campus Middle School for Girls, the week-long camp, which ran from July 30 through August 3, 2012, gave 28 rising fifth, sixth, and seventh grade local girls a taste of a variety of engineering disciplines.

FULL STORY


CPS student experiences electrifying effect of Van de Graaff generator.CPS Students Discover Campus...and That Learning Can Be Fun

August 22, 2012

Some smoke. A little loud noise. A physics gizmo that makes one's hair stand on end. Mutilating a Pepsi can with the force of air. Tramping around hunting insects in the great outdoors armed with a butterfly net. Illinois scientists pulled out all the stops to show a group of Chicago students that exploring science at a world-class university can be fun!
>FULL STORY


iRISE grad students work with middle school students from Bill Boyers Boys and Girls' Club.Physics Center Rises to the Challenge:
iRISE Makes Learning Science Fun

September 13, 2011

Does learning science have to be boring, or can it be not only educational, but fun? Educators in the iRISE project believe the latter. They have come together to create a unique program that gives graduate students the chance to create and teach science lessons for children, offers fun and educational programs for middle school students, and provides middle school teachers with lesson plans to use for their own classes.

FULL STORY


iRISE grad student presents lessons to teachers during PD.iRISE and Denos Work to Get Students Hooked on Science in Middle School

July 31, 2012

One of Sharlene Denos' passions is to expose middle school students to hands-on activities in order to pique their interest in science so it becomes a life-long interest—possibly even a career. Denos hopes to give today's middle school student opportunities she didn't have at that age.

FULL STORY


Boys working on Science Olympiad project.Science Olympiad National Tournament turns K-12 students' attention to STEM

May 6, 2010

Around 3000 STEM-inclined middle- and high-school students from around the country converged on the Illinois campus May 21–22, 2010 to participate in the National Science Olympiad Tournament.

FULL STORY





Program prepares STEM educators to teach all students

November 30, 2021
This summer, a group of educators gathered to learn about engaging STEM activities they can do with their students.
Full Story

Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program

November 11, 2021
Undergrads get a taste of research through I-MRSEC’s REU program.
Full Story

Goldstein’s Renaissance Engineering Summer Camp

November 1, 2021
Goldstein’s Renaissance Engineering Summer Camp Incorporates Art, Design, Mechatronics, and Mentoring
Full Story

TechTogether Chicago to Redefine the Hacker Stereotype

July 10, 2021
New workshops that can help inspire students to pursue careers in technology..
Full Story

Aerospace Engineering Launches Virtual Summer Camps to Pique Students’ Interest in Aero.

July 2, 2021
Design an aircraft then watch it soar after launching it with a huge rubber band. Build a Mars lander to safely transport a real egg, then test the contraption by dropping it from a second story window.
Full Story

Undergrads Experience Materials Science Research Courtesy of the I-MRSEC REU

June 16, 2021
Ten undergraduate students are spending the summer of 2021 discovering what research is like.
Full Story

MatSE Afterschool Academy

MatSE Afterschool Academy

June 14, 2021
MatSE Afterschool Academy to Introduce Students to Materials Science and Beyond.
Full Story

Taylor Tucker Embraces Multidisciplinary Interest

Taylor Tucker Embraces Multidisciplinary Interest

June 14, 2021
Taylor Tucker Embraces Multidisciplinary Interest While Researching Task Collaboration.
Full Story

Exposes Franklin Middle Schoolers to Science, CS

What Studying Engineering at Illinois is Like?

May 25, 2021
NSBE’s Michaela Horn Exposes Franklin Middle Schoolers to Science, CS, and What Studying Engineering at Illinois is Like.
Full Story

Jenny Saves a Convertible.

Children’s-Book-Writing Duo/

May 19, 2021
Convertibles and Thunderstorms—Children’s-Book-Writing Duo on Their Way Thanks to Illinois Training and Encouragement from Mentors.
Full Story

Improve Learning in Engineering

Improve Learning in Engineering

May 17, 2021
Liebenberg Espouses Mini-Projects to Engage Students Emotionally, Improve Learning in Engineering.
Full Story

Joshua Whitely makes an adjustment to the 3D Bioprinter during the demo.

BIOE435 Capstone Projects

May 12, 2021
BIOE435 Capstone Projects - BIOE Seniors Use Knowledge/Skills to Problem Solve.
Full Story

Elani and Gonzalo shine a UV light on a rose that has absorbed a solution that has made it fluorescent.

Illinois Scientists Shine a (UV) Light on Fluorescence

May 7, 2021
What is fluorescence? What causes it?
Full Story

Joshua Whitely makes an adjustment to the 3D Bioprinter during the demo.

HackIllinois 2021 “Rekindled Connections” With The Tech Community

May 5, 2021
Annual student hackathon HackIllinois with the aim of developing projects on current problems facing society.
Full Story

A Shane Mayer-Gawlik image of the Bridger Aurora, part of his Night Skies photography collection exhibited at the Art-Science Festival.

The Art-Science Festival

April 26, 2021
Illinois Art-Science Festival: Illuminating the Universe...from the Quantum World to the Cosmos.
Full Story

Joshua Whitely makes an adjustment to the 3D Bioprinter during the demo.

Illinois Engineering Seniors Prepared to Change the World

April 22, 2021
Ready. Set. Go! Illinois Engineering Seniors Prepared to Change the World.
Full Story

HML 2021 Virtual Health

HML 2021 Virtual Health

April 19, 2021
Make-a-Thon Gives Citizen Scientists a Shot at Making Their Health-Related Innovations a Reality.
Full Story

I-MRSEC’s Music Video

I-MRSEC’s Music Video

April 7, 2021
I-MRSEC’s Music Video for EOH ’21 Plugs Graphene, 2D Materials
Full Story

Health Make-a-Thon Orientation

HML 2021 Health Orientation

March 30, 2021
HML 2021 Health Make-a-Thon Orientation Prepares Finalists for Competition.
Full Story

Andrea Perry shows Franklin students how to take apart the magnetic drawing board they received in their kit

Musical Magnetism

March 25, 2021
Musical Magnetism: Encouraging Franklin Middle Schoolers to Express Science Via the Arts.
Full Story

Carmen Paquette street performing.

Love of Science

March 9, 2021
Paquette Conveys Her Love of Science, Dance to Franklin STEAM Students Via Musical Magnetism.
Full Stroy

An Engineering Exploration participant exhibits the tower they built as part of the engineering challenge related to Civil Engineering

Engineering Exploration

March 2, 2021
SWE’s Engineering Exploration Outreach Lives Up to Its Name.

ChiS&E’s Family STEM Day

ChiS&E’s Family STEM Day

February 23, 2021
Helps Chicago Youngsters Progress Along the STEM Pipeline Toward Engineering.

Kathny Walsh

Kathy Walsh

February 17, 2021
On Her First Foray into STEAM, Kathy Walsh Acquaints Franklin Students with Microscopy, Haiku.

ChiS&E student

ChiS&E CPS Students

January 19, 2021
Illinois Undergrads Encourage ChiS&E CPS Students Toward Possible Careers in Engineering.

I-MRSEC’s Music Video

CISTEME365 Provides Year-Round PD/Community

January 4, 2021
to Illinois Teachers in Support of Informal STEM Education Efforts to Underserved Students.