On September 30, NIU students, faculty and staff will welcome visitors of all ages to this free annual festival, hosted by Meta, celebrating science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
For nearly 15 years, NIU has welcomed visitors of all ages to explore hands-on activities and learn about the latest research in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. On September 30, 2023, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., we will once again welcome thousands of visitors to MLK commons, the Holmes Student Center and other central campus buildings to launch rockets, look through microscopes, fly drones, explore careers in healthcare. , build electrical circuits and more.
STEM Fest organizers have also expanded their reach beyond DeKalb County by offering transportation grants to teachers who bring their students to the annual event. STEM Fest 2022 hosted 13 buses with 550 students, families and educators – mostly middle and high school students eager to learn more about STEM career paths. This year’s transportation grants promise to bring similar numbers of people to campus from Chicago, Rockford and surrounding areas.
“The excitement around STEM Fest can’t be beat,” says Brynteson. “Every year we look forward to seeing young people’s faces light up as they run from booth to booth to try hands-on learning activities. Now that we’re welcoming more high school students, there’s added excitement about career exploration – that moment when a young person discovers a career field that might be a good fit.
The University of Illinois Chicago College of Pharmacy will offer another fun opportunity to explore a career with its booth offering two activities. An activity will give attendees the opportunity to practice dispensing medications like a real pharmacist, as current UIC pharmacy students help visitors learn how to read a prescription, count the correct number of pills and to distribute them into the correct patient’s bottle. The second activity will allow participants to demonstrate their communication skills with LEGO bricks. While these activities are aimed at younger students, older students will also be able to learn more about pharmacy professions, from patient care to research and development, and will have the opportunity to ask current students their questions in doctorate in pharmacy.
“From the beginning, our goal with STEM Fest has been to share the message that science, technology, engineering and mathematics are for everyone – and progress in these fields affects us all,” explains Brynteson. “Whether students view college as part of their career path or choose to pursue careers, STEM is for them. We want to dispel the myth that only rare people can understand science and technology and recognize the value and knowledge of all skilled trades. At the heart of STEM, it’s about recognizing and solving the world’s problems – and that’s something we need all young people in Illinois to do, regardless of their career path.
It’s not too late for NIU students, faculty and staff to sign up to volunteer at STEM Fest – or to attend with their families. From block building to space exploration, health and wellness to robotics, there are activities to pique the interest of every visitor.
Learn more or sign up to volunteer on the STEM Fest website.