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Exploring STEM

This camp will give students several different options to explore how STEM is at work in the world around them.

Campers Entering Grades 7-9

Session 1: June 25-30, 2017 at NIU's main DeKalb campus. Campers will choose one of the following tracks


Session 2: July 9-14, 2017 at NIU's Lorado Taft Campus. Campers will choose one of the following tracks

  • Art
  • LEGO EV3 Robotics: Space Challenge - sold out
  • Survival


Session 3: July 16-21, 2017 at NIU's Lorado Taft Campus. Campers will choose one of the following tracks


Exploring STEM through Art

Create, make, and innovate! Take your creations to the next level by investigating the science behind making cool art. Create wind-powered kinetic sculptures; use polarized light to create paintings with tape; animate your art digitally; color your world with laser spiro-graphs; explore the chemistry of color through tie-dye; learn the secrets of making cool pop-up cards. Sessions are led by NIU art and science faculty and students. STEM Outreach director Pati Sievert enjoys integrating art and science, a fun application of her degrees in Applied Design and Physics.

Exploring STEM through WaterBotics

Love robots? Try them underwater! Design and build your own robots using Lego Mindstorm software to operate bots made of LEGO and other components. Test your bot to the limit in a series of challenges while learning how to manipulate the robots under water. Campers will learn how to apply the engineering design process, use informational technology tools, and practice computer programming, all while honing the ability to think creatively and work in teams.

Exploring STEM through Chemistry

Let's get into the lab and explore chemistry! Campers will spend a week in the lab doing hands-on experiments, with some crazy reactions! We’ll look at acids and bases, explore the different states of matter, and even make our own polymer slime. Learn how to safely perform some chemistry "magic" to share with your friends and family, and some tricks that are best done only in the lab. We'll be sure and end the week with a bang!

Exploring STEM through LEGO EV3 Robotics: Space Challenge

Face the challenges of space exploration by designing, building and programing the LEGO EV3 robots to complete a variety of missions, all leading up to a manned mission to explore the Red Planet. No prior experience with robotics or programming is required.

Exploring STEM through LEGO EV3 Robotics: Engineering

Learn all about robots and programming as you construct various LEGO robots, designed to overcome a variety of different challenges. We’ll be using the LEGO EV3 robotics kits to create robots that can move, robots that can interact with their surroundings, and even robots that can communicate!

Exploring STEM through Engineering

Engineers are professional problem solvers! From building bridges to designing the circuits in your cell phone, engineers help create the future every day. Spend a week developing your problem solving skills by working on hands-on projects and fun challenges designed to spark your inner engineer!

Exploring STEM through Coding

Team up with fellow campers to complete in a series of challenges using technology and coding. See how big data, GIS, urban planning, and computer coding can impact decisions on the use of our parks and public spaces. Students will gain skills in coding, digital literacy, teambuilding, and leadership and enjoy the great outdoors at Lorado Taft. 

Exploring STEM through Sci-Fi

From space battles to super heroes, there’s a lot science in science fiction! This super-powered STEM camp will answer all the important questions like “Can radiation really give you super powers?” and “How do I build my own light saber?” Campers will explore the facts behind the fiction through hands-on activities and experiments and will even create their own short science fiction movies!

Exploring STEM through Lightning Bolts and Magnetic Fields

In this electrifying camp session, campers will investigate the science of electricity and magnetism through exciting hands-on activities and interactive projects. Campers will learn about electricity and circuits as they solder and construct their own electronic devices. They will also explore the phenomenon of magnetism as they experiment with homemade electromagnets and even create their own electric motors and generators.

Exploring STEM through Survival

In this exciting new track, campers will learn the science of survival. Campers will learn to use and appreciate nature as they learn to navigate using the night sky, identify useful and poisonous plants, purify drinking water, and even spend a night in a lean-to they construct themselves.

Exploring STEM through Video Games

Why spend your summer playing video games, when you could learn how to make you own? Campers will use computer-based tools to design and prototype a playable video game while developing skills in complex problem solving, working in teams, project management, and using computer design software. 317-762-8727 or