STEM Cafés

Feed Your Mind!

Join us for monthly STEM Cafés - fun, casual gatherings where adults can eat, drink, and chat with STEM professionals about the latest scientific research. These events are free and open to the public. Food and drinks are available for purchase from our host restaurant.

Upcoming Cafés

Teen Cafés

Our Teen STEM Cafés are designed specifically to appeal to high school students to spark and expand their interest in science, technology, engineering and math. We collaborate with libraries, park districts and high schools to bring intriguing STEM-related conversations to your community. Our speakers are vibrant college professors, graduate students and STEM experts. We will work together to create content around a theme that supports your curriculum and program goals. Previous Teen STEM Café topics include robotics, biology, and music.

Want to learn more about hosting or attending a Teen STEM Café? Contact Judith Dymond at

Past Cafés

The Vinyl Resurgence: Fueled by Frenzy or Scientific Fact? Andrew Morrison, NIU Alumni

The Physics of Hockey Dr. Mike Eads, Department of Physics

Smart Meters: A New Way to Save Money on Your Electric Bill Kevin Martin, Department of Technology

Why Facebook’s “User Agreement Sucks” and What We Can Do About It David Gunkel and Andrea L. Guzman, Department of Communications

Food for Thought: A Tale of Apples and Oranges Joel Stafstrom, NIU Department of Biological Sciences

Stargazing Jeremy Benson, NIU STEM Educator, Joel Knapper, NASA Solar System Ambassador,
Dan Hooper, Ph.D., Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of Chicago

Maker Movement Russell Lankenau, co-founder and president of the Workshop 88 makerspace, Federico Sciammarella, Associate Professor and Interim Chair, Mechanical Engineering

Encore: Combating the Opioid Epidemic Experts in Winnebago County

Esports: Gaming, Technology, Sportsmanship Conner Vagle, president of NIU Esports Club, Eric Hoffman, NIU English instructor, Guild Officer in World of Warcraft, Dr. Claire Zvosec, NIU assistant professor of Sport Management, and Dr. Aline Click, director of NIU Digital Convergence Lab, faculty advisor of NIU Esports Club.

Frankenstein's Legacy: The Past, Present and Future of Anatomy and Synthetic Biology Clint Cargile, local  historian, Dan Olson, director of anatomy laboratory, Sam Finch, funeral director, Mary McGinn, instructor of Biological Sciences, Sahar Vahabzadeh, assistant professor of Mechanical Engineering.