Exploring STEM - STEM Outreach Summer Camps - Northern Illinois University

STEM Outreach Camps - Exploring STEM

 science camp    science camp    science camp

Exploring STEM

Summer 2015 dates:

  • Week 1: July 5-10
  • Week 2: July 12-17
  • Week 3: July 19-24

Campers Entering Grades 7-9 

2015 dates have been announced - registration will be available soon.

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

Exploring STEM through Nature 

Get ready to get down and dirty while exploring natural habitats on the NIU campus and at the Afton Prairie (just 10 miles from the NIU campus). Campers will learn about habitat restoration, plant and animal identification, and how different species adapt to living near people. They’ll also learn things they can do at home to make the world a safer and healthier place for plants, animals, and ourselves. Sessions are led by faculty and students from NIU's interdisciplinary Institute for the Study of the Environment, Sustainability, and Energy.

Note that all Exploring camps will live on the same residential hall floor, take meals together, and enjoy many of the same evening activities, including a trip to Davis Hall Observatory and bowling in the Huskie Den.

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. Camp 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 Lego EV3 Robotics

Imagine a whole week of building and programming increasingly complex robots! This camp is your chance to do it. Use Lego's newest Mindstorms system, the EV3, to create and program robots to solve problems and compete in challenges. Use robots you design to collect data using scientific sensors and then use others to attack an obstacle course. Meet people who use robotics in their work and visit some of NIU's robotics facilities. No experience needed. Campers will develop their skills no matter what level they start the week.

Exploring STEM through Chemistry

Let's get into the lab and explore chemistry!  This is the place to be if you want to do science, not just watch it happen.  Guided by NIU experts, campers will synthesize gold nanoparticles and analyze their methodology, explore polymers by learning how to control properties of various slimes and bouncy balls, dissect cow eyeballs and explore how chemistry happens within living organisms, including us. Learn some chemistry "magic" to share with your friends and family, and some that's best done only in our labs.  We'll end the week with a bang!

New in 2015:

Exploring STEM through LEGO EV3 : Space

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.  This session will be held at NIU’s scenic Loredo Taft campus, which provides excellent opportunities for stargazing!

Exploring STEM through LEGO EV3: Engineering Challenge

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 Sports

Why does a football fly better when thrown in a spiral?  How do basketball players seem to just hang in mid-air when they slam dunk?  How do sports drinks work to rehydrate players?  Put an edge on your game by learning the science behind all your favorite sports.

Exploring STEM Camp Pricing for 2014. 2015 Pricing Coming Soon!


Early Bird Special:

Cut off 5/2/14    


Cut Off: 6/15/14     






NIU Student/Staff




Multiple Camper Discount