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November STEM Café at Cabana Charley’s will explore ‘green’ materials, technology Nov. 13

October 31, 2012

Photo of a wind farmGood news for people who want to keep the environment clean, but don’t have time to put on hip waders and restore wetlands and prairies: Materials scientists are creating cleaner, greener products that can help you help the planet.

Join NIU STEM Outreach at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 13, when its popular STEM Café series explores ways that materials science is making our world cleaner. “Making Stuff Cleaner” will take place at Cabana Charley’s, 1470 S. Peace Road, Sycamore.

STEM Cafés are fun, casual events that offer adults an opportunity to eat, drink, and chat with scientists about the latest breakthroughs in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). These monthly events are free and open to the public. Food and drinks will be available for purchase from Cabana Charley’s.

At November’s talk, Petr Vanýsek will speak on the rapidly developing science and business of clean energy and alternative ways to generate, store, and distribute energy for a sustainable future.

Petr Vanýsek

Petr Vanýsek

Vanýsek is a professor in NIU’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry with research interests in using energy more efficiently and converting fuel to energy in a much cleaner way. He will talk about the latest developments in bio-fuels and lead the audience in a discussion on how our energy choices impact our environment and our economy.

“Making Stuff Cleaner” is part of a special series of STEM Cafés STEM Outreach is presenting this fall to coincide with Public Television’s re-broadcast of the four-part NOVA series “Making Stuff,” which began airing again on September 19.

Those who missed the last STEM Café, “Making Stuff Stronger,” can attend an encore presentation in Geneva. At 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 27, STEM Café will explore new advancements in engineering and materials science with Michael Haji-Sheikh at the Claddagh Pub and Restaurant, 1702 Commons Drive in Geneva.

NIU’s STEM Cafés are just one of many engaging events STEM Outreach offers to the public throughout the year to increase public awareness of the critical role science and other STEM fields play in our world.

For more information on upcoming STEM Cafés and other events from STEM Outreach, visit or contact Judith Dymond at [email protected] or (815) 753-4751.

by Gillian King-Cargile