STEM Outreach adds exciting new camps to summer menu

STEM science camp
STEM science camp 2015

This summer, NIU’s STEM Outreach is offering a full schedule of engaging, hands-on camps for the innovators of tomorrow.

Campers get to roll up their sleeves, think creatively and make friends while building skills for success in the growing fields of science, technology, engineering and math.

STEM Camps are offered from June through August at NIU’s main campus in DeKalb and the scenic Lorado Taft field camps in Oregon, Ill.

Online registration has already begun, so don’t wait too long to browse the schedule and reserve a spot in your top choice.

A full schedule is available online.

In addition to returning favorites like Engineering Amusement, STEM Outreach is adding several new options, ensuring that every young learner can find a STEM experience that matches his or her interests and passions.

“What all our camps have in common – and what kids love about them – is a strong hands-on element,” says Patricia Sievert, director of STEM Outreach. “In school, kids might read about STEM concepts, but we approach them in a completely different way. It’s not about memorizing and tests. It’s about experimenting, learning by doing, and arriving at those amazing eureka moments.”

Five new tracks have been added to the popular Exploring STEM residential camp for students entering grades 7 to 9. Now, in addition to engineering, chemistry, LEGO robotics, and art, campers will also be able to choose from among wild biology, computer coding, green technology, the science of sci-fi, and lightning bolts and magnetic fields.

“This camp always sells out quickly,” says Jeremy Benson, director of STEM Summer Camps. “We have campers who enjoy it so much that they come back and do it multiple times. Some of them worked through several tracks and wanted more – so we made more. We want as many people as possible to find their STEM passion.”

STEM camp at Lorado Taft 2015
STEM camp at Lorado Taft 2015

New tracks have also been created for STEM Career Exploration, a residential camp for students entering grades 10 to 12 who are looking for exposure to careers that draw on STEM skills. Thanks to the additions, students can pick from among health care, engineering, science, video games, coding and nanotechnology. Campers learn what jobs in these fields require, enabling them to tailor their coursework accordingly.

Several camps are being offered for the first time.

A pair of new camps for students entering grades 2 to 5 started out as favorites in the STEM Saturdays series. STEM Juniors provides four days of project-based activities, including LEGO robot-building, simple electric circuit design and 3D printing. STEM Divas offers similar activities, with an additional focus on helping female students embrace STEM skills as empowering.

“The response to our STEM Divas programming so far has been amazing,” says Pettee Guerrero, who designed and will direct the camp. “It goes to show that young women are just as excited about STEM as young men are. The camp will create a space where that excitement can be expressed.”

STEM Outreach camps offer need-based scholarships and offer discounts for early-bird registration, children of NIU employees, returning campers or families with multiple campers.

STEM DivasSummer 2016 Camp Offerings

  • Engineering Amusement, Week 1: a residential camp for students entering grades 5 to 7, July 10-15
  • Engineering Amusement, Week 2: July 24 to 29
  • Exploring STEM, Week 1: a residential camp for students entering grades 7 to 9 (or campers entering Grade 6 who have attended Engineering Amusement), with tracks available in art, engineering, LEGO EV3 robotics engineering, Waterbotics, and wild biology, July 10-15 at NIU’s Lorado Taft Field Campus
  • Exploring STEM, Week 2: with tracks available in art, coding, engineering, LEGO EV3 robotics space, sci-fi, Waterbotics and wild biology, July 17 to 22 at NIU’s Lorado Taft Campus
  • Exploring STEM, Week 3: with tracks available in chemistry, green tech, LEGO EV3 robotics space, lightning bolts and magnetic fields, and sci-fi, July 24 to 29
  • STEM Career Exploration, Week 1: a residential camp for students entering grades 10 to 12, with tracks available in coding, engineering, health care, nanotechnology, and science, June 19 to 24
  • STEM Career Exploration, Week 2: with tracks available in coding, engineering, health care, science and video game design, July 31 to  Aug. 5
  • STEM Divas: day camp for female students entering grades 2 to 5, June 27 to 30
  • STEM Juniors: day camp for students entering grades 2 to 5, June 27 to 30

For more information, call (800) 345-9472.

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