Engineering Amusement: From Roller Coasters to Cotton Candy. Campers will design various amusement park activities such as roller coasters, learn how engineers optimize traffic flow, investigate food safety, and concoct their own treats. One day will be spent doing experiments at Six Flags—Great America. Campers also experience dorm life and exciting evening science activities, such as a visit to the Davis Hall Observatory.
Science and engineering educators from the region instruct the sessions, and science and education students provide counseling support. NIU’s STEM camp leadership collaborates with NIU faculty in adolescent development to provide an environment that nourishes the development of every camper, regardless of gender, ethnicity, or learning differences. Campers are divided into smaller groups by age and gender for many of the learning modules in Engineering Amusement to encourage participation by all.
Exploring STEM through Nature is for campers entering grades 7-9. 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.
Exploring STEM through Art is for campers entering grades 7-9. 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.
Note that both Exploring STEM 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.
STEM Career Explorations gives high school students an opportunity to explore career options in several areas. NIU faculty and staff in several colleges and Career Services as well as local professionals will staff specialized tracks in Health Sciences, Engineering, Game Development, and Green Careers. Participants will apply to the track of their choice and spend the bulk of the week with the smaller group of students who have also chosen that track. Evening recreational activities will involve all campers. Participants can expect a fun and busy week as STEM career options open up before them!
STEM Careers campers will experience dorm life by living in one of the newly renovated Grant Towers and enjoying meals in Stevenson Hall and the Blackhawk Cafeteria in the Holmes Student Center. Campers will have the opportunity to interact with professionals and students in many STEM fields throughout the day, including informally at meals. Evening activity choices include visits to Davis Hall Observatory, video game night, movie night, and outdoor recreational activities.
Who should apply? If you can answer yes to any of these questions, STEM Career Explorations is for you!
Check out the four tracks below and apply early as each track is limited to 20 participants.
You may know what it takes to become a doctor or a nurse, but are you aware of the dozens of other professions in health care? Health care is projected to be one of the fastest growing industries over the next decade. What are health science careers and what do you need to do to be ready to pursue them in college?
Join us as we investigate what it takes to become physical therapists, clinical lab technicians, cancer researchers, audiologists, pharmacologists, biomedical engineers, doctors, nurses, and many other critical careers. Along the way you will interact with the simulated patients in the nursing lab, peer at organisms through the microscopes in the clinical laboratory, and meet students and faculty in health-related STEM disciplines. Faculty from the colleges of Health and Human Sciences, Liberal Arts and Sciences, Engineering, and Education are participating in this track.
Engineers are involved in designing virtually everything we use today from our cars, computers, and cell phones to bridges, skyscrapers, and video games. Do you know which engineers are involved in each? What does an engineer do? How does an engineer’s day differ from a scientist’s day?
Join us as we investigate the scores of engineering and related careers. Throughout the week you will learn “lean manufacturing” techniques and compete to establish the most efficient assembly line, learn to solder and then complete your own electronic device to take home, participate in design and construction challenges, and visit our engineering labs. Participants will join the Green Career participants in a visit to a non-profit renewable energy solutions incubator.
Are you interested in video games, animation, or 3D virtual worlds? Do you know that designing games is a team effort involving several types of artists, writers, and programmers, as well as the game designer? Sign up for the Video Game Design and Development track to try your hand at game design and learn about the various careers available.
Join us to use professional software to design and develop a playable video game. Participants will explore popular video games, learn the essentials of game design, develop a game story, create game characters, invent game goals and rules, storyboard game scenarios, design a game interface, and create sound effects to realize their games. No prior experience needed, but those who have participated in our Game Design Day Camp will be able to use the week to advance their skills.
More jobs than ever are available in the Green Economy. Careers can be found as skilled installers of wind and solar energy systems, engineers who design equipment for optimal performance, researchers who investigate impacts on the greater environment, and policy analysts who look at how the alternative energy industry should be regulated.
Join us to connect with faculty and career professionals who will provide a preview of their everyday jobs. Monitor our environment, take trips to learn first-hand about alternative energy and environmental restoration, and network with environmental professionals in northern Illinois.