Things to Do
STEM That You Can Do
STEM is all around you! On this page we list events in the Chicagoland area, things you can do at home, and organizations to check out.
Featured STEM Activity
For the Birds!
Observing birds is a great anytime activity. Dress for the weather and take a walk through your neighborhood, or stay cozy in your house and perch yourself near a window. If your family has a pair of binoculars, ask if you can use them. There are apps for identifying birds such as: Smart Bird ID or the Audubon Bird Guide. Check your phone, or the internet for many possibilities. During February, you might even want to participate in the Great Backyard Bird Count
Previously Featured Activities:
After School Clubs and Organizations
So you want to get more involved in STEM? Good for you! There are all sorts of groups where students engage in activities after school and sometimes on weekends. You’ll have fun, new experiences and a chance to make new friends! Here are a sampling organized by grade level. If you have an idea to share send us a note at email@example.com.
Many schools have STEM clubs of some kind. Listen for announcements and look on bulletin boards in classrooms and in the hallway for notices of meetings. If you don’t see any signs of a club, ask your science, math or technology teacher if you can start one. These organizations may give you ideas for your group.
Discover, explore and be challenged! Have fun, share ideas, problem solve, and learn STEM skills. Who doesn’t like LEGO?
Material Science activities for kids and families. Video clips on the latest developments in the science of materials, too. A collaboration between PBS, NOVA, and the Materials Research Society.
Work as a team to design and create solutions for the cities of the future in this international program. Check and see if there is a team at your school! Join up, or try to start one with the help of a teacher.
Download this program guide for a 16-week after-school club for middle school kids. Look for a sponsor at your school.
Are you interested in rocks, minerals, gems and fossils?
These clubs sponsor events and publications:
ESCONSI: The Earth Science Club of Northern Illinois – A family membership is $20.
The Chicago Rocks & Minerals Society – This group has a Geo-junior group.
TSA offers over 60 STEM competitions for middle and high school students across the nation. TSA membership includes over 190,000 students in 2,000 schools.
Compete with your team against other schools in knowledge and skill based competitions that you’ll prepare for during the school year. If your school doesn’t have a team, you can organize one.
Think you’d like to be a STEMist?
Here’s your chance to get involved in all sorts of actual investigations, alone, with friends, or with your family.
You could also suggest a project to your teacher or Scout leader.
These Citizen Science resources are organized in alphabetical order:
Audubon Society & Bird Conservation Network
Citizen Science Alliance
Find a Citizen Science Project
Illinois Butterfly Monitoring Network
SciStarter: Science we can do together
If you find a cool project site, please share the link with us by emailing it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
More Things to Do
Here you will find a calendar of events maintained by the state of Illinois.
From STEM Kids Chicago, you can sign up for a newsletter, too.