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Goal 1 Resources: Facilitate P–16 STEM Education Outreach

Cultivate sustained, coordinated preschool through undergraduate partnerships to engage students in STEM experiences early and consistently, involving university faculty and students to meet STEM education challenges.


1. News Stories

Short news stories about P–16 activities on the Illinois campus.

2. I-STEM Campus Affiliates Directory

Directory of Urbana-Champaign campus personnel interested in STEM education, including those particularly interested in P–16 STEM education outreach.

3. Funded Projects Directory

Directory of current externally funded P–16 STEM education outreach projects on the Illinois campus.

4. Funding Opportunities

External funding opportunities for P–16 STEM education outreach activities and research.

5. P-16 STEM Education Outreach Resources

Opportunities for students from preschool through high school (P-12) and for post-high students (through Grade 16) from outside this campus.

P–16 Student STEM Activities on and off Campus

P–16 Summer Camps

Camp information will be updated as it becomes available. For planning purposes, most camps are held around the same time every year.

ACES (College of Agricultural, Consumer, and Environmental Science) Summer Programs
  • ACES Research Apprentice Program I: Research program for high school freshmen & sophomores of under-served/economically disadvantaged groups. Introduces students to careers in agricultural, consumer and environmental sciences via a series of visits and seminars held at various businesses orfacilities where they will learn about various aspects of food science, product development, manufacturing and marketing, then develop a presentation based on what they have learned. Dates: July 5–August 1, 2015.
  • ACES Research Apprentice Program II: Laboratory Component: Research experience for previous RAP I students and other high school juniors of under-served groups and economically disadvantaged backgrounds. Intensive seven-week laboratory and academic enrichment experience for students interested in further exploring careers in the food, human, and environmental sciences. Dates: June 14–August 1, 2015.
  • Imagine ACES Expercience: One-week experience designed to help high school students understand the wide range of majors available in the College of ACES leading to careers in science, technology, engineering and math related fields. Registration Deadline: IN OFFICE by March 6, 2015 (not POSTMARKED). Dates: June 21–June 28, 2015.
  • Explores the following areas:
    • How to make the food of the future
    • Where biology meets engineering
    • Is medicine the career for you?
    • Getting greater potential out of the land
    • Exploring your entrepreneurial urges
    • Managing your own restaurant or business
    • Helping families and children
    • Going green and what it means
    • Teaching as a career
    • Your talent in the field of media
    • The challenges of producing food for the world
    • Careers in the food and agriculture system
    • The science of plants and animals
    • Veterinary science and animal health
    • Nutrition and the science of healthy living
    • Sustaining our environment
    • Biotechnology
  • USDA Ag Discovery Program: Learn about careers in plant, animal, and veterinary sciences, and learn how the USDA protects the American food supply. Over 4 weeks, students will live on the Illinois campus and have hands-on experiences in animal and plant labs, conducting small lab exercises under supervision of plant and animal scientists, and veterinarians. Field trips will be to USDA facilities, agricultural businesses, conservation areas, and zoological facilities to experience the vast aspects of the food and agriculture system. Students enhance academic skills in math, science and computers. A 7-week second laboratory research experience during summer 2014 provides opportunities to further explore specific interests related to plants, animals, and the environment. The program is in partnership with the Research Apprentice Program and funded by USDA APHIS. Dates: 7/5/15–8/01/15: Registration deadline: March 6, 2015.
  • Young Scholars Program: A summer and first-year academic experience provided for new freshmen pursuing an undergraduate studies offered through the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences. YSP is designed to provide summer academic experiences to create a successful transition to Illinois and increase academic performance during the first academic year for new ACES majors.

    Students participate in a 4-week intensive academic review of math, general chemistry and writing skills during the summer prior to the fall semester on the Illinois campus. Early peer counseling and career advising are additional summer components. All expenses such as food, lodging and books are covered. Approximately 20-25 students will be accepted into this academic component.

    All YSP participants will participate in peer advising and skill development sessions througout the academic year. All students will be assigned to a graduate student mentor who will monitor student performance and provide academic intervention if needed. Dates: 7/5/15–8/1/15.

Engineering & Computer Science Camps/Programs
  • Exploring Your Options (EYO): This is a week-long residential program that introduces high school rising juniors and seniors (graduating in 2016 or 2017) to the field of engineering. EYO is held at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Participants will interact with engineering students and faculty members, plan and build a project, and engage in hands-on activities prepared by departments within the College of Engineering. Dates: EYO Session 1: June 7–13, 2015; Exploring Your Options in Mechanical Engineering: June 21–27, 2015; EYO Session 2: July 26–August 1, 2015. Registration deadine: April 15, 2015.
  • G.A.M.E.S.: GAMES 2015 is an annual, week-long camp that gives academically talented high school girls an opportunity to explore exciting engineering and scientific fields through demonstrations, classroom presentations, hands-on activities, and contacts with women in these technical fields. Girls may choose from 8 tracks covering different engineering disciplines. While GAMES is open to high school girls, unlike previous years, the different tracks serve a varity of age groups. Most camps are for girls who will be entering grades 9, 10, 11 or 12 in Fall 2015; however all camps are not for all four grade levels (see the table below). Also unlike previous summers, the tracks will not all be on the same week. Camp topics include the following eight tracks shown in the table which follows; click on each track to learn more about the specific program. Dates for the various tracks range from June 14–July 18, 2015. Online application.
  • Track
    Age Group
    Aerospace Engineering rising 9th-12th graders July 5–11, 2015
    Bioengineering rising 9th-11th graders July 5–11, 2015
    Chemical Engineering rising 9th-12th graders July 12–18, 2015
    Computer Science/App Development rising 9th-12th graders June 21–27, 2015
    Environmental Engineering & Sustainability rising 10th-12th graders June 14–20, 2015
    GLEE (Girls Learn Electrical Engineering rising 10th-12th graders July 12–18, 2015
    GLAM (Girls Learning About Materials) rising 10th-12th graders June 14–20, 2015
    G-BAM (Girls Building Awesome Machines rising 9th-12th graders June 14–20, 2015
  • Discover Engineering: Discover Engineering is a one-week residential camp for rising sophomores (graduating in 2018 or 2019) who are interested in math and science. Students will work on several projects that will incorporate different aspects of engineering. Dates for 2015: Session 1: June 21–27, 2015; Session 2: July 12–18, 2015. Registration Deadline: April 15, 2015
  • GEMS—Girls Engaged in Math and Science: The GEMS program in Illinois' Computer Science Department targets middle school girls in east Central Illinois and is one of the few sustained outreach programs that has been successfully implemented since 1994. It is intended to encourage girls to consider STEM careers, to gain confidence in using authentic computer tools for math and science, to increase their higher level thinking skills, and to encourage them to take advanced-level mathematics and science courses in high school and college. the GEMS camp this year will focus on Mathematics and Computer Science related activities. Dates for 2015: TBA. Register by April 20, 2015.
  • Illinois Aerospace Institute Summer Camp: For students entering grades 9–12 who are interested in learning about the fields of aerospace engineering and aviation. There will be two sessions: Session I: June 14–20, 2015; Session II: July 19–25, 2015. Applications must be postmarked by April 15. Early application is encouraged—space is limited. Institute slots are usually filled prior to April 15.
STEM Camps at Illinois
  • Bonding With Chemistry–A Day Camp for Girls: Chemistry Day camp for girls entering 6th–9th grade. Activities: Chemistry of Art and Color, Natural Products and Forensics! Dates: Saturday, July 12, 2014 and Saturday, July 26, 2014. Time: 9 AM - 3:30 PM. Price: Free!
  • Camp Invention: Sponsored by the Orpheum Children's Science Museum, Camp Invention is a fun-filled adventure fostering inventive-thinking skills, science literacy, history and the arts in four activity-oriented modules created for children entering grades 1–6. Directed and taught by local teachers, children are challenged to identify solutions to real-world problems and are immersed in challenges that draw upon their sense of curiosity. At "Morphed!" this summer, children entering grades one through six spend their time building original prototypes, creating a personalized motor-powered vehicle and taking apart electronics to construct a pinball machine!. 2014 Dates: June 23-27, 2014. 2014 Camp Invention will be held at Next Generation School Cost: $195 through March 28; $220 from March 29 on. Toll free number for information: 800.968.4332.
  • Castle Quest Camp: Time to put on your armor and join this 3-day summer camp on medieval Europe. Participants construct castles, catapults, drawbridges, armor, and water wheels while learning about the technologies and cultures of the time period. This program is recommended for children age 7–13. Space is limited to 16 participants. For further information, contact Brook Taylor at 217-265-0474 or taylorb@illinois.edu. Dates: July 15–17, 2014. Cost: $125. Location: Zahn Learning Center, Spurlock Museum, 600 S. Gregory St., Urbana, IL; Time: 9:00 AM–3:00 PM.
  • Discover Architecture Pre-College Summer Program: High school juniors and seniors learn about a career in architecture. Scholarships available. Dates: Session 1: June 14–27, 2015 (deadline: May 14, 2015); Session 2: July 5–18, 2015 (deadline: June 5, 2015). Application. For more details, see Discover Architecture information flyer.
  • Camp Olympus: Day Camp for Kids: In Camp Olympus, young fans of Ancient Greece and Percy Jackson will spend time in the Ancient Med gallery and make projects related to mythology and the popular Rick Riordan novels. The Lightning Thief introduces readers to Percy and the gods and goddesses of Ancient Greece, and starts with a memorable visit to the Met Museum. Spurlock educators will take campers into the galleries to look at amphoras, statues, and other artifacts and teach them to make their own paper maché amphora (painted with a mythological scene), drachmas with images of Pegasus, Zeus, Athena, and more (using molds made from teaching artifacts), and a sword (like Percy’s “Riptide”). Afternoon breakout sessions will allow campers to create a specialized project: Grover’s satyr hooves and horns, Poseidon’s trident and beard, or Athena’s owl. This program is recommended for children age 7–13. Space is limited to 16 participants. For further information, contact Brook Taylor at 217-265-0474 or taylorb@illinois.edu. Dates: July 9–11, 2014. Cost: $125. Location: Spurlock Museum, 600 S. Gregory St., Urbana, IL; Time: 9:00 AM–3:00 PM.
  • Media University: Offered by the College of Media at Illinois for two weeks in the summer, this program introduces high school students to advertising and journalism as viable career choices through hands-on learning activities. Students will work on a real project; interact with University of Illinois faculty, ad agencies and clients, journalists, and media personnel; and learn from current University of Illinois students. At the end of the program, students will present their projects to their clients, parents and the public at a graduation ceremony. Dates: June 16–27, 2014. Admission is on a rolling basis. Applications will be reviewed beginning March 15, 2014. All applications are due on or before May 1, 2014 and notifications will go out by May 9, 2014. Application.
  • Illini Summer Academies: Offers high school students the opportunity to explore the Illinois campus and potential degree programs and/or careers. University faculty and staff plan interactive learning sessions to provide delegates an overview of actual college classes required in various majors. Dates: June 21–24, 2015. Online registration opens March 15, 2015, and closes May 22, 2015. Registration is first-come, first served; individual academies will close when they reach their maximum, so we encourage you to register early.
  • There are 13 Academies to choose from:

    • Aerospace Engineering $400 (No return attendees from 2014)
    • Agri Business: $195 NEW!
    • Agricultural Mechanization: $235 NEW!
    • Chemistry: $200 NEW!
    • Computer Science: $240 NEW!
    • Creative Writing: $245
    • Digital Manufacturing & Informatics: $340 NEW!
    • Electrical & Computer Engineering: $370 (No return attendees from 2014)
    • Human Development & Family Sciences: $215
    • Molecular & Cellular Biology: $285 (No return attendees from 2014)
    • Natural Resources & Environmental Sciences: $250
    • Plant Science $180: (No return attendees from 2014)
    • Veterinary Medicine: $285 (No return attendees from 2014)
  • Pollen Power: Hosted by the Institute for Genomic Biology on the University of Illinois campus, the camp will provide an opportunity for girls to study plant responses to climate change in the distant past and the coming century. Research groups of 8 to 10 campers led by a female graduate student will use million dollar microscopes to image pollen,giving the campers first-hand experience in a research environment with female mentors. The camp is designed for middle school age girls with aninterest in plants and the environment. Dates: July 6–10, 2015. Apply here.
  • Prairie Research Institute Science Camp: The Prairie Research Institute science camp is for high school students who will be juniors and seniors in fall 2014. During the week-long camp, students will work with scientists in labs and in the field. Applications deadline: May 18, 2014. Dates July 21–25, 2014.
  • researcHStart: A joint University of Chicago/University of Illinois high school summer cancer research program, researcHStart, has just been launched. The researcHStart program is an 8-week cancer-focused research and career development experience for the most promising high school students from the Chicago and Champaign-Urbana areas. The research experience is the core of the program, which provides hands-on, full-time immersion into a cancer research environment under the supervision of an established, funded investigator. Depending on the specific project and mentor, students will develop an understanding of cancer epidemiology, cancer treatment, imaging, immunology, pharmacogenomics of anticancer agents, engineering, biomarker development, the molecular and biochemical underpinnings of cancer, development of anticancer agents, experimental cancer therapeutics, and/or cancer disparities. More detailed information about the program and an application package may be found at http://cancer.illinois.edu/researchstart/. Dates: June 22 to August 14, 2015. Application deadline: March 15, 2015.
Local K-12 School-Sponsored and Program-Sponsored STEM Camps
  • Canaan Academy Summer Enrichment Program: The summer program will consist of both academics and a camp from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. The day will entail an academic portion from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and the camp portion from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.  Camp will include a variety of activities such as swimming, bowling, skating, park recreation, arts and crafts, visits to local museums and out of town trips to Shedd Aquarium, theme parks; Indianapolis zoo, and a host of other activities. For more information, contact Principal Bryant J. Tatum at 217-367-6590 or jaytatum@canaanacademy.org. Dates: June 9, 2014–July 11, 2014.
  • GEMS Day Camp—Gains in the Education of Mathematics and Science): This GEMS program gives students entering grades 7 or 8 and 9 through 11 an opportunity to intern at an Army laboratory and be exposed to career opportunities in the areas of math and science. It targets students interested in science and math careers but who need motivation or information to pursue this goal. Participating students will receive an educational stipend.Dates: GEMS 1: June 16–20, 2014 (7th & 8th graders); GEMS II: July 14–18 (9th–11th graders). Application period: March 1, 2014 to April 15, 2014. (Applications submitted BEFORE or AFTER the registration period will not be considered.). Online Application. (Students must submit an essay of up to 500 words as part of their application.)
  • Next Generation School Enrichment Camps. Camps allow students to explore interesting topics with NGS teachers and staff. Group size is limited to 15 students so each child obtains one-on-one instruction within the 3-hour class each day. Students will enjoy learning in a relaxed and fun, but challenging environment. Registration Deadline, May 23, 2014; Tuition fee: $100 + camp supply fee (see 2014 catalog);
  • Next Generation School Summer Day Camp is an affordable, safe, fun program for students. Activities include swimming at local water parks; weekly field trips; guest speakers, math and science labs, and team-building games. Dates: 5/26/14-8/15/14; topics vary by week (see list below). Ages 5–11. (Campers must have completed kindergarten to be eligible.) . $195 per week. Please register by May 9, 2014. Registration/Info Flyer pdf icon
  • 5/26–5/30/14: Polymers
  • 6/2–6/6/14: Astronomy
  • 6/91106/13/14: Art Restoration
  • 6/16–6/20/14: Forensics
  • 6/23–6/27/14: Oceanography
  • 6/30–7/3/14: Fireworks
  • 7/7–7/11/14: Wild West
  • 7/14–7/18/14: Rain Forests
  • 7/21–7/25/14: Food Science
  • 7/28–8/01/14: Geography
  • 8/4–08/8/14: Kitchen Chemistry
  • 8/11–8/15/14: Time Travel
  • Next Generation Middle School Science Summer Camp is an affordable, safe, fun program for students. Activities include swimming at local water parks; weekly field trips; guest speakers, math and science labs, and team-building games. The program is open to Next Generation School students and students at other schools in our community. You may register for the entire summer or for specific weeks. Space is limited. Ages: 11-13; campers must completed fifth grade). Dates for 2014 May 26-August 15th. Topics vary by week, listed in Next Generation Summer Day Camp notice above. Contact: Gabi Cooper, Danelle LaFoe, Krystal Moya, or Kristin Sandone: 217.356.6995. To register for specific weeks, please register no later than May 9, 2014. Registration/Info Flyerpdf icon
  • Next Generation Summer Scholars Program provides an opportunity for students who have completed grades K–8 to explore various topics (follow above link for info/registration form. Groups limited to 15 students. Dates for 2014 TBA. Full payment due by May 09, 2014. Registration/Info Flyerpdf icon
  • Orpheum Children's Science Museum Discovery Field Trips and Summer Camps: The Orpheum Musem offers a variety of camps and activities for children grades K–5. For more information call 217-531-3555.
  • Uni High Summer Enrichment Camp: The camp is for students going into 6th and 7th grade for 2014–2015 school year. This camp offers sessions in many areas, including robotics, engineering & science, and more. 2014 Camp sessions: Session 1: June 9-13; Session 2: June 16-20. 2014 Camp Registration Form. There is no application deadline. Uni High takes applications until classes fill, which they will then post on their website.
  • University Primary School Summer Camp: University Primary School will offer summer camp for students with and without disabilities, Monday-Friday 8:45 a.m.-1 p.m. June 3–28 for 3- to 7-year-olds (Garden Camp) and 8- to 12-year-olds (Science/Art Camp). Older campers have space available for all four weeks. Dates for 2014: Week of 6/9/14–6/13/14; week of 6/16/14–6/20/14. 2014 Camp Brochure and Registration Form.
  • P–16 Academic Year Programs

    Updates for academic year programs will be added as information becomes available.

    • Academic Challenge: Science/engineering test competitions for high school students. The competition has three levels: regionals (February), sectionals (March), and state finals (April) on the Illinois campus.
    • Engineering Advocates: Illinois Engineering students visit K–12 schools to share their knowledge and love of engineering with @ 6000 youth per year. They conduct hands-on workshops at elementary and middle schools and make a PowerPoint presentation about engineering careers and admission to Illinois at high schools; they also conduct workshops for groups such as Girl Scouts and participate in conferences and career fairs for middle and high school students.
    • Engineering Days for high school students: Engineering Days is one of the best ways for prospective engineering students to see what being an engineer is all about. During the course of the day, you will learn about the different engineering fields, visit cutting-edge labs, talk to current college students about life as an engineering student, and get a good look at one of the nation's top rated engineering universities. March 21, 2014; April 11, 2014; April 25, 2014. Register here. Dates for Fall 2014 TBA.
    • Engineering Open House 2015: This annual student-led event featuring two days of exciting exhibits and captivating competitions that showcase the talent and ingenuity of engineering students. The exposition attracts thousands of visitors to the Illinois campus each year and stands as the largest event of its kind in the country. EOH brings together students, faculty, and corporate sponsors to feature cutting-edge innovation in the fields of science and technology. EOH 2015 dates: March 13–14, 2015.
    • Engineering Information Bureau: Programs for prospective students to learn about Illinois engineering opportunities: Engineering Campus Tours; Engineering Advocates; Engineering Days: Shadow an Engineer; Women in Engineering.
    • ExplorACES: A two-day event to acquaint prospective students and their families with the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES): March 14–15, 2014.
    • FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology): International competition where students explore science and technology through robotics. Illinois hosts a regional Lego Robotics competition every December. Engineering supports Robotics (ages 9–14), and Vex Robotics (high school). AP Physics teachers use Vex Robotics as a hands-on approach to physics.
    • Genome Day 2015: The 3rd annual Genome Day will be held in an open house format at the Orpheum Children’s Museum. The event is free and open to all ages, although primarily focusing on children of grade-school age.
      Exhibits and activities are designed to present the environment, energy use and production, health, and other fundamental research at the Institute for Genomic Biology in an approachable manner for all ages.
      Members of the UIUC chapter of SACNAS (Society Devoted to Advancing Hispanics, Chicanos & Native Americans in Science) will provide bilingual support for the activities. Date and Times for 2015: 1:00-5:00 pm, Saturday, November 7, 2015. Location: Orpheum Children's Museum
    • GeoJam 2015: This event invites mathematics students at Central High School and Edison Middle School in Champaign, along with their families and friends, to participate in teams and enjoy an evening of fun geometric challenges. The competition is designed for teenage students and their families from the Champaign community who may not have a history of performing well in school mathematics. Date and Times for 2014: TBA. (GeoJam 2013 was May 15 2014 from 8am to 11:30am at Edison Middle School and from 6 to 8pm at Central High School. Registration for GeoJam at Central High School will open at 5:30pm in Seely Hall.
    • ICTM State Math Contest: The University of Illinois hosts the Illinois Council of Teachers of Mathematics High School Math Contest each spring. The state finals will take place on Saturday, May 2, 2015. The 2015 regional contest will be held at Parkland College on February 28, 2015. Registration information and online registration form
    • Naturally Illinois 2015 Expo: The 2015 Expo showcases the work of the Prairie Research Institute, which includes: Illinois Natural History Survey, Illinois State Archaeological Survey, Illinois State Geological Survey, Illinois State Water Survey, and Illinois Sustainable Technology Center. Exhibits are geared toward families, teachers, and students. When: April 17 & 18th, 2015. Where: Forbes Natural History Building and the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center in Research Park.
    • STEAM Studio. Next Generation School Science, Teechnology, Engineering, Art, and Math After-school program. This dynamic and innovative program affords K-­8 students in the C-U area the opportunity to spend after-school hours in an environment that will foster analytical, creative, and critical thinking skills necessary for success in the global community. Registration online or at 2521 Galen Drive.
    • Vet Med Open House. This annual student-led event features more than 40 exhibits and demonstrations showcases the art and science of veterinary education and practice and provides a behind-the-scenes look at the most comprehensive veterinary facility in Illinois, the Veterinary Teaching Hospital. The event is appropriate for all ages, including many hands-on learning opportunities for children. Prospective veterinary students can attend an informational session about admission to the state's only veterinary degree program. Date & Time: October 4, 2015: 10:00 am-4:00 pm.
    Scholarship Opportunities

    Updates regarding scholarships, including current application deadlines, will be added as information becomes available.

    • National Institutes of Health (NIH) Undergraduate Scholarship Program (UGSP). NIH UGSP offers competitive scholarships to students from disadvantaged backgrounds who are committed to careers in biomedical, behavioral, and social science health-related research. The program offers:
      • Scholarship support
      • Paid research training at the NIH during the summer
      • Paid employment and training at the NIH after graduation
    • Play the Game/Change the Game Scholarship. Up to $20,000 ($10,000 a year) scholarship for undergraduate students who want to become credentialed math teachers and teach at high-needs schools. Scholarship recipients will have the opportunity to deepen their math teacher knowledge, increase their math pedagogy IQ, receive support during first years of teaching, and inspire students to choose STEM majors and careers. Online Application coming soon.

    6. Miscellaneous P-16 STEM Education Resources


    eCYBERMISSION is a web-based Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) competition free for students in grades six through nine where teams can compete for State, Regional and National Awards while working to solve problems in their community. eCYBERMISSION is a National Science Teachers Association and Army Educational Outreach Program.

    2014 Engineering Encounters Bridge Design Contest

    • Who: U.S. students age 13 through grade 12 are eligible for prizes.
    • Contest registration opens 1:00 pm EST on January 13, 2014;
    • The qualifying round will begin on 1:00 pm, January 14, 2014 end at 1:00 PM EST on May 2, 2014, 2014.
    • The Semi-Final Round will be from 1:00 pm to 3:0 pm EDT on May 30, 2014.
    • The Final Round will be on June 27-29, 2014 (location to be announced).
    • Prizes: Each member of the first-place team earns a $5,000 cash scholarship. Each finalist wins a Dell laptop computer.
    • Pathways to Science

      STEM-related resources for K-12 students, including summer and academic year programs, paid internships, plus resources such as how to apply for summer research experience, how to apply for college, etc.

      Science Olympiad

      Science competitions for K-12 students at the regional, state, and national levels.

    The Ultimate STEM Guide for Kids

    239 Cool Sites About STEM