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STEM Education Outreach Groups at Illinois

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Discipline Organization Name Target Age Group Activity Summary
ACES ACES Family Academies K-6 The College of ACES Alumni Association hosts the ACES Family Academies program every year. Alumni are invited to bring youth ages 8-13 years old to campus for a 2-day educational experience while spending time together on the University of Illinois and College of ACES campus. Participants will enjoy the college experience living in a residence hall, eating in the dining facilities, and participating in educational classes on the College of ACES campus. The program gives participants an opportunity to relieve and share their college days a as well as create new memories with their little Illini.
Website — Contact: acesalumni@illinois.eduArticles
Aerospace Engineering Illinois Space Society 9-12 The society’s largest engineering outreach day is Illinois Space Day, held in the fall, where a variety of elementary and middle school students are invited to visit campus and experience space-related exhibits.
Website — Contact: ssg3@illinois.edu
Illinois Aerospace Institute (IAI) 9-12 The Illinois Aerospace Institute summer camp is a one-week residential program for students entering grades 9-12 who are interested in learning about the fields of aerospace engineering and aviation.
Website — Contact: il-aero-inst@illinois.edu
Illini Aerospace Outreach (IAO) K-12 Illini Aerospace Outreach creates and uses outreach opportunities that are created in conjunction with the Aerospace Engineering Department at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and corporate sponsors to teach students in the Champaign-Urbana area about Aerospace Engineering. IAO’s goal is also to connect outreach opportunities created by the numerous Aerospace Engineering clubs at the University so that they can be more accessible to educators.
Website — Contact: aero-outreach@illinois.eduArticles
Bioengineering Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES) 7-12 The BMES Outreach Committee hopes to both intrigue and educate students and community members about the exciting advancements and opportunities in the biotech and healthcare industries, as well as STEM careers overall. The accomplish this through large-scale outreach events, classroom visits, and partnerships with other groups. Additionally, the committee hopes to give back to the community through fundraising and volunteer efforts.
Website — Contact: joychen@illinois.eduArticles
Biophysics Illinois Biophysics Society The Illinois Biophysics Society (IBS) is a student run organization comprised of Center for Biophysics and Quantitative Biology graduate students whose mission is to improve the lifestyle, educational experience, and future career opportunities of biophysics peers.
Website — Contact: aarango2@illinois.edu
Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Brady STEM Academy K-6 St. Elmo Brady STEM Academy brings together underrepresented youth and exposes, engages, and empowers them to become the next generation of scientists, engineers, and mathematicians. The goals of the academy are to expose students to STEM, increase student awareness of the practicality of STEM; incorporate Next Generation Science Standards into program curriculum; partner with community leaders, Illinois faculty, staff and students, and the Champaign Unit 4 School District to provide quality programming, foster father-son and/or mentor-mentee relationships through STEM, improve student attitudes toward STEM, and promote cooperative learning and critical thinking skills.
Website — Contact: jgamez@illinois.eduArticles
Chemistry Bonding With Chemistry 5-7 A free day camp for girls organized by WCC every summer to expose middle school girls to chemistry and sciences in the laboratory and in every-day life. In the past, this hands-on camp has included topics such as electrochemistry, art chemistry, chemistry of the earth, chemistry in cooking, polymers, and more! In addition to participating in various chemistry-related activities and experiments throughout the day, the girls are also taught how to make scientific observations and follow experimental procedures in their designated laboratory notebooks. Led by current graduate students and faculty, the event is all about playing and learning in chemistry, in an attempt to encourage 5th-7th grade girls to become excited about chemistry!
Website — Contact: uiuc.wcc@gmail.com
REACT K-8 The REACT Outreach Program began in Fall 2002. It has grown into the largest outreach program of its kind at UIUC and perhaps in the U.S. Each semester, the program visits every local school within a 30 mile radius of campus to work with third grade youngsters in hands-on activities in chemistry. The program also performs demonstration shows and visits local after-school facilities.
Website — Contact: thereactprogram@gmail.comArticles
Women Chemists Committee (WCC) The ACS East Central Illinois Women Chemists Committee was founded in the fall of 2005 to promote the development of women in the chemical sciences. With the support of its local ACS chapter and the Illinois Department of Chemistry, they have planned events that include professional and social opportunities that benefit graduate students, faculty, staff, undergraduates, and P-12 students.
Website — Contact: uiuc.wcc@gmail.com
Computer Science ChicTech 8-12 The annual ChicTech Retreat is part of WCS’s outreach effort to inspire girls to pursue an education in computer science! This retreat invites nearly seventy-five high school girls to stay overnight on campus and get a taste of the different opportunities in computer science. Over the course of the retreat, each participant will work on an individual project that she can showcase at the closing ceremony. The girls will also get to participate in fun activities such as a campus scavenger hunt, computer science trivia, and Q&A with current undergraduate students.
Website — Contact: contact@illinoiswcs.orgArticle
CS@Illinois Sail 8-12 Sail is a one-day event held at the Thomas M. Siebel Center for Computer Science. Participants learn more about life at Illinois through classes taught by current students on topics ranging from Machine Learning to The Science of Bitcoin to Texas Hold'em Techniques.
Website — Contact: cs-sail@lists.cs.illinois.eduArticles
GEMS (Girls Engaged in Math & Science) Camp 6-12 GEMS camp provides an action-packed week of coding, group project work, field trips, problem solving, and social networking with peers. Participants are inspired to consider computing as a course of future study as they learn and interact with dynamic CS women undergraduate mentors/instructors. Gems Camp is offered weekly over the summer from mid-June through the end of July.
Website — Contact: admin@cs.illinois.eduArticles
Women in Computer Science (WCS) Women in Computer Science (WCS) is a non-profit, educational student group under Illinois’ Computer Science Department. The organization is dedicated to supporting the efforts of young women who are pursuing a career in computer science or show an overall interest in technology. Because the number of women pursuing Computer Science has been steadily decreasing, the organization aims to retain and provide a network of support for members to rely on for advice and camaraderie.
Website — Contact: contact@illinoiswcs.org
Dietetics NutrImpact An organization founded in September 2012 at Illinois, NutrImpact seeks to be the bridge between professionals and students working towards their career in the field of Dietetics, while also serving the community of Urbana-Champaign through educating those in need about nutrition and serving as a resource.
Website — Contact: nutrimpact@gmail.com
Engineering Engineering Open House K-12 Engineering Open House is an annual student-led event featuring two days of exciting exhibits and captivating competitions that showcase the talent and ingenuity of engineering students at the University of Illinois. The event is open to the public at no cost. Families, students, and community members are invited to come and experience the atmosphere of innovation and creativity.
Website — Contact: eoh@ec.illinois.eduArticles
ICANEXSEL 7-8 The College of Engineering is partnered with the Chicago Pre-College Science and Engineering (ChiS&E) Program, a non-profit organization focused on preparing inner-city middle school students for college science and engineering programs. As part of the partnership, the ICANEXSEL Outreach Program was launched, in which University of Illinois students facilitate engaging, math and computer programming activities on several Saturdays each semester at the University of Illinois at Chicago campus.
Website — Contact: info@chiprep.orgArticles
Illinois Engineering Ambassadors K-12 Illinois Engineering Ambassadors is a professional outreach program sponsored by the Office of Undergraduate Programs in the College of Engineering. Our ambassadors serve as role models of engineering to those who are classically underrepresented and underserved in engineering fields. We seek to change the conversation about what it means to be an engineer by focusing on how engineers are positively impacting the health, happiness, and safety of our world.
Website — Contact: ambassadors@engr.illinois.edu
Engineering Without Borders Engineers Without Borders is an international nonprofit organization committed to advancing the quality of life in impoverished countries via socioeconomically and ecologically sustainable engineering projects. Students from all disciplines design and implement these projects.
Website — Contact: naokawa2@illinois.eduArticles
Engineering for Social Justice Scholars Program The ESJ Scholars Program encourages students to explore the relationship between engineering and social justice, develop a sense of ethical and civic responsibilities in the profession, and transform the culture of engineering to embrace diversity and engage in participatory problem-solving to create a more socially and environmentally just society.
Engineering Outreach Society 2-4 EOS goes to local elementary classrooms (2nd, 3rd, 4th grades) to do fun science projects with kids to teach critical thinking, problem-solving skills, teamwork, as well as get the students interested in science and engineering at an early age.
Website — Contact: cjfanni2@illinois.edu
MERGE Grad Multicultural Engineering Recruitment for Graduate Education (MERGE) is a diversity recruitment initiative designed to give talented underrepresented students from across the nation an opportunity to visit Illinois early in the application process in order to learn about the opportunities at Illinois.
Website — Contact: engr-merge@illinois.eduArticles
Entomology Bugscope Bugscope is an educational outreach project that was created in 1999 and continues with support from the Beckman Institute at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Staff members in the Beckman Institute's multi-user microscopy suite donate their time to run up to 3 live Bugscope sessions a week. Schools apply online and pay nothing to participate. Once an application is accepted, we will arrange to schedule the date and time of the live interactive session.
Website — Contact: bugscope@beckman.illinois.eduArticles
Club Insecta Club Insecta does field trips around the state to observe and collect amazing insects, public outreach with insect education and science, and social activities loosely based on insects. Club Insecta is comprised of members studying biology, entomology, engineering, horticulture and other disciplines. Club members all care about insects for combinations of reasons like an interest in their amazing lifestyles and morphology, their use as scientific tools, and as objects of thought to engage the public in thinking about nature or science.
Website — Contact: clubinsecta@gmail.com
EGSA Entomology Graduate Student Association K-12 The Entomology Graduate Student Association does a variety of outreach events throughout the year. From science fairs to classroom activities (all ages) to booths at fairs — we do it all! A typical event involves a brief discussion about insect biology followed by a “show and tell” display of a wide variety of insects and other arthropods (see below for a complete list of available species). We can tailor events to meet specific needs of groups; as an example, we’ve previously given insect identification lectures to Girl Scout troops to help them earn their insect badges.
Website — Contact: jcgibso2@illinois.edu
Pollinatarium The University of Illinois Pollinatarium is the first free-standing science center in the nation devoted to flowering plants and their pollinators. Because so much depends on pollination, the UI Pollinatarium is dedicated to increasing awareness and appreciation of pollination as a remarkable ecological partnership and an essential ecosystem service.
Website — Contact: uibees@life.uiuc.eduArticles
Genomics Genome Day K-6 Genome Day is an opportunity to educate the community about genomes, genes, DNA, and evolution, held each year at the Orpheum Children’s Science Museum in Champaign. Although primarily for children of grade-school age, all members of the community were welcomed to attend this free event. Exhibits and activities are designed to present energy use and production, environmental, health, and other fundamental research at the IGB in an approachable manner for all ages. In recent years, members of the UIUC chapter of SACNAS (Society Devoted to Advancing Hispanics, Chicanos & Native Americans in Science) have provided bilingual support for the activities.
Geology Bruce Fouke Research Group Bruce Fouke, an Illinois professor in both Geology and Microbiology, took the time to speak with scholar-athletes from the Urbana High School boys’ and girls’ basketball teams at I-STEM’s DNA and Health Day. The purpose of the event was to expose the students, many from underserved populations, to the idea that like many of the Illinois researchers at the event, they too could have a career in STEM.
Website — Contact: fouke@illinois.eduArticles
Graduate College Educational Equity Programs Community of Scholars (COS) Grad The Community of Scholars (COS) Campus Visit Program introduces prospective graduate students from populations underrepresented in graduate education to their admitting graduate programs, to prospective graduate students in other units, and to current Illinois graduate students across campus. These interactions over the three day period enable admitted students to gain a stronger sense of the dynamic and diverse community of underrepresented scholars on our campus.
Website — Contact: I-COS@illinois.eduArticles
Summer Research Opportunities Program (SROP) Grad The Summer Research Opportunities Program (SROP) at Illinois brings highly competitive undergraduate students from U.S. populations underrepresented in Illinois graduate programs to campus for a nine-week introduction to graduate study. Participants conduct research under the mentorship of a faculty member in their chosen field of study, explore careers in research, attend workshops, and take part in team activities that prepare them for graduate study. Participants receive a stipend, housing, meals, and academic credit.
Website — Contact: I-SROP@illinois.eduArticles
Undergraduate Research Apprenticeship Program (URAP) Grad Through a partnership between the Office of Undergraduate Research and the Graduate College, URAP @ Illinois provides advanced graduate students with valuable research assistance and an opportunity to gain important hands-on mentoring experience, guiding and directing an undergraduate apprentice. Through a one-on-one research experience with their graduate student mentor, undergraduate students will have the opportunity to learn what it means to do research, create knowledge, and produce scholarship.
Website — Contact: grad@illinois.edu
Fall Early Application and Visit Program (ASPIRE) Grad ASPIRE is an early application and admission decision program that brings prospective underrepresented students to campus in the fall during the application process. Prospective students are given an opportunity to experience the dynamic and diverse community of scholars on the University of Illinois campus and visit with graduate programs of interest. Prior to the visit, students participate in a series of webinars designed to assist them with the early application process and prepare them for their visit to Illinois. After the campus visit, participants are encouraged to submit applications for admission to their graduate program of choice. Early applicants may then be nominated to receive an ASPIRE or other Graduate College fellowships.
Website — Contact: I-ASPIRE@illinois.eduArticles
Summer Pre-Doctoral Institute (SPI) Grad The Summer Pre-Doctoral Institute (SPI) is a nine-week program for incoming graduate students who have accepted their offer of admission to an Illinois program. SPI offers an advanced opportunity to become quickly prepared for the rigors, culture, and expectations of graduate school during the summer prior to the start of their graduate studies. SPI offers an orientation, a series of seminars, and time to work with a research adviser in the student’s academic unit. Participants receive a stipend, housing, meals, and academic credit.
Website — Contact: grad@illinois.edu
I-STEM I-STEM DNA Day 8-12 I-STEM's DNA and Health Day exposes students, many from underserved populations, to the idea that they too could have a career in STEM by bringing them to the Institute for Genomic Biology (IGB) to learn about DNA and Health via a number of hands-on activities, and giving the students the opportunity to speak with some Illinois researchers.
Website — Contact: i-stem@illinois.eduArticles
I-STEM Multidisciplinary Summer Camp 8-12 I-STEM's Multidisciplinary Summer Camp is a two-week program that exposes students, many from underserved populations, to a wide array of STEM fields. In doing so, I-STEM’s goals are to help participants choose their career and educational goals, build teamwork and lab skills in different STEM disciplines, and better understand what a STEM research experience looks like.
Website — Contact: i-stem@illinois.eduArticles
I-STEM Summer Research Experience 8-12 The I-STEM Summer Research Experience gives summer research opportunities to high school students. By allowing high school students to participate in an authentic research experience, I-STEM strives to help students decide whether or not a STEM career would be a good fit for them. The overall goal of the experience is to increase the number of students that choose STEM careers.
Website — Contact: i-stem@illinois.eduArticles
Integrative Biology Graduates in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (GEEB) Graduate Students in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology (GEEB) serves to coordinate and unify the many graduate students conducting research in ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, including students interested in natural resources, wildlife management, modeling, conservation biology, and related fields.
Website — Contact: geeb@life.illinois.edu
Material Science and Engineering MakerGirl K-6 MakerGirl sessions are for girls aged 7-10 years and are led by university STEM women. All sessions inspire girls to be creative and technical through 3D printing and other cutting edge technologies. Girls practice design thinking while designing and printing an object, and they learn about women leaders in STEM and innovative companies.
Website — Contact: INFO@MAKERGIRL.USArticles
Mathematics Association of Women in Math (AWM) The chapter of the Association for Women in Mathematics (AWM) at Illinois provides a relaxed and supportive environment in which women in the Department of Mathematics can interact at mathematical and social events. In particular, through engaging outreach activities, AWM encourages girls to be excited about math and science. .
Website — Contact: cmonica2@illinois.eduArticles
Girls Engaged in Math and Science (GEMS) 6-9 Illinois’ AWM Student Chapter holds a series of Girls Engaged in Math and Science (GEMS) workshops for 6th-9th grade girls every spring. Over the course of four consecutive Saturday afternoons, participants learn about several of the ways that math plays a role in their daily lives. These fun-filled workshops are self-contained, so students may register for as many sessions as they wish.
Website — Contact: eheath3@illinois.eduArticles
Illinois Geometry Lab K-12 The IGL travels to local elementary and middle school competitions to set up displays, hosts K-12 classes for interactive learning activities, and organizes Saturday workshops. The IGL's annual Summer Illinois Math camp is a week-long day camp for high school students, taught by graduate and undergraduate students, which focuses on advanced mathematical topics.
Website — Contact: igl@math.uiuc.eduArticles
Math Carnival: Gathering for Gardner Gathering for Gardner is a fun-filled day packed with hands-on activites, demonstrations, games, puzzles, refreshments, and mathematical prizes for participants. It hosts activites for members of the public of all ages.
Website — Contact: lanius2@illinois.eduArticles
Summer Illinois Math Camp (SIM) 8-12 Summer Illinois Math (SIM) Camp is a free, week-long math day camp for middle and high school students hosted by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Department of Mathematics. Campers will see the creative, discovery driven side of mathematics. By showing them some of the ways mathematicians approach problems, SIM Camp hopes to encourage them to continue studying math beyond the high school level.
Website — Contact: math-simcamp@illinois.edu
Sonia Math Day 8-12 This will be the tenth Sonia Math Day for 8th-12th grade girls hosted by the University of Illinois Student Chapter of the Association for Women in Mathematics (AWM). Throughout this fun-filled day, participants will explore Knot Theory through a series of hands-on activities. The AWM will also provide pizza, t-shirts, and mathematical prizes for participants!
Website — Contact: dn2@illinois.edu
Mechanical Science & Engineering American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) American Society of Mechanical Engineers is an international organization that focuses on technical, educational and research issues. With over 125,000 members worldwide, it has many benefits and events for both students and professional engineers. As the University of Illinois student section it is our goal to host student-oriented programs which extend the learning experience at the university.
Website — Contact: ASME.MechSE@gmail.com
Bahl Research Group The Bahl Research Group actively develops innovative hands-on learning activities on sensors and optics, targeted towards K-12 students. We involve our graduate and undergraduate students in these efforts. Some of our outreach venues include: The University of Illinois Laboratory High School (Urbana, IL), Unit-4 Schools (Champaign, IL), Girls' Building Awesome Machines (G-BAM) at UIUC, Campus Middle School for Girls (CMS) (Urbana, IL)
Website — Contact: bahl@illinois.eduArticles
Engineers Volunteering in STEM EducatION (ENVISION) The mission of ENVISION is to increase the opportunity of STEM outreach for engineering graduate students at the University of Illinois. The organization seeks to promote leadership, communication, and teaching skills. ENVISION strives to encourage personal connections amongst the students in the Graduate College of Engineering. Furthermore, ENVISION seeks to partner with professors who are looking to expand their outreach. ENVISION is always looking for new opportunities to volunteer, partner with other groups, and recruit new members!
Website — Contact: aaarmst2@illinois.eduArticles
MechSE Education Outreach Joe Muskin is MechSE's Education Coordinator and has facilitated countless events that have helped to recruit students into engineering, STEM, and to Illinois. Notable examples include teaming up with ECE grad student Kitt Peterson to develop a curriculum that introduces rapid prototyping to sixth graders at Jefferson, Franklin, and Edison Middle Schools in 2016 and, in 2017, a POETS RET-developed curriculum involving local 8th graders from Uni High in Urbana and Next Generation School in Champaign learning how to build solar cars.
Website — Contact: jmuskin@illinois.eduArticles
Paper2Tree Paper2Tree, developed by Mechanical Science and Engineering Assistant Professor Mattia Gazzola, is a practical way for those in academia to not just take, but to give back by planting real trees to replace the ones destroyed while practicing their profession and working with schools to expose more youngsters to STEM.
Website — Contact: mgazzola@illinois.eduArticles
Pi Tau Sigma Pi Tau Sigma is organized to foster the high ideals of the engineering profession, stimulate interest in coordinating departmental activities, promote the professional welfare of its members, develop mechanical engineering students with the attributes necessary for effective leadership, and cultivate a strong notion of the responsibilities of a citizen in society. Past events include developing and sponsoring a mechanical engineering tutoring program for undergraduate students, and developing an after-school club at a local middle school to provide encouragement of interest in math, science, and engineering through hands-on projects.
Website — Contact: ptsillinoisalpha@gmail.comArticles
RE-TE-G The Renewable Energy & Turbulent Environment Group (RE-TE-G) believes that transferring cutting edge knowledge from research to the general public is a critical task. This group is actively involved in outreach activities, including K-12 education, science fairs, and workforce development. Graduate student Nick Tobin and Prof. Chamorro participated in the ‘2nd annual K-12 teachers clean energy workshop’, National Sequestration Education Center, Richland Community College and explained concepts related to wind farm (layout) design through innovative and customizable setup. Additionally, RE-TE-G graduate students participated in the first MechSE G-BAM (Girls Building Awesome Machines) program at the G.A.M.E.S. Camp summer 2013.
Website — Contact: lpchamo@illinois.eduArticles
Rheology Zoo Assistant Professor Randy Ewoldt of Illinois' Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering is an expert in fluid mechanics, particularly rheology. Bringing it down to a level most folks could understand, he defines it as: "the study of how things squish and deform when you push on them." To ensure that his educational efforts include a hands-on dimension, Ewoldt has assembled a "Rheology Zoo," a wild and wonderful assortment of non-Newtonian fluids.
Website — Contact: ewoldt@illinois.eduArticles
Molecular and Cellular Biology Chung Lab Chung lab sponsors a “Build a Neuron” lab booth at Neuroscience’s "Brain Awareness Day" held at Orpheum Museum. At the booth, local K–12 students learn about a neuron from the interactive poster and computer. Additionally, Prof. Chung organized "Neuroweek," a week-long event in March 2013 at a local preschool and kindergarten. Prof. Chung gave short lectures on “Central Nervous System and Neurons” to 5 preschool classes (containing 4-5 yr old students) and in the science class for a kindergarten class (containing 6-7 yr old students) in simplified language. These lectures were followed by the active engagement of the students in craft activities related to the brain, senses, neuronal morphology, and action potentials. Also, as part of the "Mentor for Kids" organization, about  K-12 students in under-served /economically disadvantaged neighborhoods have visited Chung lab to learn about the nervous system and engage in microscopy.
Website — Contact: chunghj@illinois.edu
MCBees MCBees is a Graduate Student Associate (GSA) for Molecular and Cellular Biology Grad students. Their goal is to become a source of support for graduate students, especially incoming first-years; to help MCB with recruitment; to foster relationship-building among grad students via social activities; and to do outreach.
Website — Contact: mcb.gsa@gmail.com Articles
Physics Physics Van The Physics Van performs and explains exciting physics demonstrations to show  audiences that science is fun and worthwhile for people who wonder about why the world acts the way it does. The Van challenges kids' mental picture of what kind of people scientists are and shows them that as long as you want to learn and have fun, there's a world of physics waiting to be discovered. The Van travels to elementary schools in Champaign-Urbana, IL and the surrounding area.
Website — Contact: physvan@physics.illinois.eduArticles
Physics Young Scholars Program Physics Young Scholars program welcomes high school students from the Urbana-Champaign area to explore exciting careers in scientific research. The summer program help students better understand how we ask and answer questions in science. Embedded in research laboratories in Physics and Mechanical Science and Engineering, they will shadow undergraduate or graduate student researchers during the six-week program. The Scholars will also make measurements and analyze results as part of the work in their research group. The capstone activity will be an end of the program poster session where the students will present their work to their peers, research mentors, teachers, and parents. The student researchers who act as mentors for the high school students and will be trained in a mentoring workshop held prior to the main program. Special programming will be provided for the high school students, including discussions of college applications and financial aid, college life, poster preparation, as well as a range of research talks by the mentors
Website — Contact: npl-web@physics.illinois.edu Articles
Robotics iRobotics Community outreach is one of the core principals at iRobotics. The organization believes it is their duty to spread their love and knowledge about engineering and robotics in communities, especially to young children. iRobotics often holds engineering activities at local middle schools to encourage STEM skills while learning to think like engineers. iRobotics creates challenge-based activities that foster team work and “out of the box” thinking to complete the challenges. To give an example, in on activity the students worked in groups to create a boat out of different types of paper that could hold the most mass without sinking in water. iRobotics also hold robot demonstrations at schools and other STEM events to get students interested in robotics.
Website — Contact: irobotics.illinois@gmail.com
Illinois FIRST K-12 FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) was founded in 1989 to inspire young people's interest and participation in science and technology. Based in Manchester, NH, this not-for-profit public organization designs accessible, innovative programs that motivate young people to pursue education and career opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and math, while gaining self-confidence, knowledge, and life skills. FIRST's Progression of Programs consists of four programs - Jr.LEGO (Jr.FLL), LEGO (FLL), FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) and FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC). The programs vary by age and challenge so that learning never stops building upon itself. Starting at age 6 and continuing through middle and high-school levels up to age 18, young people can participate at any level.
Website — Contact: contact@firstillinoisrobotics.org Articles
Vet Med Vet Med Open House Every October, more than 300 veterinary students will host the annual College of Veterinary Medicine Open House. There will be more than 40 exhibits and demos, and lots of animals to see. This event is free and open to the public.
Vet Med Student Outreach Program The Veterinary Student Outreach Program (VSOP) is a student organization that enhances the relationship between the College of Veterinary Medicine and the community through educational programming and outreach activities. VSOP offers a variety of "ready-made" programs for all ages or can tailor materials to meet your specific needs.
Website — Contact: vsop@vetmed.illinois.edu


Center Activity Summary
Center for Global Studies The Center for Global Studies globalizes the research, teaching, and outreach missions of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The Center is a National Resource Center in Global Studies designated by the U.S. Department of Education.
Website — Contact: global-studies@illinois.eduArticles
Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology Nanoscale Science and Technology Resources for Community Teaching in K-12 (NanoSTRuCT): provides the Champaign-Urbana community with resources to explore nanoscale science and other emerging STEM technologies. This project has targeted third grade students, and other local K-12 students, including attendees at Engineering Open House and visitors to the Urbana Science at the Market.
Website — Contact: nanotechnology@illinois.eduArticles
NCSA Blue Waters Graduate Fellowship Program provides PhD students with a year of support, including a $38,000 stipend, up to $12,000 in tuition allowance, an allocation of up to 50,000 node-hours on the powerful Blue Waters petascale computing system, and funds for travel to a Blue Waters Symposium to present research progress and results.
Website — Contact: bwgf@ncsa.illinois.edu
Blue Waters Student Internship Program sponsors about 20 undergraduate research interns each year. The goal is to engage undergraduate students in petascale computing research and development projects. The program provides each student a stipend totaling $5000, a two-week intensive Petascale Institute, and an education allocation on the Blue Waters system. Select students will travel to The Blue Waters Symposium. This program includes support for undergraduate internship activities at any accredited degree granting institution in the United States. The internships awarded through this program may be for students working with a faculty mentor on their home campus, or at another campus.
The Centrality of Advanced Digitally ENabled Science (CADENS) is a National Science Foundation-supported project to increase digital literacy and inform the general public about computational and data-enabled scientific discovery. Over the lifetime of the project, CADENS is producing three ultra-high-resolution digital documentaries that will premiere at giant screen fulldome theaters and will be scaled for wide distribution to smaller theaters found at a growing number of museums, planetariums, science centers, and academic institutions. “Digital fulldome planetariums are the fastest-growing immersive theater format today,” said Bruno. “Demand is high for programs with AVL’s brand of dramatic, cinematic, and scientifically accurate visualizations. We expect to reach millions of viewers worldwide over the life of these films.”
Website — Contact: cadens@ncsa.illinois.eduArticles
Students Pushing Innovation (SPIN) provides University of Illinois undergraduates with the opportunity to apply their skills to real challenges in high-performance computing, data analysis and visualization, cybersecurity, and other areas of interest to NCSA.
Website — Contact: SPIN@ncsa.illinois.eduArticles
POETS POETS Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) is a 10-week summer research program that provides undergraduate students with an opportunity to explore careers in research. The experience will help strengthen students’ knowledge, skills, and understanding of research methodologies as well as graduate school. The POETS REU program places students at one of its four universities, Howard, Stanford, Arkansas, and Illinois, where students work on a POETS research project under the guidance and mentorship of a faculty member and graduate student or post-doctoral mentor. Students also participate in bi-weekly research seminars and professional development workshops, engage in a variety of social and professional events, and communicate their research progress at multiple venues, including POETS’ annual meeting in September. The goal of POETS REU program is to provide a unique summer experience that encourages students to purse graduate studies in engineering.
Website — Contact: jmuskin@illinois.eduArticles
POETS Research Experience for Teachers (RET) provides opportunities for middle and high school teachers to be immersed in the culture of engineering research at a POETS institution and develop curriculum based on POETS research through a paid fellowship that comprises both summer and year-long activities. RET teachers return to their classrooms filled with more confidence and enthusiasm with increased knowledge about the world of science and engineering research and its applications.
Website — Contact: jmuskin@illinois.eduArticles
POETS Young Scholars Program is an opportunity for high school students to advance their goal of pursing higher education. Our scholars receive the opportunity to participate in an authentic research experience at world class research university, under the mentorship of a faculty member or graduate student. Scholars additionally receive one-on-one coaching and advising from a teacher mentor, who help coach the student through their research experience. Additionally, students participate in weekly seminars on various topics including research projects, college-readiness, and scientific communication. The ultimate goal of this program is to make students feel comfortable in a university setting, form a science identity and gain confidence in attending college.
Website — Contact: jmuskin@illinois.eduArticles
RailTEC For over a century the University of Illinois has been a leader in railway engineering research and education. Beginning with Talbot's fundamental work on railroad track design, and Schmidt & Tuthill's work on train energy and power requirements, through Hay's textbook on railroad engineering, The U of I has a distinguished record of accomplishment and remains highly respected by today's railroad engineering community.
Website — Contact: cbarkan@illinois.eduArticles

Student Groups:

Group Activity Summary
Illinois Robotics in Space (IRIS) IRIS is a multidisciplinary organization that gives students the opportunity to develop an innovative robotic system in a peer-based learning environment. The club fosters systems thinking through the development, manufacturing, and operation of complex, space-oriented machines. IRIS actively shares its mission with the Champaign-Urbana community in order to help inspire the next generation of STEM students. From volunteering at the First Lego League to showing their robot to the community at the Orpheum Children's museum, IRIS has many outreach efforts throughout the year. Creating an awesome robot gives them the perfect opportunity to show kids and their parents the wonders of engineering. IRIS hopes that through their efforts they can inspire children to get excited about math, science, and building incredible engineering projects!
Website — Contact: iris.uiuc@gmail.com
Material Advantage Material Advantage is a professional materials society for students in Materials Science and Engineering. It serves as an "umbrella" organization and grants undergraduates membership in TMS, ASM, AIST, and ACerS. The University of Illinois Chapter is a student organization for undergraduates in Materials Science & Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Our goal is to keep the student body informed as to the opportunities available within Materials Science, and to serve as a liaison between the students and faculty. Material Advantage plans both social and professional events, and serves as a resource for MatSE students. It was formerly known as the Undergraduate Materials Organization or UMO.
Website — Contact: cmander4@illinois.edu
SACNAS The Society for the Advancement of Chicano/ Hispanic and Native Americans in the Sciences (SACNAS) is the University of Illinois Chapter of a national organization that strives to fulfill its mission to increase the diversity of the scientific community by mentoring and sharing science at all levels of education.
Website — Contact: uiuc.sacnas@gmail.comArticles
Sistas in STEM Sistas in STEM (SIS) is a RSO with the mission of providing a safe space for minority women, not just Black, but any minority—Latino, Pacific Islander, etc.—and give them a place where they could go to get the same benefits as someone in NSBE or Latino Students in Engineering. SIS’s goal isn’t to just focus on the “sisterhood between other women,” Shelana acknowledges, “but create a safe haven so they can get the professional experience.” So along with community, SIS offers professional resources, such as resume building and workshops on basics like what to wear to an internship or interview.
Website — Contact: sis.uiuc@gmail.comArticles
Society of Women Engineers (SWE) Dads and Daughters Do Science (DADDS): A day of science exploration for fathers and their young scientists. Get excited for a morning full of hands-on science activities followed by a daddy-daughter design project in the afternoon! Ages: 1st-3rd grade
Website — Contact: outreach.swe.uiuc@gmail.com
Engineering Round Robin: Discover the various engineering disciplines through hands on activities and interaction with SWE volunteers. Middle school girls and high school girls will have activities tailored to their age group as well as opportunities to learn from each other. Ages: 6th-12th grade
Website — Contact: outreach.swe.uiuc@gmail.comArticles
For Kids Only (FKO): This program involves weekly visits to classrooms at local elementary schools. During these visits, SWEOutreach volunteers lead classroom activities and execute lesson plans to educate students on various topics in science and engineering. Although the material learned is important, the primary goal is to increase interest and excitement in the engineering fields while building a strong bond with the class! SWE's main partner for this program is Leal School in Urbana.
Website — Contact: outreach.swe.uiuc@gmail.comArticles
Introduce-A-Girl-to-Engineering Day: IGED is an international event celebrated during Engineers Week. Through hands on activities as well as interaction with current engineering students and professors, this event is uniquely designed to help high school girls understand what a career in engineering might entail. Ages: 9th-12th grade
Website — Contact: outreach.swe.uiuc@gmail.comArticles
Mommy, Me, and SWE: Come enjoy some quality mother daughter time and learn why science is fun along the way! This day long event will include science activities, demonstrations, and fun challenges! Ages: 4th-6th grade
Website — Contact: outreach.swe.uiuc@gmail.comArticles
Outreach to Champaign-Urbana Special Recreation Center: Outside the classroom, SWEOutreach strives to share a love of science and engineering within the community. In partnership with the Champaign Urbana Special Recreation Center, this monthly program aims to engage young scientists in fun activities!
Website — Contact: outreach.swe.uiuc@gmail.com
Step-Up: This program involves monthly visits to local middle schools to discuss various topics pertaining to STEM fields. Through activities and lesson plans built around different engineering disciplines, SWEOutreach volunteers help build problem solving and teamwork skills, as well as show how engineers can impact the world. SWE's main partner for this program is St. Matthews Middle School.
Website — Contact: outreach.swe.uiuc@gmail.com
Women in Engineering (WIE) WIE Orientation: WIE Freshman Orientation is a two day orientation for incoming women undergraduates in the College of Engineering. Approximately 2/3 of the female freshman class attends. At the orientation, the freshmen women get acquainted with one another and begin to form a supportive community. Workshops during the program help the students adjust to college and gain confidence in their engineering abilities.
Website — Contact: wie@illinois.eduArticles
WIE Lead: The Women in Engineering leadership program, WIE Lead, was launched in Fall 2015 and provides current students the opportunity to develop their leadership skills in an environment that recognizes the strengths unique to women leaders. Each month will focus on a particular leadership attribute and the corresponding workshop will help students explore leadership in a different, more effective, way. From alumnae stories to hands-on experience, WIE Lead will give students the tools they need to succeed!
Website — Contact: outreach.swe.uiuc@gmail.comArticles

Externally Funded:

Program Activity Summary
BioImaging The Biomedical Imaging Research Experience for Undergraduates provides hands-on mentored research and training in state-of-the-art facilities, $5,000 stipend and travel support, room and board, potential travel to the BMES Annual Meeting, as well as: field trips, social activities, networking events, and professional development opportunities.
Website — Contact: marinam@illinois.eduArticles
Emergent Behaviors of Integrated Cellular Systems (EBICS) EBICS REU: The REU is a summer research program that will fund undergraduate students assigned to EBICS labs at each primary institution: Georgia Institute of Technology (GT), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). This is a 10-week program that offers a $4500 stipend per student; free housing and allowances for meals and travel; grad school prep, faculty mentoring, professional development, and social engagement with other students on campus; networking with REUs across GT, UIUC, and MIT, as well as students and faculty across all 11 EBICs institutions; and a poster and oral presentation at the end of the summer.
Website — Contact: ebics_admin@mit.eduArticles
SParking High Schooler’s Excitement for Research in Engineering and Science (EBICS SPHERES):The goals of this program are to increase underrepresented high school students' interest in bioengineering and science, provide pathway to Carle Illinois College of Medicine for students from underrepresented backgrounds, create a pipeline from local highs schools to engineering and science undergraduate programs, increase outreach to local HS students to foster interest and knowledge about engineering and science careers, and how they can impact healthcare and the human condition.
Incubating a New Community of Leaders Using Software, Inclusion, Innovation, Interdisciplinary and OpeN-Science (INCLUSION) Incubating a New Community of Leaders Using Software, Inclusion, Innovation, Interdisciplinary and OpeN-Science (INCLUSION) is a 10-week summer Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA). INCLUSION is an opportunity for 10 undergraduate students from underrepresented communities and Minority Serving Institutions to work in pairs with pairs of mentors on interdisciplinary socially-impactful INCLUSION research projects that develop and use open source software (OSS). The program will begin with a two-day Software Carpentry workshop where students can study existing OSS. As students learn to make better software, they will document and test software, and share with others including their home institutions, an undergraduate research symposium on the University of Illinois campus, and the science and engineering research community.
Website — Contact: dskatz@illinois.eduArticles
Illinois Partnership for Respecting the Identities of Students in Engineering (iRISE) The Illinois project for Respecting the Identities of Students in Engineering (IRISE) is an interdisciplinary collaboration between STEM experts, teaching professionals, critical theorists, and local community organizations working together to create spaces where kids can leverage their unique interests, experiences, cultures, and identities to solve engineering problems and bring about positive change in society.
Website — Contact: denos@illinois.eduArticles
nano@illinois REU The nano@Illinois Research Experience for Undergrads (REU) is a 10-week nanotechnology research experience at UIUC. Benefits include: $5000 stipend, travel support, on-campus housing, meal stipend, hands-on research, faculty/peer mentoring, professional development, networking, partnership with the Summer Research Opportunities Program/Graduate College.
Website — Contact: dorothyh@illinois.eduArticles
Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE) XSEDE Scholars Program: The XSEDE Scholars Program (XSP) serves U.S. students from underrepresented groups in the area of computational science. Participants learned about high performance computing and XSEDE resources, networked with cutting-edge researchers and professional leaders, and were part of a cohort that established a community of academic leaders.
Website — Contact: help@xsede.orgArticles
XSEDE Student Champions Program: encourages students to work alongside Campus Champions to motivate and excite researchers, educators and fellow students on their campus to take advantage of XSEDE resources and services.
Website — Contact: help@xsede.org

Summer Camps:

Program Activity Summary
4-H Illini Summer Academies Illinois 4-H is proud to offer this hi-fidelity college exploratory experience on the University of Illinois campus. Participants attend academy sessions led by university professors and enjoy a variety of engaging activities that provide a taste of just how cool college life can be. Imagine getting to work alongside university professors while you’re still in HIGH SCHOOL! Imagine getting to hang out on a college campus. Imagine spending five days with kids your age from all across Illinois. That’s what happens at Illini Summer Academies, so stop imagining it and just do it! This program offers teens the opportunity to explore the University of Illinois campus and many degree programs and careers. Illini Summer Academies is supported through the Illinois 4-H Foundation and intended to serve youth living in Illinois. A limited number of registration slots are available to youth living outside Illinois.
Website — Contact: alvarezd@illinois.edu
Girls’ Adventures in Mathematics, Engineering, & Science (GAMES) Girls’ Adventures in Mathematics, Engineering, and Science (GAMES) is an annual week-long camp, designed to give academically talented high school girls (rising 9th-12th graders) an opportunity to explore exciting engineering and scientific fields through demonstrations, classroom presentations, hands-on activities, and contacts with women in these technical fields. In the summer of 2018, GAMES will be offering a camp for middle school girls (Mid-GLAM) for only the second time! GAMES presents an advanced curriculum, uses world-class instructional facilities, and provides an “away from home” experience at one of the best engineering schools in the world. Enrollment in the program is limited to ensure the quality of the academic experience. GAMES has a selective admissions process based on academic performance, a written essay, and a teacher recommendation.
Website — Contact: srosado2@illinois.eduArticles
Pollen Power Hosted by the Carl R. Woese 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 5 to 10 campers led by female graduate students 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 girls who are entering 6th, 7th or 8th grade in the Fall, and who have an interest in plants and the environment.
Website — Contact: pollenpower@igb.illinois.eduArticles
World-wide Youth in Science and Engineering (WYSE) Worldwide Youth in Science and Engineering (WYSE) is an International program headquartered at the University of Illinois, offering tAcadiche annualem Challenge competition, a summer camps and other programs. The immediate goal is to attract a greater number of talented and diverse students to careers in engineering and the sciences.
Website — Contact: wyse@illinois.eduArticles