STEM Saturdays go suburban

DeKALB – Responding to requests from suburban parents, STEM Outreach is offering the popular STEM Saturday classes at both Northern Illinois University’s DeKalb and Naperville campuses.

Parents have joined the STEM Outreach staff in looking for ways to get K-12 students excited about science, technology, engineering and math.

“Our DeKalb-based classes tend to sell out overnight, and we are hoping for a similar response from families in the NIU-Naperville area,” said Jeremy Benson, who conducts the classes with help from NIU students in STEM majors.

STEM Saturdays offer hands-on activities that allow students to learn through actual experience. This season’s classes cover topics ranging from building their own Rube Goldberg machines, to studying the life found in local streams and rivers, to learning about the science of color and light, and the ever-popular kitchen chemistry. Computer-aided design classes for high school students are being offered for the first time.

Students can sign up for just one or as many classes as they want. NIU-Naperville offers morning and afternoon sessions for all classes. Afternoon classes will be added for any morning sessions that fill up at the DeKalb campus.

Parents are encouraged to attend the classes with their students. Most classes are for students in fourth through eighth grade; for classes including second and third graders, parents of younger students are strongly encouraged to attend.

Morning sessions run from 9 a.m. to noon; afternoon sessions, when they run, are from 1 to 4 p.m. DeKalb classes are taught the first and third Saturday of each month through May 4 in Faraday Hall Room 105 or in the Engineering Building. Naperville classes are taught in the second and fourth Saturday of each month through April 4 in Room 166 of the Naperville campus. In April, the Naperville class will be on the first and fourth Saturdays.

Classes are $25 per session in DeKalb and $35 per session in Naperville. The cost is $5 for children who qualify for free or reduced school lunch. After a child is registered, there is a $5 discount for each child from the same family.

For a schedule of topics or to register, visit

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