Saturday STEM

Descriptions of our upcoming Saturday STEM programs are below.
Virtual programs will each be 90 minute, synchronous programs with small class sizes. Participants are responsible for gathering or ordering the program materials for these sessions – a materials list is after each description. Some sessions will offer an activity kit for an additional fee. Schedule and registration links are below each program description.

Fulton Jr. High School/In-Person | February 5, 9:30 am - 12 noon

Grades 3-4

Electromagnetism is one of the four fundamental forces of physics in our universe and in this Saturday STEM, our arcade engineers will learn how to harness this force to create arcade games! Students will first explore the nature of magnetic materials via our Ultimate Magnet Olympics! They will then apply this knowledge towards creating irresistible magnetic arcade games that will attract everyone to come play!

Grades 5-6

How do engineering and science apply to a simple game of skee-ball? With all the technology taking over the gaming industry, our dedicated Arcade Engineers need to SAVE Skee-ball, a classic and super fun arcade game!! Kids will experience the engineering design process and explore physics principles as they create their own game of skee-ball!! Come have a BALL and put your own SPIN on how the game is built and played!

School Year: 2021-2022ModalityDatesTimeCost
Grades 3-4In-person @ Fulton Jr. High School, 307 Kyle Road, O'Fallon, IL, 622692/5/229:30 AM - 12:00 PM CST$25
Grades 5-6In-person @ Fulton Jr. High School, 307 Kyle Road, O'Fallon, IL, 622692/5/229:30 AM - 12:00 PM CST$25

IMSA Aurora Campus OR Belle Valley School/In-Person | March 12, 9:30 am - 12 noon

Pi-rates (Grades 3-4)

Some sneaky pi-rates have a riddle for you!! If we can figure it out, we’ll be able to unlock the ancient treasure chest with a password that is hidden in every circle. But what does that mean and how will we do that? Through a series of fun, hands-on activities, participants will explore mathematics concepts such as size, shape, circumference, diameter, and fractions! Along the way, students will discover more about everyone’s favorite irrational number - pi. Will you be able to crack the code??

Pi Mazes (Grades 5-6)

Can your student have their Pi and do math with it, too? In this program, students will design and build their very own marble maze using principles of mathematics and the engineering design process. Along the way, students will discover how pi is calculated and how it can be applied to their project through a series of mathematical investigations involving geometry and arithmetic.. It’s going to be Pi-mazing!

School Year: 2021-2022ModalityDatesTimeCost
Grades 3-4In-person @ IMSA3/12/229:30 AM - 12:00 PM CST$55
Grades 5-6In-person @ IMSA3/12/229:30 AM - 12:00 PM CST$55
Grades 3-4In-person @ Belle Valley School, 2465 Amann Dr, Belleville, IL 622203/12/229:30 AM - 12:00 PM CST$30
Grades 5-6In-person @ Belle Valley School, 2465 Amann Dr, Belleville, IL 622203/12/229:30 AM - 12:00 PM CST$30

IMSA Aurora Campus/ In-Person | April 23, 9:30 am - 12 noon

Bee Friendly (Grades 3-4)

Bees need your help! The more we use land to build houses, the less land bees have to build hives. Our Earth Day biologists will learn all about the hive structure of bees and how they can do their part to help bees find a safe place to go. After learning where bees like to live, you will design and build your own bee house. Once finished, you and your adult at home can set up the bee house in your own yard or maybe in a nearby forest preserve. The Earth’s bees will thank you for their new safe home!

Greener Cleaners (Grades 5-6)

While it may seem counterintuitive to think that household cleaners contribute to polluting the environment since they exist to clean things, the fact is that many of the commercially-sold cleaners often contain chemicals which contribute to air pollution, lower drinking water quality, and are toxic to animals! In this Earth Day program, we will identify the chemical culprits to watch out for when buying cleaners (and learn about some of the chemistry behind what makes these ingredients particularly harmful). We will then put our efforts into devising and testing our own eco-friendly cleaner recipes that can be used to disinfect our homes without polluting our Earth.

Tiny Homes, Big Impact (Grades 7-8)

The Tiny Home architectural and social movement encourages people to live a more simple life in a smaller space. Adopting this way of life means having less “stuff”, using fewer utilities, and having less waste which can not only save you money (and stress), but it can also be more beneficial to the environment. In this Earth Day program, our aspiring architects will create a model floor plan of a tiny home, to scale, that meets a variety of earth-friendly criteria! Of course there may even be some “room” for aesthetics, so bring your interior (and exterior) designing skills with you!

School Year: 2021-2022SessionModalityDatesTimeCostRegistrationScholarship Application*
Grades 3-4Bee FriendlyIn-person @ IMSA4/23/229:30 AM - 12:00 PM CST$55Register NowApply Now
Grades 5-6Greener CleanersIn-person @ IMSA4/23/229:30 AM - 12:00 PM CST$55Register NowApply Now
Grades 7-8Tiny Homes, Big ImpactIn-person @ IMSA4/23/229:30 AM - 12:00 PM CST$55Register NowApply Now

We will be investigating the world of never-ending fractals via hands-on exploration. The program will dive deeper into the Fibonacci sequence, helping students understand the creation of the golden spiral. Through studying natural phenomena such as flowers and pinecones, 5th and 6th grade students will observe fractal patterns and the golden spiral that exist in the real world. The program will finish with an online STEAM project, having students design their own fractals while exploring the properties that alter fractal construction. Let’s get creative through merging math, art, and nature with fractals! This special program will be lead by IMSA ALLIES under the supervision of Center for Teaching and Learning staff. Materials List.

School Year: 2021-2022SessionModalityDatesTimeCost
Grades 5-6Fun with Fractals & FibonacciVirtual1/22/2210:00 AM - 11:30 AM CST$25

What do pirates and spies have in common? They both have something to hide, whether “X” marks the spot on a treasure map or a top-secret message needs to be protected. How can they keep this information hidden until they are ready to reveal it? Invisible ink! Come join us to learn the special ingredients needed to create secret messages, and practice writing some of your own. Materials List.

School Year: 2021-2022SessionModalityDatesTimeCost
Grades 3-4Magic MessagesVirtual2/12/2210:00 AM - 11:30 AM CST$25

The importance of a spacesuit cannot be understated as they are literally what keeps astronauts alive in the extreme conditions of outer space where temperatures can range anywhere from -270.45°C (-455°F) to thousands or millions of degrees if you get too close to the Sun! In this Saturday STEM, participants will get the chance to explore the concepts of heat transfer and insulation in order to better understand the types of materials choices that should be used to make the most protective space suit possible. The budding aerospace engineers will then be challenged to put their newly-discovered knowledge to the test by making a pair of their own space gloves with the ability to protect them from the extreme temperatures of outer space – (or at least the range of temperatures they might experience in their own kitchens/around the house…) Materials List.

School Year: 2021-2022SessionModalityDatesTimeCost
Grades 5-6Astronaut Suit-UpVirtual2/12/2210:00 AM - 11:30 AM CST$25

Jellyfish are beautiful and mysterious ocean creatures. They have no bones, no brain, no heart, and no eyes. They have clear, bag-like bodies that contain their digestive organs and have trailing tentacles that are used to sting and capture prey. Interestingly, about 50% of all jellyfish are bioluminescent. During this session, our bioengineers will explore these interesting anatomical features of jellyfish in order to create their own model of a bioluminescent jellyfish (which actually does glow in the dark)! Materials List.

School Year: 2021-2022SessionModalityDatesTimeCostRegistration
Grades 7-8JellyfishVirtual2/12/2210:00 AM - 12 noon CST$30Register Now

*Applying and qualifying for a scholarship does not guarantee an award or registration into the program. To qualify for a scholarship, the student’s family is required to submit proof of financial eligibility: if you qualify for SNAP or Free/Reduced lunch, you qualify, but we need you to submit proof of eligibility. If you do not have a form in your possession or have difficulty getting it from your school or IDHS, you may submit a screenshot showing eligibility. Please contact us at if you have difficulty with this requirement. Alternatively, a 2019 or 2020  federal tax return showing proof of family income may be submitted. WATCH YOUR EMAIL and CHECK YOUR SPAM FOLDER! Award recipients will be notified via email and must reply to the scholarship offers within the time period indicated in the email. NOTE: You may choose to either pay for program registration OR apply for a scholarship and await award notification. Your scholarship application will not be considered if you also complete a paid registration.

No requests for a registration cancellation/refund for virtual programs will be accommodated if they are received less than 5 days before a program begins. Requests must be made in writing via an email to: Please include the program name and your student’s full name.

No requests for a registration cancellation/refund will be accepted for all in-person Saturday STEM programming.