Saturday STEM (Grades 3 – 8)

Fall 2023 Saturday Programs

Digging Deeper (Dissections)

November 11th, 2023 | 9:30 AM – 12:00 PM CST | Aurora-IMSA Campus

Grades K-2 (NEW!) – Waste Not, Want Not

All living things produce waste. In this workshop, students will explore the unique characteristics of different types of animal waste while also considering why it is so important to eliminate waste products from the body. They will get their hands dirty by dissecting an owl pellet–a unique type of waste product that owls produce by regurgitating indigestible animal remains–to unravel the mystery of an owl’s diet. Participants are required to wear closed-toed shoes for this activity.

Grades 3-4 – More than Meets the Eye

What is in an eye? Students will explore the visual systems of mammals through the dissection of a cow eye. Identifying various cow eye structures, they will discover how the cow eye compares to a human eye. By discovering where their sense of sight comes from, participants will begin to appreciate the little things in our eyes which help us to see the world and create their very own model of an eye. Participants are required to wear closed-toed shoes for this activity.

Grades 5-6 – BrainSTEM

The brain is the control center of the body, but how does it look and function? Are there substances that impact the function of the brain? What can pass into this sensitive organ and what is kept out?  Participants will explore this fascinating organ by dissecting a sheep’s brain. Also, as an introduction to brain anatomy and physiology, students will create and test models of the blood-brain barrier. Participants are required to wear closed-toed shoes for this activity.

Grades 7-8 – Vampire of the Sea

Vampires may be the mythical creatures of our nightmares, but they are not the only creatures to gorge on blood! Blood is an ideal meal source for predators in a variety of habitats because it consists mostly of protein and water. Lamprey are a group of parasitic fish that prey on cold-blooded organisms and are native to the northern and western Atlantic Ocean. Come dissect a sea lamprey to discover how their special anatomy makes blood a perfect meal. Afterward, we’ll experiment with (fake) blood to learn about the interesting properties of real blood!

School Year: 2023-2024SessionLocationDatesTimeCostRegistrationScholarship Application*
Grades K-2 (NEW!)Waste Not, Want NotIn-person @ IMSA11/11/239:30 AM - 12:00 PM CST$55Register NowApply Now
Grades 3-4More Than Meets the EyeIn-person @ IMSA11/11/239:30 AM - 12:00 PM CST$55Register NowApply Now
Grades 5-6Brain STEMIn-person @ IMSA11/11/239:30 AM - 12:00 PM CST$55Register NowApply Now
Grades 7-8Vampire of the SeaIn-person @ IMSA11/11/239:30 AM - 12:00 PM CST$55Register NowApply 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 2021 or 2022  federal tax return showing proof of family income may be submitted.

  • Scholarships are awarded on a rolling basis, so it is to your benefit to submit all supplemental forms as soon as possible.
  • 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.

Virtual programs will each typically 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.