Saturday STEM (Grades 3 – 8)

Fall 2022 Programs

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.

Magical Mysteries – In-Person @ IMSA-Aurora Campus and Metro East Area

Grades 3-4

Is it magic, or is it science? Our budding scientists will be investigating several “magical” phenomena and along the way, they will discover the science behind the magic. Students in this Saturday STEM will investigate aspects of polymer science and create their own magical mixtures to take home. Come see why special slime is attracted to magnets, how water behaves after puncturing its container, and what happens when we expose oobleck to static electricity!

Grades 5-6

Certain tricks of the mind or illusions can be quite mysterious; this helps magicians appear to defy natural forces and do the impossible! Students in this Saturday STEM will become Magician Apprentices who will explore some 3D optical illusions, frequently used by Magicians. Participants will build a device that will allow them to perform a floating object trick right from their very own hands! Additionally, students will build and test a device that allows them to create and visualize holographic-like images. Along the way, students will discover some of the underlying STEM principles which allow these illusions to exist!

School Year: 2022-2023ModalityDatesTimeCostRegistrationScholarship Application*
Grades 3-4In-person @ IMSA10/15/229:30 AM - 12:00 PM CST$50CLOSEDCLOSED
Grades 5-6In-person @ IMSA10/15/229:30 AM - 12:00 PM CST$50CLOSEDCLOSED
Grades 3-4In-person @ Fulton Jr. High School, 307 Kyle Rd, O'Fallon, IL 6226910/15/229:30 AM - 12:00 PM CST$30CLOSEDCLOSED
Grades 5-6In-person @ Fulton Jr. High School, 307 Kyle Rd, O'Fallon, IL 6226910/15/229:30 AM - 12:00 PM CST$30CLOSEDCLOSED
Grades 3-4In-person @ Belle Valley School, 2465 Amann Dr, Belleville, IL 6222012/3/229:30 AM - 12:00 PM CST$30CLOSEDCLOSED
Grades 5-6In-person @ Belle Valley School, 2465 Amann Dr, Belleville, IL 6222012/3/229:30 AM - 12:00 PM CST$30CLOSEDCLOSED

Winter Survival – In-Person @ IMSA-Aurora Campus

Grades 3-4

Have you ever trudged through deep snow? Do you sink into the snow as you walk or glide across the top? Living in a winter wonderland may be fun but it also comes with its own unique set of challenges… Come help us solve the Mystery of the Sinking Winter Critters and see if you can engineer for our animal friends a (scientifically) better way to get around in the snow!

Grades 5-6

Ice is always cold … or is it? Using concepts of chemistry, participants will explore a special type of chemical reaction that creates “hot ice”! These chemical reactions are the functional mechanism of hand warmers, which can help keep you comfortable and safe as the outside temperatures continue to plunge!! Come investigate how these chemicals can create an exothermic reaction and then engineer your own instant “hot ice” hand warmer!

School Year: 2022-2023ModalityDatesTimeCostRegistrationScholarship Application*
Grades 3-4In-person @ IMSA12/10/229:30 AM - 12:00 PM CST$50Register NowCLOSED
Grades 5-6In-person @ IMSA12/10/229:30 AM - 12:00 PM CST$50Register NowCLOSED

Let the Magnets Decide! – Virtual

Grades 5-6 | October 22, 2022 | 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM CST

Do you seem to always find yourself having a hard time making decisions? Or do you simply wish you could take a mini break from having to call the shots and hand things over to let the “fates” (or science) decide for you…? Look no further because during this “Let the Magnets Decide!” Saturday STEM, we are going to be creating our very own decision-making pendulums to help us do just that! Students will first explore the science of magnets to better understand how magnetic objects work and interact with each other. They will then be able to put that knowledge to use by designing and making their own unique magnetic decision makers which will provide them with (random) answers to your most burning questions! Materials List

School Year: 2022-2023SessionDatesTimeCostRegistrationScholarship Application*
Grades 5-6Let the Magnets Decide!10/22/2210:00 AM - 11:30 AM CST$25Register NowApply Now

Jellyfish Model – Virtual

Grades 7-8 | October 22, 2022 | 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM CST

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: 2022-2023SessionDatesTimeCostRegistrationScholarship Application*
Grades 7-8Jellyfish Model10/22/2210:00 AM - 12:00 PM CST$30Register NowApply Now

Cosmic Encounters – Virtual

Grades 2-3 | November 12, 2022 | 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM CST

Outer space is vast and absolutely fascinating! In this virtual Saturday STEM, participants will explore a variety of astronomical phenomena and technology, including the planets within our solar system, telescopes, Earth’s moon, comets, and meteors. Students will build models of a comet and meteor and create their own space bracelet featuring every planet. Additionally, students will investigate how telescopes work and take a quick “virtual tour” of space using actual telescope footage of select celestial bodies. Along the way, our budding astronomers will discover some underlying STEM principles that help us study and understand our universe!!

The registration fee for this program includes a kit of materials required for the activities (except for common household items/equipment needed, including crayons/colored pencils, scissors, paper, etc.) which will be mailed to your home in advance of the program. Materials List

School Year: 2022-2023SessionDatesTimeCostRegistrationScholarship Application*
Grades 2-3Cosmic Encounters11/12/2210:00 AM - 11:30 AM CST$40 (includes materials kit)Register NowApply Now

Astronaut Suit-Up – Virtual

Grades 5-6 | November 12, 2022 | 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM CST

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: 2022-2023SessionDatesTimeCostRegistrationScholarship Application*
Grades 5-6Astronaut Suit-Up11/12/2210:00 AM - 11:30 AM CST$25Register 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 studentenrichment@imsa.edu 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: studentenrichment@imsa.edu. 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.