science activities
Students at Monroe Middle School work with Snap Circuits during their after school STEM Club

STEM That You Can Do!

You can do STEM in all sorts of places. On this page we give you Chicagoland events to attend, things to do at home, and after- school clubs and organizations to check out.

Featured STEM Activity

crystals Sparkling Science: Crystal Clear

Crystals are interesting and beautiful arrangements of atoms, ions or molecules. Solid and pure, they form as their component particles come together in patterns. Snowflakes are crystals, as are diamonds, quartz and table salt. Grow your own crystals.

Some gemstones are crystals; you may find The Grainger Hall of Gems at Chicago’s Field Museum an interesting on-line field trip!

Previously featured activites:

Crowd the Tap Crowd the Tap: What are your pipes made of?

pic of Lava Lamp Make Your Own Lava Lamp

pic of Coke+Mentos geyser Make Your Own Coke & Mentos Geysers

pic of Magic MilkMake Magic Milk

make your own paintPaint Your Way to STEM

After School Clubs and Organizations

young man with periodic tableSo you think STEM is fun and exciting and you want to be more involved. Good for you! There are all sorts of groups where students are engaged in activities after school and sometimes on weekends. You'll have new and fun experiences and you'll have a chance to make new friends – kids who enjoy some of the same things you do! Here are a sampling organized by grade level. We'll be adding more throughout the year. If you have an idea to share send us a note at

First of all, many schools have STEM clubs of some kind. Listen for announcements and look on bulletin boards in classrooms and in the hallway for notices of meetings. If you don't see any signs of a club, ask your science, math or technology teacher if you can start one. Here are some organizations that have clubs organized in schools, already. You might get some ideas for your group at these website:

First LEGO League

Elementary and middle school teams design build and program robots using LEGO MINDSTORMS. In this program you will:

  • Apply real-world math and science concepts
  • Research challenges facing today's scientists
  • Learn critical thinking, team-building and presentation skills
  • Participate in tournaments and celebrations.

The Making Stuff Activity Guide

Material Science activities for kids and families. Video clips on the latest developments in the science of materials, too.

Future Cities

You will design cities with simulation software, build scale models, write essays and give oral presentations on your city’s design. Do you have a team at your school? Join up—or try to start one with the help of a teacher.

Time to Invent Club

Hands-on invention challenges in an after-school club for middle school kids.

Are you interested in rocks, minerals, gems and fossils?

These clubs sponsor events and publications:

ESCONSI: The Earth Science Club of Northern Illinois - A family membership is $20.

The Chicago Rocks & Minerals Society - This group has a Geo-junior group.

Technology Student Association

TSA offers over 60 STEM competitions for middle and high school students across the nation. TSA membership includes over 190,000 students in 2,000 schools.

Illinois Science Olympiad

Compete with your team against other schools in knowledge and skill based competitions that you'll prepare for during the school year. If your school doesn't have a team, you can organize one.

Citizen Science

girl with magnifying lens

Think you'd like to be a scientist?

Here's your chance to get involved in all sorts of actual investigations alone, with friends, or with your family.

You could also suggest a project to your teacher.

These Citizen Science resources are organized in alphabetical order:

If you find a cool project site, please share the link with us by emailing it to

Chicagoland STEM Events

Attend STEM Expo in February

Displays, activities and family fun on annually, on the last Saturday in February, 10:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. at the Illinois Institute of Technology, 201 East Loop Drive, Wheaton. And it's Free!

A Calendar of STEM Events

For kids and families in Chicagoland

Legos, holography, roller coasters and more!

NIU STEM Saturday courses, in Naperville & DeKalb.