NIU holds sixth annual STEMfest

Staff Report

Northern Illinois University will hold its sixth annual STEMfest on Saturday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. at the NIU Convocation Center, 1525 W. Lincoln Highway, in DeKalb.

STEMfest is a free, family-friendly festival that was attended by nearly 7,500 people last year that celebrates innovations in the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and math) and offers hundreds of hands-on activities.

More than 200 exhibitors – including NIU’s STEM departments, student groups, regional corporations, museums and national laboratories – will offer learning games, interactive demonstrations, informative talks and even art projects, all designed to help visitors explore STEM concepts and careers. More than 600 NIU volunteers, students and faculty work with visitors to help them understand the hands-on activities.

Parking and admission  for STEMfest are free.

Throughout the day there will be special presentations including the unveiling of “The Toy and the Twister,” a STEM-themed children’s book developed by NIU’s P-20 Center and published by NIU Press. The book, which has an official release date of November 15, will be available for advance purchase at STEMfest.

Author Nancy Cavanaugh will also appear at the fest, taking apart and reassembling a small engine as she discusses her book, “This Journal Belongs to Rachet.” In addition, Usborne will sell a large selection of STEM-themed books for young readers, with a portion of the proceeds supporting STEM Read’s year-round community programs.

Other STEMfest Stage highlights will include STEM Outreach Associate Jeremy Benson having “Fun with Liquid Nitrogen,” NASA Ambassador Joel Knapper sharing “Greetings from Pluto” and the NIU Chem Club setting off “Explosively Awesome Chemistry Demonstrations.”

For more information on STEMfest visit

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