Saturday STEM

Descriptions of our Saturday STEM programs are below—please review the materials list prior to registering! These will each be 90 minute, synchronous programs with small class sizes. Participants are responsible for gathering the program materials – a materials list is after each description. Schedule and registration links are below each program description.

Fun with Fibonacci & Fractals (Grades 5-6)

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, 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 led by IMSA ALLIES students under the supervision of Center for Teaching and Learning staff. Materials needed for this activity.

School Year: 2020-2021SessionDatesTimeRegistrationScholarship Application*
Grades 5-6Fun with Fibonacci & Fractals5/1/21
10:00 AM - 11:30 AM CSTRegister NowApply Now

Earth Day Saturday STEM 

Bee Friendly: Build a Bee House

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! Materials needed for this activity.

School Year: 2020-2021SessionDatesTimeRegistrationScholarship Application*
Grades 3-4Bee Friendly4/17/202110:00 AM - 11:30 AM CSTRegister NowApply Now (due 4/11)

Greener Cleaners: Some Earth-Friendly Chemical Engineering

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. Materials needed for this activity.

School Year: 2020-2021SessionDatesTimeRegistrationScholarship Application*
Grades 5-6Greener Cleaners4/17/202110:00 AM - 11:30 AM CSTRegister NowApply Now(due 4/11)

Tiny Homes, Big Impact

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 (and materials) with you!  Materials needed for this activity.

School Year: 2020-2021SessionDatesTimeRegistrationScholarship Application*
Grades 7-8Tiny Homes, Big Impact4/17/202110:00 AM - 11:30 AM CSTRegister NowApply Now (due 4/11)

*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 screen shot 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 scholarship offer within the time period indicated in 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.