Saturday STEM

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.

The First Cut is the Deepest – Aurora Campus/In-Person – October 16, 9:30 am – 12 noon.

Grades 3-4: Cow Eyes

What is in an eye? Students will explore the visual systems of mammals through the dissection of a cow’s 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 that help us to see the world. Participants are required to wear closed-toed shoes for this activity.

Grades 5-6: Sheep Heart

Every person needs a working heart to survive, but what exactly does it do? How does it work? And what does it actually look like? Students will dissect a sheep’s heart to answer these questions and more. A sheep’s heart offers students an excellent opportunity to explore the anatomy of a mammalian heart, since it is so similar to a  human heart in structure and function. Participants are required to wear closed-toed shoes for this activity.

Grades 7-8: Fetal Pig

How is it possible for an adult human small intestine to have a surface area equal to that of a tennis court? What mechanism(s) do our bodies have to help prevent us from choking every time we swallow? Dissections remain the preeminent method to study anatomy in a meaningful, hands-on way and fetal pigs are an excellent species to study thanks to the remarkable similarities they share with human anatomy. Join us for a morning of anatomical exploration as we “dig in” to gain a better understanding of the form and function of the mammalian digestive and respiratory systems. Participants are required to wear closed-toed shoes for this activity.

School Year: 2021-2022SessionModalityDatesTimeCost
Grades 3-4Cow Eye DissectionIn-person @ IMSA10/16/219:30 AM - 12:00 PM CST$55
Grades 5-6Sheep Heart DissectionIn-person @ IMSA10/16/219:30 AM - 12:00 PM CST$55
Grades 7-8Fetal Pig DissectionIn-person @ IMSA10/16/219:30 AM - 12:00 PM CST$55

Arcade Engineering – Aurora Campus/In-Person – November 13, 9:30 am – 12 noon.

Grades 3-4

Electromagnetism is one of the four fundamental forces of physics in our universe and in this Saturday STEM, our arcade engineers will learn how to harness this force to create arcade games! Students will first explore the nature of magnetic materials via our Ultimate Magnet Olympics! They will then apply this knowledge towards creating irresistible magnetic arcade games that will attract everyone to come play!

Grades 5-6

How do engineering and science apply to a simple game of skee-ball? With all the technology taking over the gaming industry, our dedicated Arcade Engineers need to SAVE Skee-ball, a classic and super fun arcade game!! Kids will experience the engineering design process and explore physics principles as they create their own game of skee-ball!! Come have a BALL and put your own SPIN on how the game is built and played!

Grades 7-8

Calling all arcade game lovers and enthusiasts! At this Saturday STEM, kids will get to flex their mechanical engineering skills and unleash their creativity by designing, constructing, and testing their very own cardboard pinball machines. Come design, build, play, and compete, then take your game home to continue the fun!

School Year: 2021-2022ModalityDatesTimeCostRegistrationScholarship Application*
Grades 3-4In-person @ IMSA11/13/219:30 AM - 12:00 PM CST$50Register Now (Waitlist Only**)Apply Now
Grades 5-6In-person @ IMSA11/13/219:30 AM - 12:00 PM CST$50Register NowApply Now
Grades 7-8In-person @ IMSA11/13/219:30 AM - 12:00 PM CST$50Register Now (Waitlist Only**)Apply Now

**Please sign up for the waitlist for this program if spots are full. There is no cost or obligation in signing up for the waitlist, but we may open another section of the program if enough people sign up!

Bath Fizzers (Virtual/Remote)

Boring bath time have you down? Tired of the typical bubble baths? IMSA to the rescue! Budding chemists will first mix together ingredients to discover which concoctions create a fantastical fizz. Then using that knowledge, they will create a special bath fizzer, adding in relaxing or invigorating scents. Materials List.

School Year: 2021-2022SessionModalityDatesTimeCostRegistrationScholarship Application*
Grades 3-4Bath FizzersVirtual11/6/2110:00 AM - 11:30 AM CST$20Register NowApply Now

Let the Magnets Decide! (Virtual/Remote)

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: 2021-2022SessionModalityDatesTimeCostRegistrationScholarship Application*
Grades 5-6MagnetsVirtual11/6/2110:00 AM - 11:30 AM CST$20Register NowApply Now

Good Vibes (Virtual/Remote)

They say music helps make the world go around and in today’s Saturday STEM program we are going to be trying our very best to create lots more good vibrations to send out into the universe. Students will learn the sweet-sounding science behind how sound works and where it comes from. They will also discover how different pitches and tones are created such that we are able to enjoy all the rich variety of sounds and melodies we have. With this knowledge, students will then be challenged to create their very own hairpin kalimbas on which they will be able to bring more harmonious music to the world! Materials List.

School Year: 2021-2022SessionModalityDatesTimeCostRegistrationScholarship Application*
Grades 3-4Good VibesVirtual12/4/2110:00 AM - 11:30 AM CST$20Register NowApply Now

Fun with Fibonacci (Virtual/Remote)

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, 5th and 6th grade 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 lead by IMSA ALLIES under the supervision of Center for Teaching and Learning staff. Materials List.

School Year: 2021-2022SessionModalityDatesTimeCostRegistrationScholarship Application*
Grades 5-6Fun with FibonacciVirtual12/4/2110:00 AM - 11:30 AM CST$20Register Now (Waitlist Only)Apply 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 screen shot 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 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: studentenrichment@imsa.edu. Please include the program name and your student’s full name.