Thank you for coming to the 5th Annual STEM Fair. Check back in October to learn when the 6th Annual STEM Fair will take place.

This free regional event is open to students grades K-12, their families, teachers, and school administrators from all schools throughout central Illinois (not just Rochester).

Scroll down for the list of exhibits and exhibit map.

Listen to the STEM Fair Podcast produced by Rochester High School freshman Abby Stalets (below)

Read this great article on the 5th Annual STEM Fair from the State Journal Register.

Listen to an interview about the STEM Fair on AM 1240 WTAX Springfield.

Exhibits for the 5th Annual STEM Fair

STEM Activities, Clubs, Camps, and Competitions for All Ages

  1. Illinois State Museum - will have a hands-on demo and information about its science-oriented programs throughout the year.
  2. Illinois FIRST - will be on hand to explain how to start a robotics program and answer questions about changes to the existing programs including the new FLL Jr. Discovery Edition for 4-6 year olds.
  3. Illinois Math and Science Academy K-12 STEM Enrichment Programs - will provide information on summer camps and RISE program
  4. Students Involved with Technology Conference - will show how students in grades 3 through 12 can become presenters or attendees at a student-only a technology conference!
  5. Rochester Public Library - will feature its collection of STEM activities available to library patrons
  6. American Chemical Society - The Decatur-Springfield local chapter will show students and teachers all the resources ACS offers, from ChemClub to Science Olympiad to Project SEED
  7. EAA Young Eagles - learn about this aviation enthusiasts organization including its "free first flight" program at Capital Airport for students ages 8-17
  8. LLCC Geology will have a hands-on demo for students
  9. Lincoln Orbit Earth Science Society (LOESS) - will show how families can get involved in geology and archaeology
  10. CoderDojo - the mentors from Rochester's CoderDojo will explain how students learn to code through this free coding club that can be easily started in any school.
  11. Sangamon Valley Radio Club - will demo a ham radio and show the programs you can get involved in
  12. Millikin Requarth Observatory - will have a telescope set up and feature its observatory programs including the Public Observation Nights (PONs) on Wednesdays.
  13. FBI Computer Analysis Response Team (CART) - this team based out of the Springifield FBI office will demo its digital forensics equipment and show FBI cyber tech resources available to teachers and school IT directors.
  14. NGRREC Illinois RiverWatch - our local group that monitors Black Branch Creek in Rochester will show you how they do it
  15. Challenger Learning Center at Heartland Community College in Normal provides simulated space missions for students of all grade levels.
  16. Lincoln Memorial Garden and Nature Center will exhibit its ecology and environmental science opportunities.

STEM Activities, Clubs, Camps, and Competitions for Grades K-8

  1. FIRST LEGO League Jr. (FLL Jr.) - local teams of 1st through 3rd graders will demonstrate their LEGO models and posters documenting what they learned in their research
  2. FIRST LEGO League (FLL) - competitive grade 4-8 LEGO robot teams from Rochester and other schools will demonstrate their robots in action
  3. Girl Scouts of Central Illinois - will show the STEM Journeys and Badges available.
  4. Boy Scouts Abraham Lincoln Council - will show the NOVA Awards program combining cool activities with exposure to STEM
  5. Engineer in the Classroom (EITC) Rube Goldberg - Rochester 5th graders will demo their Rube Goldberg machine and EITC engineers will be available to answer questions about how to participate in the program and to recruit more engineer mentors
  6. MATHCOUNTS Competition Series - teams from Rochester and Franklin Middle School in Springfield will show how this competition for 6th to 8th grade students works
  7. National Math Club - Rochester students will show the math games provided by this free club

STEM Activities, Clubs, Camps, and Competitions for Grades 6-12

  1. Science Olympiad - teams from Rochester will demo some of the events that make up the competition and the regional director will explain what it takes to start a team at your school
  2. Illinois Math and Science Academy - will provide information on admissions for academically talented Illinois students (grades 10-12) in its advanced residential academic program.
  3. FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) - competitive grade 7-12 robotics teams Robocatz (Rochester) and Robot Rebellion (Rochester)
  4. FIRST Robotics Challenge (FRC) - the leaders of this area-wide high school team Ninjaneers based out of UIS will show its robot and explain how the six-week competition season works starting in January.
  5. Girls Who Code - LLCC Computer Science department will be on hand looking for grade 6-12 girls who might be interested in participating in a Girls Who Code Club at the college.
  6. Grow Our Own - this program is committed to helping Springfield’s minority youth attain college degrees and eventually full time employment in engineering and railroad-related fields.
  7. Blackburn Science Day - program for area high schools which includes a test competition
  8. Engineering Explorers Post 6 - high school students visit area engineering projects and get help with understanding college engineering programs
  9. ISU Summer Research Academy - the staff from CeMaST is looking for high school students to do college-level science research for a week
  10. ISU 18th Annual High School Research Symposium - the staff from CeMaST invites Illinois high school students to showcase their research projects every April
  11. Civil Air Patrol Cadet Program - the Springfield Composite Squadron will demonstrate drones and robots it uses in its training programs. The organization also runs a CyberPatriot team.
  12. ICTM State Math Contest - a math teacher from Sacred Heart-Griffin High School will show how this activity works and how your high school can participate in this contest coordinated by the Illinois Council of Teachers of Mathematics
  13. IJAS Science Expositions - a student from Rochester High School who won many awards at last year's regional and state Science Expositions will show his project and answer questions about how he got involved in IJAS.
  14. Illinois Society of Professional Engineers (ISPE) Annual Bridge Design Contest and Scholarships
  15. IMSA Research, Inquiry Skills & Experimentation (RISE) - online program for grades 7-12 for students to do independent research and show their results at events such as an IJAS Science Exposition
  16. Aviation Explorers - high school students visit airports and air shows and help build an airplane at Capital Airport!
  17. High School Academic Challenge - (formerly WYSE Academic Challenge) schools can learn how to sign up for this competition administered by EIU.
  18. Rochester/LLCC Dual Credit Math Courses - the teacher will explain how dual credit works for Calculus and Statistics courses at RHS.

STEM Curriculum Research and Tools for Teachers

  1. IBM Teacher Advisor - free K-8 math lesson planning and instructional guidance tool for teachers using the latest technology.
  2. Elmhurst College Geospatial Online Programs - geography has gone high tech, and this exhibit will show high school teachers how they can earn an online certificate, as well as promote all of Elmhurst's GIS programs for undergrad and graduate students
  3. Center for Mathematics, Science and Technology (CeMaST) at Illinois State University - will demo STEM tools, curriculum, and research available to Illinois teachers
  4. Think Geospatial - geospatial resources and information for classroom teachers, students, informal educators and after-school enrichment programs.
  5. IMSA Educator Development - will provide information on professional development programs for teachers
  6. ALPLM Civil War Tech - will show how teachers and families can take advantage of this historical look at technology
  7. University of Notre Dame Center for STEM Education Trustey Fellows - unique, competitive, and formative program focused on increasing student interest and learning in STEM disciplines through the support and growth of high-quality STEM teachers.
  8. Illinois Digital Educators Alliance (IDEA)
  9. Starlab - information on how to rent a portable planetarium for the classroom from the Regional Office of Education 51, including assistance from a UIS astronomy professor.

STEM Curriculum Showcase from our Area Schools

  1. Lincoln Junior High School - featuring programs from its STEM lab
  2. Taylorville Junior High School - featuring a history project for a social studies class that includes a green screen and video editing software
  3. Glenwood Intermediate School - will feature its STEM curriculum including TinkerCAD 3D printing
  4. Glenwood Middle School - will demo its STEM curriculum featuring FUSE Studio
  5. Glenwood High School eSports Club - will demo the technology behind eSports competition
  6. Rochester Elementary STEM Curriculum - teachers will demonstrate tools and activities they use in the curriculum from grades K through 3
  7. Rochester Intermediate STEM Curriculum - featuring Sphero, LEGO Mindstorms, and K'nex creating building kits used in grades 4 through 6
  8. Rochester Junior High School makerspace

STEM College and Career Showcase

  1. Illinois College featuring its new Access to Early Research Opportunities in STEM (AERO-STEM) grant
  2. Missouri University of Science and Technology
  3. Navy Nuclear Power Training Center - sailors explain what it takes to get into this challenging and competitive nuclear engineering program.
  4. Eastern Illinois University
  5. Illinois Wesleyan University Natural Sciences - An IWU rep will show the various science majors and programs available at the university.
  6. University of Illinois Springfield - instructors from the Department of Computer Science will answer questions about the school as part of its FRC robotics demo
  7. Greenville University STEM Programs - A Greenville U. rep will show the various STEM majors and programs available at the university.
  8. Lincoln Land Community College will have professors showcasing its programs in Geophaphy, GIS, and Geospatial Technology, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Biology, Aviation, Computer Science (including its Computer Science Academy and Girls Who Code College Loop), and Agricultural Science
  9. University of Illinois Urbana Champaign - The Grainger College of Engineering will have reps from that school to answer questions about all the programs at one of the top engineering schools in the nation
  10. Millikin University College of Arts and Sciences - professors will answer questions about Biology, Pre-professional (for medical school), mathematics, physics, engineering, computer science, and arts technology. Also learn about the Leighty Science Scholars Program
  11. SIU Edwardsville - featuring its engineering and dental medicine programs
  12. Hands on Healthcare from Memorial Health System's Center for Learning and Innovation will highlight its monthly programs for high school students focusing on healthcare careers. In partnership with SIU School of Medicine.
  13. Northern Illinois University
  14. Blackburn College - featuring its biology program
  15. Western Illinois University
  16. Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC)

Email and social media

Help Wanted

As we contact potential exhibitors, we learn of STEM programs in Central Illinois that have shut down or need help to stay alive. If you are interested in helping, we can connect you.

  1. ENVIROTHON - There are 16 Soil and Water Conservation Land Use Councils (LUCs) in Illinois, and 14 of them host Envirothon competitions, but 2 do not. One of those two is LUC 9 which covers Sangamon, Christian, Montgomery, Macoupin, and Bond counties. A lack of interest from the schools in those counties is the reason, whether it is the lack of environmental science programs or lack of time from overworked teaching staff. Volunteers who can help reinvigorate the program at area schools could help revive the competition.
  2. FPV Drone Racing - Falcon Hobby Supply in Springfield was the home of FPV drone racing with indoor and outdoor courses. FHS is closing, taking with it the courses. The FPV Drone Racing community is discussing next steps, but the lack of a course is a particularly difficult problem.
  3. Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program (VLMP) - the Illinois EPA shut down the program for 2019. The webpage has contacts you can email to express your thoughts on the program.
  4. CyberPatriot - Rochester's cyber defense competition team lost its coach due to a job change. The team needs a new coach to continue participation in 2019-20 school year.
  5. Engineer in the Classroom (EITC) Rube Goldberg - the demand from local 5th grade classrooms is exceeding the engineers who volunteer to mentor those classes. With more engineer volunteers, more 5th grade classes can participate in this activity.

Teacher Door Prize Sponsors

Thank you to the following companies that provided door prizes for our teacher attendees at the 2019 STEM Fair