It’s no secret that Chambana loves their tech! From Blue Waters to Engineering Open House, the Silicon Prairie is where it’s at when you are looking for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) activities for your kids.
Editor’s Note: We’ve updated this post for 2018.
Go see it: STEM destinations
Engineering Open House, Campus: A “must-see” activity for science loving families in CU, this STEM-apalooza features hands- on activities for kids. Keep an eye out for EOH each March. You can also tour Blue Waters, only one of the most powerful supercomputers in the world, and the fastest supercomputer on a university campus. You can also attend ExplorACES and visit the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences the same weekend as EOH.
The Beckman Institute Open House, Campus: This open house is held biennially with EOH. It features exhibits highlighting the work taking place at one of the nation’s leading centers for interdisciplinary research. Plan on attending this event in the Spring of 2019.
Illinois Vet Med Open House, Campus: If your child loves animals or is thinking about becoming a veterinarian someday, this annual Champaign-Urbana STEM event is not to be missed! The Vet Med open house typically features more than 40 exhibits, demonstrations and hands-on activities for all ages at the Vet Med campus at the University of Illinois. It is usually held in September or October each year.
William M. Staerkel Planetarium, Parkland College: A favorite field trip location for many local schools, the Staerkel Planetarium features fun and educational shows for all ages. From their “In My Backyard” show for little ones, to more sophisticated shows aimed at older children, Staerkel has something for everyone. 2400 West Bradley Ave, Champaign. Office (217) 351-2568 • Show Hotline (217)351-2446.
U of I Pollinatarium, Campus: The Pollinatarium, part of our CU Essential Toolkit, is a free science discovery center in Urbana devoted just to our pollinating friends. It features interactive games and exhibits that your little ones will love. You might even snag a honey tasting while you are there! The Pollinatarium is located at the end of a dirt road, best accessed off of Windsor Road between Lincoln and Race Streets in Urbana. (217) 265-8302.
For more Space themed family fun, see our Central Illinois Space Trail.