Time to get technical with your family and head to TechHub in Champaign-Urbana
TechHub open hours are an awesome opportunity to take your older children and teens to get up close and be exposed to things like 3D printing, virtual reality, and more
We know that Champaign-Urbana and the many organizations connected to the University of Illinois are chock full of innovation, technology and educational opportunities. Knowing that, we shouldn’t be surprised that new opportunities continue to emerge and become available to the community, allowing us to expose ourselves (and our children, in many cases and at varying ages) to the latest and greatest.
If you or someone in your family geeks out over everything tech, you’re going to be pumped to learn about open hours at TechHub.
TechHub, located in the Armory Building on the University of Illinois campus, is an innovation space run by the Center for Innovation in Teaching & Learning. That’s a lot of big words to describe that it’s a really stinkin’ cool space full of everything technology. Some of the technology on display includes 3D scanning and printing, drones, virtual reality and more.
TechHub serves a variety of purposes on the campus, but when we found out their open hours were open to anyone in the community, we had to take our kids and check it out. Our kids had an early dismissal one day so it was perfect to have plenty of time to get to TechHub. Homeschool families will definitely want to know about TechHub, as open hours would make a great field trip one day.
A student in the TechHub showed us around as soon as we showed up. (Our elementary-aged kids were warned to be careful and not touch without asking permission before we even walked in.) The first thing we tried was Virtual Reality. Director Jamie Nelson told us the games we’d be trying were really geared for ages 12 and up (making this an ideal stop for teens) but our kids were still able to give it a whirl. Of course you know mom had to get in there and try it, too!
After that, we were walked over to try out 3D printing. Our kids were able to type something into the computer and were shown how to manipulate it before sending it to the printer. They watched it print for about 15 minutes but we were told we could leave and come back later to pick it up, too. They were far more interested in watching it come to life than walking around. It was really awesome to see!
A visit to TechHub open hours is definitely recommended for teens and up. No matter what kinds of things they’re most interested in, they’ll probably find something interesting.
For kids younger than 12, we recommend you use your judgment as you know your kids best. Our elementary-aged kids did fine and had fun. We definitely wouldn’t recommend taking any kids younger than 5 into TechHub though, so keep that in mind.
As of spring 2020, open hours are 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on Tuesdays and Wednesdays when the university is in session (so they don’t happen over spring break, for example). You can also email them to see if you can set up an appointment to visit outside of those hours.
You might also see pop up events happen at TechHub. We know that MakerGirl does workshops for girls ages 7-10 typically, to inspire girls to pursue STEM.
On campus and not sure where to eat? Here are 12 of our favorite places to eat on campus. Right across from the TechHub is the University of Illinois Ice Arena.
Looking for other STEM fun in Champaign-Urbana? Check out our calendar presented by CIBM Bank.
IF YOU GO:
The Armory is located at 505 E. Armory Ave. (now you know how that street got its name).
Parking is available on the street at meters, bring your change (or use the handy app). Or, take MTD.