DuPage Area STEM Expo


The 2021 STEM expo took place February 21-17, 2021. Please feel free to view last year's presentations below. Stay tuned for the latest information about STEM Expo 2022 presentations.

We hope to see you in person at future STEM Expos! The in-person event focuses on hands-on and interactive exploration into STEM learning for school age children.

Welcome from Dean Fortnow

Past Presentations

Recorded presentations and activities from previous STEM Expo events are available for viewing.

Available anytime

Illinois Tech - Pre-College Summer Programs

High school students learn more about our hands-on Online or In Person Summer Pre-College Programs. Take your summer to the next level! 

learn more about pre-college summer programs

Society of Women Engineers Chicago Regional Section - SWE-CRS

Batteries with copper wrapped around them - Copper Spinners - Building unipolar motors with a twist

COPPER SPINNERS: Build a Unipolar Motor with a Twist

Calling all future mechanical engineers--this activity is for you! Build your very own unipolar motor, a direct current motor that produces constant circular motion with magnetism. The only materials needed are copper wires, magnets, a battery, and an imagination. See how to make your copper wires spin!  
learn more about SWE-CRS

Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy (IMSA)

IMSA Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy Logo

learn more about IMSA

Mr. Freeze

The Fermilab’s Mr. Freeze Demonstration shows the interesting and fun properties of cryogenics using Liquid Nitrogen (LN2). It is an exciting science based demonstration with lots of surprises and a few explosions. Lots of different properties and effects of the extreme cold are demonstrated and explained. Make learning science fun for everyone and encouraging kids to become more interested in science in school. 

Watch Mr. Freeze’s 2019 STEM expo live show. Join us in 2022 to see Mr. Freeze in person!

learn more about mr. freeze


techgirlz logo

Make a Website with HTML/CSS - Did you ever wonder how websites are made? Have you ever wanted to make your own website? Making a website is easier than you may think. In this workshop, students will learn the elements of HTML and CSS and use them to create a website. Using a text editor and web browser, students will edit web page templates and use them to make their own website.

Designing Mobile Apps - Students will work to design a mobile app. They will select an app idea and develop a prototype. This session will provide you with specific tools, techniques and workflows to help you kick-off your mobile app idea the right way. Learn techniques to help you communicate a concept, create low-fidelity wireframes, user flows, and prototypes. So bring your pencils, crayons, markers, paper, post-it notes and let the fun begin!

Computer Programming with C++ - Have you ever wanted to know how people create games, utilities, and apps? Well, it all begins with programming. In this workshop, you will learn the basics of how to write your very own program using a language called C++! C++ is a great first language to learn because so many other languages are based on it. After learning C++, you will have a basis of knowledge to let you quickly learn languages like Java (used to make Minecraft), Swift (used to make iPhone Apps), or JavaScript (used in web development), to name a few. With this workshop as a starting point, you can be on your way to creating your very own application!

Take our survey after an activity and get a personalized certificate -  http://techgirlz.org/survey

Learn more about Tech Girlz

Chicago ACS - American Chemical Society

woman blowing in milk jug

Polywhat?? Thermowhat????

Ever wonder what a polymer is?  Ever wonder why we don’t recycle all things plastic?  Learn all about the exciting world of polymers.  In the video, you can find out what a polymer is, examples of polymers, difference between thermoset and thermoplastics and how we can separate the different types of plastics.  During this session, see why we recycle thermoplastics and how we figure out the difference between different types of plastic.  Many demos and an at home activity will be a part of the presentation.

This worksheet accompanies the video.

learn more about ACS-Chicago
learn more about ACS

American Society of Non-destructive Testing

What is NDT? What does it stand for?  What’s its purpose?  We’ll answer these questions along with some of the more popular NDT ‘methods’. Best suited for ages 5th grade and up.

This worksheet accompanies the video.

learn more about ASNT

Civil Air Patrol - CAP IL Wing

Model Rocketry

For many, the earliest introduction to flight is through building and launching models rockets from rubber-band launched to small engine powered. These rockets are easy to build and launch and are a logical entry point to learning the governing principles of aviation.

Pop Bottle Rocketry

Not every aviation activity takes a lot of money or equipment. Learn how to build and launch simple rockets with things you have around the house. 

A Drone by any Other Name - Suas program

Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems seem to be everywhere. Learn about some of the practical uses of drones and how Civil Air Patrol employs Suas systems.

Ballooning – an LTA Program

What is lighter than air? A Hot Air Balloon, or course. Learn about the earliest of air vehicles and what it takes to get involved.


Before we took to the skies, we looked to the stars. Astronomy has always had strong ties to aviation. Before there was GPS, there were stars. Learn how astronomy facilitated early aviation and remains a major force even in today’s electronic world.

Basic Aerodynamics

What keeps a plane in the sky? Basic aerodynamics will help you understand the principles of flight.

Women in Aviation 

Everyone knows aviation pioneers like Amelia Earhart, but did you know there were other important women in aviation as well? Learn about seven women who took to the skies at times and in places where aviation was not as hospitable to women.


Not a week goes by that there is not news of a data breach of varying degrees of complexity- and which may or may not affect you personally. Cyber Security is an up and coming field which will provide jobs for decades to come. The Cyber Patriot Competition is there to encourage the next generation of students to become professionals in Cyber Security.

Searching for Skylab

Before there was an International Space Station there was Skylab. Using equipment quite primitive by today's standards and in cramped quarters, the crews of Skylab produced such an immense quantity of information that it is still being reviewed today. Everyone knows about the Space Shuttle and the International Space Station, but few people know about the triumphs of the small by comparison program called Skylab.

Guinness World Record Attempt for Near Space Balloon Launch

The Civil Air Patrol Cadets in Illinois Wing made it to the Guinness Book for launching a paper airplane from a balloon at the highest altitude recorded to date. Learn how these enterprising teens planned their balloon launch considering weather conditions, balloon materials and availability, and methods of getting the balloon high enough to take the record. Follow then as they close in on the Guinness World record.

Learn about Block Coding from a member of the Civil Air Patrol!

Check out our website to learn how to become a cadet, ages 12 - 18. If you’re dreaming about a career in aviation, space, or the military, CAP’s Cadet Program is for you. 

learn more about CAP-IL Wing

Argonne National Laboratory

Come learn about modern day research into friction and materials science engineering by trying your hand at your own friction experiment at home with general household items.

Be a Tribologist and challenge DaVinci’s findings!

Follow in DaVinci’s footsteps and try your hand at Tribology!  Never heard of Tribology?! Check out the video and follow along with the hands-on activity you can do yourself to find out more.

Ages: 9-15 (by themselves) any age (with parent assistance)

Materials list:

  • A flat, heavy object (book, wooden block, toy, bar of soap, frozen water bottle, etc.)
  • Minimum 12-inch-long string (shoestring, ribbon, yarn, string, etc.)
  • Ruler or measuring tape
  • Surface with ledge (table, counter, etc.)
  • 1-2 various materials to put on a surface (wood, aluminum foil, plastic wrap, paper, cloth/fabric, wax paper, etc.)
  • Bag (zip-lock bag, plastic bag, etc.) to hold weights
  • 1-2 types of various items to use as weights (pennies, quarters, batteries, paper clips, erasers, etc.)
  • Tape (optional)
  • Pen/Marker
  • Paper

learn more about Argonne

ChiBots - Chicago Area Robotics Group

See a robot learn from its mistakes!

Watch a robotic marble maze in action!

View a variety of demonstrations of both autonomous and interactive robotic devices. Includes: autonomous vehicle line following and maze tracking, interactive marble maze, and simulated robotic search and rescue.

Get a peek of the In-Person STEM Expo with ChiBots - Chicago Area Robotics Club at the 2019 DuPage Area STEM Expo.

learn more about ChiBots

The Structural Engineers Association of Illinois - SEAOI

The Structural Engineers Association of Illinois - SEAOI - volunteers at stemexpo

Explore how Structural engineers make everyday things work and keep you safe!

Watch Bob Johnson (@EngineerGuySE) use a simple piece of paper to demonstrate how floor and bridge structures can be modified into different shapes to increase their strength and ability to hold more weight.

Watch Bob Johnson (@EngineerGuySE) demonstrate how simple math is used by engineers to figure out seemingly complex engineering concepts like cantilevers.

learn more about SEAOI


SCARCE - School & Community Assistance for Recycling and Composting Education

Pedal power! The energy bike is a hands-on and feet-on tool used to teach about the importance of energy conservation and efficiency. Using efficient lighting can help conserve a lot of energy! See the differences in the Pedal Power it takes to run an Incandescent, CFL, and LED light bulbs in this recorded presentation.

learn more about SCARCE

American Society of Mechanical Engineers - ASME Fox Valley Section

How exactly do levers and other simple machines make our lives easier? Watch and find out how. 
Can you bend a nail without any help?
Can you cut a nail without any help?

Videos are for demonstration only. Any attempt to duplicate at home MUST have your parents permission and supervision before trying anything seen in these videos.

learn more about ASME

Most STEM Expo video presentations can be found in one spot on our YouTube Playlist

Visit Playlist

Past Live Events

DuPage ROE

STEM Scavenger Hunt
For ages 5-99
Join for a LIVE scavenger hunt. Get your family together and Zoom with us as we have some fun searching for STEM around the house. Think fast and move quickly, so you can meet the challenges as you compete with other families.

learn more about DuPage ROE

SCARCE - School & Community Assistance for Recycling and Composting Education

Join LIVE Watershed Model program:

The Enviroscape Watershed Model is an excellent way to bring water education to life. The model offers a birds-eye view of a watershed and demonstrates where water pollution can stem from in a community. It is an engaging, hands-on activity that takes the complexity out of understanding a global environmental issue.

IEEE Chicago Section - Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers

What Can You Do With an Engineering Degree? (All ages Welcome)

Join IEEE LIVE to learn more! This is geared towards school age children to help them explore the wonderful world of engineering as a future career. After the presentation there will be time for Q&A. 

A degree in engineering opens the doors to numerous different engineering and engineering adjacent jobs or careers.  Learn about not only the different careers available, but a little about what it takes to do them.  Learn how to determine the job or type of job best suited to your strengths and that avoid your weaknesses.

IEEE Chicago Section - Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers

Can a Ham Be Cured? - Ham Radio as the Gateway to Engineering (All ages Welcome)

Join IEEE LIVE to learn about Ham Radio. For many engineers, especially electrical and computer engineers, Amateur or HAM Radio is the Gateway to the engineering profession.  Some even are introduced to Ham radio before they even get to high school.  Learn about what HAM radio is (and isn’t) and how it has helped to shape our modern world.  Learn why in the age of cellphones, HAM radio still plays a vital role in the community.  We will also be talking about what it takes to get started in Amateur Radio. 


Learn more about IEEE