Saturday, April 29, 2017
9 a.m. to 4 p.m. 
Physical Education Center - Arena

STEM-CON 2017 Preview Video

We've Got NASA!

NASA Trailer photo

NASA's 53-foot trailer

Explore the technology behind space travel when NASA's Journey to Tomorrow Traveling Exhibit stops at College of DuPage's second annual STEM-CON. Packed with hands-on educational activities and digital learning stations, the 53-foot trailer is air-conditioned and wheelchair accessible. Visitors can use a video game console to practice their moon-landing skills, view moon rocks and receive a free souvenir photo from the “Picture Yourself in Space” photo booth.

Get your GEEK on!

College of DuPage is thrilled to invite students, parents, educators and members of the community to attend its second annual STEM-CON, a free interactive fair celebrating Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. Featuring internationally-recognized mathematician and musician Eugenia Cheng with her keynote talk “Mathematics can be Tasty," this stimulating STEM extravaganza will celebrate the wide variety of innovation and progress in the STEM fields and offer information and entertainment for all ages and interests.

From a cryogenics demonstration by Fermilab’s Mr. Freeze to the physics of flight with a real airplane on hand to a weather balloon launch, exclusive speakers and dozens of interactive displays and booths, COD STEM-CON will provide loads of opportunities for hands-on interaction with STEM exhibits and products.

What’s more, COD staff and industry experts will be on hand to provide an inside view into STEM education, as well as information on some of the most in-demand and cutting-edge careers of today and the future.

Food will be available for purchase on-site so come and make a day of it.

Come for the knowledge; stay for the fun.

Bringing a large group?

If you are a school or organization who plans to bring a large group, please fill-out our group registration form. Bus parking will be available in Lot 5. Visit our Directions tab for more information about drop-off and parking.

 


STEM-CON Photo and Video Policy

Attendees and participants at COD STEM-CON agree to allow College of DuPage and its official photographers and videographers to photograph them in the context of the conference. Footage captured by COD’s official photographers may be used in future print and electronic promotional and archival materials. For questions or concerns, please contact us at stemcon@cod.edu.

 

This event is funded pursuant to a grant from the Illinois Community College Board and funded partially through the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Improvement Act of 2006.

Prize Table

Collect all 12 STEM stickers and then turn in your sticker card for a small prize! Also register to win a GoPro Hero 5!

STEM Careers Gallery

Learn about STEM Careers and check out our COD STEM Hall of Fame.

River System Development

Model the development of a river drainage basin by producing precipitation and runoff in a stream table to produce tributaries, meanders, braided streams, deltas, and more.

Simply FLY

Ever wonder what keeps a plane in the air? Learn about the physics of flight and how aircraft are affected by the four opposing forces of thrust, lift, drag, and weight. A real Remos aircraft will be on hand.

Weather Balloon Launch

Watch as we set-up, demonstrate, and launch a high-altitude weather balloon to take measurements of the troposphere. Participants will be able to visualize data from the weather balloon in real time as it ascends through the atmosphere.

Protein Modeling

View and manipulate digital protein structure models to learn about the complex and well-designed world of proteins

Discover Welding

Presented by COD Welding faculty, an active Gas Metal Arc Welding demonstration will include making candy for visitors and talking about the many uses of welding in the professional world.

Engineering and Technology Club Robotics

COD's award-winning Engineering and Technology Team will share information about the design and build process and provide demonstrations of their robots.

Society of Automotive Engineers (UIC Chapter)

Representatives from the Society of Automotive Engineers and UIC Motorsports will share information about the process of designing a car. Two custom cars designed and built by students will be on hand.

Fishy Science: Department of Natural Resources

Visitors will have the opportunity to examine the tools and techniques of a fisheries biologist with hands-on demonstrations of a variety of technical equipment, including PIT tags, radiotelemetry, dissecting-scopes and SCUBA gear. Living specimens of various aquatic organisms will also be on display, including a small "touch tank" for the younger learners.

Crime Scene Investigation

Take a closer look at the real world of crime solving. Through hands-on activities, visitors learn about cutting-edge techniques and how to classify and identify a fingerprinting investigation. In addition, visitors will learn about the impact of modern technology on investigations and the role forensic science plays in real-world cases.

The Book Store

Glen Ellyn's very own Book Store will be on hand featuring a variety of books covering captivating subjects in STEM.

American Science and Surplus

Learn about Vandegraff generators, which are extreme static generators that excite the objects and people in their environment.

Sylvan Learning Center

With a focus on inspiring imaginations and cultivating creativity, visitors can build a LEGO® Robot, work with a simple computer coding project or develop their math fluency.

Robots in Action

See robots working on a small project, moving small parts from one location to the next. Interact with the robot and change their operation in a limited way.

Sci-Tech Museum

SciTech’s vertical wind tunnel gives you a chance to put your creativity into practice with amazing aeronautical creations.  Design, test, reimagine, and revise your own flying contraptions. 

Ball Python Genetics: Beauty of the Beast

Observe live animals representing a variety of genetic color and pattern mutations while learning about genetic concepts, responsible animal husbandry, and conservation issues.

Midwest Torrance Center for Creativity

Guided by faculty from the innovative and unique Midwest Torrance Center for Creativity/Center for Gifted, stop by our booth and make your very own Slime that you can take home, and program WeDo robots.

Traces of the Past

Using modeling clay and seashells, learn how fossils form as a result of burial by sediment, the most common way fossils are formed.

University of Illinois Extension 4-H Program

Only three percent of the earth’s water is fresh and drinkable, and that percentage is decreasing due to pollution from detergents and chemicals. Visitors will examine how pollutant interact with bugs and learn ways that scientists learn to filter and clean pollution from the water.

Automotive Electronics and Electrical Systems

Many cars today have over 30 computers connected on multiple networks, as well as complex electrical systems. Learn about basic automotive electrical systems and testing techniques, and explore a variety of sensors using current digital tools.

Astronomy and Telescopes

Learn about the composition of stars, and take part in indoor and outdoor telescopic viewing (weather permitting).

Birthday Pi

How many digits of Pi does it take to find your birthday? Come explore this and more about pi at our All About Pi exhibit.

Fractal Fr0st

Create your own fractal art masterpieces and then snap a selfie with your art. Be sure to tag it with #STEMCON2017.

Civil Air Patrol

Visitors will learn about the building processes of rockets and solar cars and learn how a pulley works and how it is used in these processes.

Center for Interdisciplinary Exploration and Research in Astrophysics - CIERA

Visitors perform experiments using household items to examine the details of crater formations in different environments. In addition, visitors will use a diffraction grating to split a variety of forms of light to see how light is split into different frequencies, similar to the way scientists examine the composition of stars, planets and even galaxies.

Swift Nature Camp

Pet the Pig and come explore more fun activities relating to nature at this exciting exhibit.

The Wonders of Wireless

The CIT Dept will performing IT Networking demonstrations of Wireless networking control, Voice over IP, and Video transmission over a data network.

Boil/Freeze Water at Room Temperature

Visitors will experience an eye-opening display of the relationship between temperature and pressure.  Using standard vacuum pumps, exhibitors will change water to the state of freezing or boiling without adding or removing heat.

Discover your Microbiome

Students place cards naming bacterial species on "Microbiome Mike" and view bacteria with a microscope.

All About Bones

Compare differences between bone structures, explore bones under a microscope, experiment to see what happens to acid-soaked bones, and much more.

Google Cardboard

Experience a virtual reality environment and augmented reality with Google Cardboard.

Comptia

Those who visit the Creating IT Futures booth will get hands on experience with the components of a computer that a service technician or help desk support specialist work with daily.  Learn about CPU’s, hard drives, processors, motherboards and more.

Fermilab

Fermilab scientists know how magnets big and small work and how they apply to our world. Students explore the relationship of magnetism and electricity and have questions answered about the power of these forces.

Cognitive Science: The REAL power of the mind

Visitors will examine some of the exciting discoveries in cognitive science such as artificial intelligence, auditory and visual illusions, and the ability to fly a drone with brain power.

Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art

A dazzling array of everyday objects are made of rocks, including toothpaste, crockery, glassware and cooking utensils and tools. Stop by and see if you can match the everyday objects with the rocks that make them up.

Argonne National Laboratory

Through a series of hands-on demonstrations, visitors will learn the science behind batteries and about the future battery technology development that is happening now. Guided by experts from Argonne National Laboratory, participants will learn about batteries first-hand as they build a battery, as well as become part of a battery to power small electronics.

Skyscraper Design

Use Lego Studio sets to build skyscrapers to place on a city map, learning about scale and context as they develop their designs for a specific location on the city plan. In addition, learn about the wonders of 3D printing as we construct a model of an iconic skyscraper.

Microbes are Everywhere

Despite what you might think, bacteria are immeasurably important for health and life. Visitors will learn about healthy bacteria from members of the COD Biotechnology Club. In addition, participants will swab areas of the College to learn where bacteria collect.

Exploring Electromagnetism

Come and explore the wonders of electricity, magnetism, light and optics. See fascinating demonstrations of variety of phenomena including parabolic reflection, magnetic levitation and electromagnetic induction and the polarization of light.

STEAM Ahead with NASA: Space Photography

Find out how special cameras can take pictures of "invisible light" and explore what that invisible light tells us when we take pictures of distant planets, stars, and galaxies in space!

Workshop 88

Members of Workshop 88, a community makerspace, will demonstrate how they design and build things to solve problems and to scratch creative itches.

DuPage County Farm Bureau

From seed breeding, to traditional farming, to plant processing developing bio-diesels and other by-products, soybeans are a major commodity in Illinois. Learn about the quickly growing agriculture industry and make a necklace that germinates a soybean seed using  body heat.

Forest Preserve District of DuPage County

Visitors will learn about DuPage County Forest Preserve District’s efforts to preserve and increase the population of the endangered Blanding’s turtle. Participants will learn about the threats faced by the aquatic reptile and work with radio telemetry and “track” a turtle.

Society of Women Engineers

Learn basic robotic construction by assembling bristle-bots to take home and learn about more advanced robotics.

IceCube Neutrino Project

Learn how to analyze data collected at the South Pole's IceCube Observatory, the largest single detector ever built.

Newton's Third Law

For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Learn more about Newton's Third Law as we experiment, design, and build rockets powered by alka-seltzer and water

Fun with Raspberry Pi

At the DEI booth, participants will learn how to make a Minecraft piano or generate a cat meme by utilizing a Raspberry Pi (a mini computer).

Nanotechnology: It's a Small World

Take a closer look at molecular structures and particles and investigate changes as particles become increasingly smlaler

Water Pollution: Causes and Solutions

Learn about sources of water pollution and how to prevent and reduce our negative impact on water quality through fun, hands-on activities.

Building Barricades for Bees

Honeybees are essential for the pollination and ultimately production of many of the foodstuffs that we consume.  We will be helping these native bee populations by building habitat for them in the form of holes in wood, tubes of cardboard and others.

Seeds for Change:  Restoring Illinois Prairies

Stop by for a chance to observe, process, and plant prairie seeds and take home seedlings (while supplies last).

Medicinal Plants

Explore the fruitful world of medicinal plants and observe how plant extracts and fungal products inhibit bacterial growth.

Math Magic

Mathematicians guess visitors birthdays, as well as numbers and cards they choose using the everyday "magic" of applied mathematics.

Prairie Tours

Visitors will learn about prairie restoration at COD and tour the Ecological Study area, a section of approximately 15 acres of woodland, marsh, and reconstructed prairie.

STEMinar Talks

Hear amazing presentations from some of our STEM experts as well as nationally and internationally recognized speakers. View our Schedule for more information.

Coding Classes

Participants can take part in a variety of computer coding classes. Space for the classes is limited, so please register for the classes as soon as possible upon arrival to STEM-CON.

 

Photo of kids playing in STEM-CON booth Exhibitor speaking with visitors in STEM-CON booth STEM-CON booth

This event is funded pursuant to a grant from the Illinois Community College Board and funded partially through the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Improvement Act of 2006.

 

Keynote Speaker

Eugenia Cheng

Eugenia Cheng

Eugenia Cheng

Mathematics can be tasty! Itʼs a way of thinking, and not just about numbers. Join us for this exciting keynote address in which Dr. Cheng will use unexpectedly connected examples from music, juggling, and baking to show that math can be made fun and intriguing for all, through hands-on activities, examples that everyone can relate to, and funny stories. She will present surprisingly high-level mathematics, including some advanced abstract algebra usually only seen by math majors and graduate students. There will be a distinct emphasis on edible examples.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Guest Speakers

Andre Jefferson

Andre Jefferson

Andre Jefferson

Andre Jefferson isn’t just your average teenager. After discovering an interest in kinetics, he began constructing stick bombs—Popsicle sticks woven into a pattern in which the tension of the weave causes a chain reaction to occur where the sticks fly into the air. He posted a video on YouTube and has since become a bit of a celebrity, featured on Nickelodeon, CNN’s Anderson Cooper, and TEDx Indianapolis. Andre has also become a fan of scientific websites, especially ones that show how things work. He is passionate about learning and understanding the world around him. The websites bring science to life for him with their videography, a topic in which he has great interest.

 

 

 

 

 

Trisha Prabhu

Trisha Prabhu

Trisha Prabhu

Cancelled:Congratulations to Trisha Prabhu who is being honored for her work this weekend by the Presidential Foundation.

Trisha Prabhu is a 16-year-old innovator, social entrepreneur, advocate and inventor of ReThink - an effective way to stop cyberbullying. She is currently attending Neuqua Valley High School in Naperville, Illinois. She has spoken at various global platforms, universities, schools and communities to raise awareness about the scourge of cyberbullying, to stop the hate on the Internet and engage adolescents to spread positivity and tolerance around the world. She has also used these platforms to advocate for Social Entrepreneurship and STEM education - especially for girls!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bed of Nails

David Fazzini

Victor Gensini

David Fazzini

David Fazzini earned his B.S. in Physics and his Ph.D. in Condensed Matter Physics from the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT). Teaching since 1992 and a full-time faculty member at COD since 2002, Fazzini is currently a Professor of Physics at the College teaching conceptual physics for non-science majors and and calculus-based physics for physicists and engineers. He has also spent more than six years as a professional staff developer and science coordinator for the Teachers Academy for Mathematics and Science (TAMS) working with elemetary school educators to bring more effective strategies for teaching mathematics and science.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bed of Nails

Alyssa Pasquale

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Alyssa Pasquale

COD Adjunct Professor of Physics Dr. Pasquale has a Ph.D. in electrical engineering, several years of teaching experience at the university level, and has done post-graduate work as a research assistant Boston University and a post-doctoral appointee at Argonne National Laboratory. Dr. Pasquale’s research in nano-photonics has been published in multiple scientific journals.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Predicting Tornadoes and Weather Balloon Launch

Victor Gensini

Victor Gensini

Victor Gensini

Dr. Victor Gensini is an Associate Professor of meteorology at College of DuPage and an atmospheric scientist with research interests rooted in applied climatology, GIS techniques, operational and synoptic meteorology and sever convective storms. He is a product of the community college system and went on to earn a B.S. in Meteorology, an M.S. in Meteorology with a specialization in Climatology and a Ph.D. from the University of Georgia. His groundbreaking research on tornado forecasting has made national headlines with stories in the Associated Press and Forbes Magazine, and has resulted in interviews with ABC7, WGN and the Weather Channel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Mr. Freeze”

Jerry Zimmerman 

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"Mr. Freeze"

Employed as an Engineering Physicist with the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab) in Batavia, Jerry Zimmerman has volunteered as the Lab’s third incarnation of “Mr. Freeze” since 1997. Providing demonstrations to thousands of students each year as his alter-ego Mr. Freeze, Zimmerman is dedicated to motivating and encouraging young people to better appreciate and study science. 

Making science fun, the Mr. Freeze demonstration shows the interesting and entertaining properties of cryogenics and extreme cold using Liquid Nitrogen (LN2). Sponsored by Fermilab since the 1970s, Mr. Freeze provides an exciting science-based show with lots of surprises mixed with interesting scientific facts.

Zimmerman majored in physics at Northern Illinois University and went on to spend 10 years in the Aerospace Industry at Ball Aerospace in Boulder, Colorado, where he worked on projects including the Cosmic Background Explorer satellite and a DOD Infrared Telescope. Working at Fermilab for 25 years on new detector research and machine design, he helped build the system to map the magnetic interior of the CMS detector at CERN, the European particle physics lab on the French-Swiss border, and maintains the extruder at Fermilab that produces plastic scintillator pieces for distribution worldwide. In addition, he also created a high-speed pneumatic pressure system for COUPP, a modern bubble-chamber experiment, and helped upgrade the zip track, a 3D robotic system, to map magnetic fields.

This event is funded pursuant to a grant from the Illinois Community College Board and funded partially through the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Improvement Act of 2006.

 

Get your GEEK on! 

In addition to stimulating and informative hands-on activities taking place at booths that will be open throughout the day, STEM-CON will also feature an exciting lineup of speakers, tours, demonstrations and other activities. The exhibit hall will open at 10 a.m. following the Keynote Speaker.

Concessions will be available for purchase on-site from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

SCHEDULE

Check back often as we update our fascinating schedule.

9 a.m., COD STEM-CON 2017 Opens

  • Keynote Speaker: Eugenia Cheng (Belushi Performance Hall, MAC)

 

10 a.m., STEM-CON Exhibit Hall Opens (PE Arena)

 

10:30 a.m., Concurrent Sessions

  • Hour of Code (1st-4th grade) max. 10, 1 hour
  • Basic Physics and Logic in Game Development (5th-8th) max. 16, 1 hour

 

11 a.m., Concurrent Sessions

  • Prairie Tour
  • Guest Speaker: Andre Jefferson (MAC)
  • Web Page Design and Development (9th-12th grade) max. 16, 1.5 hours

 

Noon, Concurrent Sessions

  • COD Speaker: David Fazzini, Alyssa Pasquale “Bed of Nails” (PE Arena Stage)
  • Hour of Code (1st-4th grade) max. 10, 1 hour

 

1 p.m., Hour of Code (5th-8th grade) max. 16, 1 hour

 

2 p.m., Concurrent Sessions

  • Prairie Tour
  • COD Speaker: Victor Gensini “Predicting Tornadoes” (PE Arena Stage)
  • Mobile App Development (13+ with Google Account) max. 16, 1.5 hours

 

2:45 p.m., Weather Balloon Launch (College Parking Lot 1A -East of the PE Arena)

 

3 p.m., Guest Speaker: Jerry Zimmerman, “Mr. Freeze” (MAC)

 

4 p.m., COD STEM-CON 2017 Closes – See you Next Year!

 

Photo of science experiment Photo of race car at STEM-CON STEM-CON Speaker

This event is funded pursuant to a grant from the Illinois Community College Board and funded partially through the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Improvement Act of 2006.

 

COD STEM-CON 2017 will take place on the College of DuPage Glen Ellyn Campus.

425 Fawell Blvd.
Glen Ellyn, IL 60137

stemcon@cod.edu

 

Most activities and the STEMinar Stage will be in the Arena in the Physical Education Center.

The main speaking events, including Keynote Speaker Eugenia Cheng, will take place in the Belushi Performance Hall in the McAninch Arts Center (MAC).

 


 

 

This event is funded pursuant to a grant from the Illinois Community College Board and funded partially through the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Improvement Act of 2006.

What is STEM-CON?

STEM-CON is a public outreach event designed to inspire and educate middle and high school students in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. This family-friendly event encourages scientific discovery through hands-on activities and demonstrations while providing the opportunity to learn about scientific careers from actual researcher, industry representatives, and STEM educators.

 

What is STEM?

STEM is an acronym that stands for the fields of science, technology, engineering and math.

In recent years, discussion of STEM-related programs has become a priority because too few college students are pursuing degrees in these fields. The U.S. Department of Labor expects that there will be 1.2 million job openings in STEM related fields by 2018, but there won’t be enough qualified graduates to fill them.

What’s more, the skills obtained from an increased exposure to all elements of STEM education, including but not limited to analytical and mathematical skills, technical and technological proficiency, and problem solving can be applied to any number of careers.

 

Who can attend COD’s STEM-CON?

While STEM-CON is open to everyone and sure to thrill attendees of all ages, the convention and activities are primarily geared toward high school and middle school students. Please keep in mind, children must be accompanied by an adult at all times.

 

Do I need to register for STEM-CON?

No. While you don’t need to register for the event, certain activities, including the coding classes and prairie tour have limited space and will require you to sign up for them on the day of the convention. Please see the Schedule tab for more information on activities requiring sign-up.

If you are bringing a large group from your school or organization, check-back for our group registration form. Bus parking will be available in Lot 5. Visit our Directions tab for more information about drop-off and parking.

 

Can I volunteer for this event?

Yes! We would love to have you help make this event run smoothly. Volunteer for all or part of the day, plus you get a free STEM-CON polo! Check back for our volunteer sign-up form.

 

What is the price of admission to STEM-CON?

STEM-CON is free and open to the public.

 

What kinds of activities will take place at STEM-CON?

At STEM-CON, you will have the opportunity to view and take part in a broad range of STEM-based activities, including hands-on, well facilitated experiments and demonstrations that are fun and informative for the whole family. Click on the Activities and Schedule tabs for more information.

 

How do I get to College of DuPage?

Resting in the center of DuPage County and School District 502, College of DuPage is conveniently located at 425 Fawell Blvd., in Glen Ellyn. Please click on the Directions tab for more information.

 

Will food and refreshments be available at STEM-CON?

Yes. Concessions will be available for purchase on-site for the duration of STEM-CON.

 

I am planning to bus a group of students in for STEM-CON. Do I need to make special arrangements?

The more the merrier. Please email us at stemcon@cod.edu.

 

Is STEM-CON ADA compliant?

Yes! For information on ADA accommodations or for special requests, please contact Marsha Metcalf at metcalfm@cod.edu. If possible, please give advance notice of any requests you may have.

We need volunteers!

Are you interested in volunteering for this event? Do you want a FREE STEM-CON polo shirt? Spend the whole day or a few hours and help make this event run smoothly.

Click to View Volunteer Opportunities on SignUp.com

 

2016 STEM-CON

We had an amazing time at College of DuPage’s inaugural STEM-CON and we hope you did too! We would like express our gratitude and heartfelt thanks to everyone who helped make this event a huge success. We believe the fields of science, technology, engineering and math are incredibly important assets to the DuPage community, current and future students at all levels and the workforce, and plan to continue this wonderful celebration of STEM fields annually.

Gallery

Thousands Get Their Geek on at College of DuPage STEM-CON 2016

View gallery on Flickr

2016 STEM-CON Video

Schedule

In addition to stimulating and informative hands-on activities taking place at booths that will be open throughout the day, STEM-CON will also feature an exciting lineup of speakers, tours, demonstrations and other activities. Check back often as we update our fascinating schedule.

"Overcome Your Fear and Master Math"
Olympia LePoint

Computer Game Coding Class "Flappy Bird"

Prairie Tours

"The Physics of NASCAR®"
Diandra Leslie-Pelecky

"The Physics of Flight"
David Spano

Computer Game Coding Class "Minecraft"*

Bed of Nails
David Fazzini, Alyssa Pasquale

"Predicting Tornadoes"
Victor Gensini

Weather Balloon Launch

"Mr. Freeze"
Jerry Zimmerman, Fermilab

Computer Game Coding Class "Ice Age Play Lab"*

"IceCube, the neutrino cosmology experiment"
Dr. Jim Madsen


2016 Speakers

Reprogramming Your Brain to Master STEM

Olympia LePoint

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Olympia LePoint

Using science and her own experiences to help individuals reprogram their brain and overcome their fear of math, Olympia LePoint is an author, educator, science entertainer and award-winning former rocket scientist. Committed to math literacy and helping adults and students overcome their fear of math, LePoint formed the national education program: Olympia’s End Mathaphobia in 2010. She established the book publishing and educational entertainment company, OL Consulting Corporation and in 2013, published Mathaphobia: How You Can Overcome Your Math Fears and Become a Rocket Scientist.

Following the completion of her undergraduate studies at the age of 21, she was hired as a mathematician for The Boeing Company, where she served as a rocket scientist for NASA programs from 1998 to 2007. While at Boeing, LePoint helped launch NASA’s Endeavour, Discovery, Columbia, and Atlantis Space Shuttles. As a specialist supporting the Mission Control Center, she was responsible for recommending real-time solutions to ensure safe rocket launches and authorized multimillion-dollar rocket engine testing. LePoint helped design and build experimental space rockets, and to launch 28 NASA Space Shuttles.

LePoint writes blogs for the Huffington Post, hosts the weekly talk show “Answers Unleashed” and has appeared in countless magazines and news publications, including gracing the cover of Porter Ranch Life Magazine in 2014. In 2010, she was recognized as “The New Face for Math Literacy” on Oprah.com. She has appeared on PBS “Between the Lines,” NBC and CBS2/KCAL9 News, “Kaplan at Night,” Dr. Drew’s “Life Changers” TV Show, as well as “The Bret Lewis News Hour,” “Jump Shipp,” and “Christians OnDemand” Episodes. LePoint is also a distinguished Tedx Speaker and shares her powerful story in the TED Talk “Reprogramming Your Brain to Overcome Fear” at the TEDx Conference, TEDxPCC.

Through her work, LePoint has garnered international renown and won a number of awards, including the 2004 Boeing Company Professional Excellence Award; the 2003 National Black Engineer of the Year Modern Day Technology Leader Award; The Engineers' Council Incorporated 2001 Distinguished Engineering Project Achievement Award; the 2000 Boeing Company Technical Excellence Award; and the 2007 A-1 Toastmasters International Speech Contest Winner.

LePoint holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics, and a Master of Science degree in Applied Mathematics from California State University Northridge.

Click here for more information on Olympia LePoint.

 

The Physics of NASCAR

Dr. Diandra Leslie-Pelecky

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Diandra Leslie-Pelecky

Working at the “intersection between science and story,” Diandra Leslie-Pelecky uses her background as a nanomaterials researcher, educator and master science communicator to bring science to both technical and non-technical audiences of all ages.

The author of the book “The Physics of NASCAR: The Science Behind the Speed,” Leslie-Pelecky blogs about the science of motorsports at buildingspeed.org/blog and appears every other Friday on the SiriusXM Speedway satellite radio program to comment on current tech-related events. She has served as a guest, contributor or writer for motorsports programming on ESPN, H2 and VOOM HD, as well as the National Science Foundation's Science of Speed web series.

Prior to becoming a full-time writer, Leslie-Pelecky was a leading researcher in the field of nanomedicine. Her research focused on magnetic nanoparticles – small spheres with diameters a fraction of the width of a human hair. In addition to fundamental studies of magnetism in these materials, she developed nanoparticles for medical diagnosis and treatment processes including drug delivery, magnetic resonance imaging and chemotherapy. Her research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Energy, the Office of Naval Research and other federal and state funding agencies. She has over 60 peer-reviewed scientific papers and is the co-editor of the book “Biomedical Applications of Nanotechnology.”

Diandra Leslie-Pelecky earned undergraduate degrees in physics and philosophy from the University of North Texas and a Ph.D. in condensed matter physics from Michigan State University. She was one of the founders of the Michigan State Science Theatre project and has been involved with science education for K-12 schools, future science teachers and the public since she attended graduate school. 

 

Bed of Nails

David Fazzini

Victor Gensini

David Fazzini

David Fazzini earned his B.S. in Physics and his Ph.D. in Condensed Matter Physics from the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT). Teaching since 1992 and a full-time faculty member at COD since 2002, Fazzini is currently a Professor of Physics at the College teaching conceptual physics for non-science majors and and calculus-based physics for physicists and engineers. He has also spent more than six years as a professional staff developer and science coordinator for the Teachers Academy for Mathematics and Science (TAMS) working with elemetary school educators to bring more effective strategies for teaching mathematics and science.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Predicting Tornadoes and Weather Balloon Launch

Victor Gensini

Victor Gensini

Victor Gensini

Dr. Victor Gensini is an Associate Professor of meteorology at College of DuPage and an atmospheric scientist with research interests rooted in applied climatology, GIS techniques, operational and synoptic meteorology and sever convective storms. He is a product of the community college system and went on to earn a B.S. in Meteorology, an M.S. in Meteorology with a specialization in Climatology and a Ph.D. from the University of Georgia. His groundbreaking research on tornado forecasting has made national headlines with stories in the Associated Press and Forbes Magazine, and has resulted in interviews with ABC7, WGN and the Weather Channel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

IceCube Neutrino Cosmology Experiment

Dr. James Madsen

Dr. James Madsen

Dr. James Madsen

Dr. Madsen is the chair of the Physics Department at UW-River Falls and Associate Director of the IceCube Neutrino Observatory where he directs the education and outreach program. His research interests include heliophysics and astrophysics, which he has studied at his various projects in Antarctica. In addition to research, Dr. Madsen is committed to reaching a broad audience beyond the research community. He is involved in education and outreach for the IceCube project including professional development courses for teachers and science and math instruction for the UWRF Upward Bound Program. He collaborates with a number of programs and institutions in addition to PolarTREC, including the Knowles Science Teaching Foundation, UW-River Falls Upward Bound and McNair Programs. 

 

 

 

 

Bed of Nails

Alyssa Pasquale

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Alyssa Pasquale

COD Adjunct Professor of Physics Dr. Pasquale has a Ph.D. in electrical engineering, several years of teaching experience at the university level, and has done post-graduate work as a research assistant Boston University and a post-doctoral appointee at Argonne National Laboratory. Dr. Pasquale’s research in nano-photonics has been published in multiple scientific journals.

 

 

 

 

 

Physics of Flight

David Spano

David Spano

David Spano

David Spano first began flying more than 35 years ago at age 17. He is an FAA Certificated Commercial Pilot and FAA Certificated Flight Instructor and Advanced Ground Instructor. David is a long standing member of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, the Experimental Aircraft Association, the National Association of Flight Instructors, as well as the Society of Aviation and Flight Educators. In 2011, recognizing the declining pilot population in the U.S., David reinvented flight training to make it accessible for a larger audience. David founded SimplyFLY at the Aurora Airport in Sugar Grove with one airplane and a plan to inspire others and fan the desire he believes is in all of us, the desire to fly. Now with 5 aircraft and 7 instructors, SimplyFLY has proven its training concepts and taken well over 90% of the sport aviation market in the Chicago area. 

 

 

 

 

IceCube Neutrino Cosmology Experiment

Robert Zill

Robert Zill

Robert Zill

Former College of DuPage student Robert Zill has always been interested in the sciences. Currently pursuing a bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering at Northern Illinois University, where he has received the Leadership Tuition Program Scholarship Award, Zill hopes to work in the sustainable energy field and then pursue a master's degree. In summer 2015, Zill completed an internship at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls working on IceCube, the neutrino cosmology experiment, and was later selected be one of two students traveling to Antarctica to work on the IceCube particle detector telescope located at the South Pole.

 

 

 

 

“Mr. Freeze”

Jerry Zimmerman 

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"Mr. Freeze"

Employed as an Engineering Physicist with the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab) in Batavia, Jerry Zimmerman has volunteered as the Lab’s third incarnation of “Mr. Freeze” since 1997. Providing demonstrations to thousands of students each year as his alter-ego Mr. Freeze, Zimmerman is dedicated to motivating and encouraging young people to better appreciate and study science. 

Making science fun, the Mr. Freeze demonstration shows the interesting and entertaining properties of cryogenics and extreme cold using Liquid Nitrogen (LN2). Sponsored by Fermilab since the 1970s, Mr. Freeze provides an exciting science-based show with lots of surprises mixed with interesting scientific facts.

Zimmerman majored in physics at Northern Illinois University and went on to spend 10 years in the Aerospace Industry at Ball Aerospace in Boulder, Colorado, where he worked on projects including the Cosmic Background Explorer satellite and a DOD Infrared Telescope. Working at Fermilab for 25 years on new detector research and machine design, he helped build the system to map the magnetic interior of the CMS detector at CERN, the European particle physics lab on the French-Swiss border, and maintains the extruder at Fermilab that produces plastic scintillator pieces for distribution worldwide. In addition, he also created a high-speed pneumatic pressure system for COUPP, a modern bubble-chamber experiment, and helped upgrade the zip track, a 3D robotic system, to map magnetic fields.

 

2016 STEM-CON Activities 

From airplanes and NASCAR to DNA and nanotechnology, COD STEM-CON lets you explore the fascinating world of STEM. Get hands on with dozens of high-quality, well-facilitated experiments and demonstrations designed to inform, entertain and spark interest in a broad range of STEM topics. Check back often as we update this page. 

All About Bones

Your bones serve several crucial functions: they provide structural support for your body, protect your organs, store minerals and provide an environment to produce blood cells. Featuring a wide variety of samples on display, this booth will provide visitors an in-depth view of the anatomy and physiology of the human skeleton including opportunities to compare differences between male and female bone structures, examine a fetal skull, explore bone under the microscope, experiment to see what happens to acid-soaked bones and much more.

American Science and Surplus

Learn about electricity and electrostatics, observe the workings of a Van de Graaff generator and browse a variety of science kits designed to inspire young minds.

Astronomy & Telescopes

Visitors can take part in indoor and outdoor telescopic viewing (weather permitting). They can also make spectroscope observation of gas spectra to simulate how we identify the composition of stars. Participants will also learn about the evolution of the Mars atmosphere.

Ball Python Genetics: Beauty of the Beast

In recent years, selective breeding has led to an explosion of captive bred animals displaying a staggering variety of color and pattern mutations (“morphs”). Visitors can observe live animals representing a variety of morphs while learning about genetic concepts, responsible animal husbandry and conservation issues related to native and non-native species of snakes.

The Birthday Paradox

Many people have fundamental misconceptions about probability or the likelihood of something occurring, yet understanding probability is an important element in understanding math and science. Taking part in a brief experiment, visitors will learn about probability by discovering the likelihood of two people sharing the same birthday.

The Book Store

Glen Ellyn's very own Book Store will be on hand featuring a wide variety of books covering captivating topics in science, technology, engineering and math.

Computer Game Coding for Students

Participants can sign up for one of three one-hour introductory computer game coding classes featuring coding for games in the style of Flappy Bird (10:30 to 11:30 a.m.), Minecraft (12:30 to 1:30 p.m. and Ice Age Play Lab (2:30 to 3:30 p.m.). Space for these classes is limited. Prospective participants must register for the classes as soon as possible upon arrival to STEM-CON.

Dark Energy Survey

In 1998, astronomers studying distant supernovae discovered that the expansion of the universe is speeding up. Yet, according to Einstein's theory of General Relativity, gravity should lead to a slowing of the expansion. A collaboration of more than 120 scientists from research institutions and universities from around the globe, the Dark Energy Survey is designed to probe the origin of the accelerating universe and help uncover the nature of dark energy by measuring the 14-billion-year history of cosmic expansion. Visitors will learn about the survey’s progress to date and future goals.

Department of Natural Resources

View live indigenous species and learn about conservation and natural resources in Illinois.

Discover Your Microbiome

Sometimes called “good” bacteria, probiotics are microbes (such as live bacteria and yeasts) which can provide many health benefits. Visitors will see how Kombucha is made and examine bacteria-rich GoodBelly and Kefir under a microscope to see living bacteria and learn where microbes live in our bodies.

ECO-City Urban Planners

Led by a representative from Argonne National Laboratory, visitors will learn about concepts in environmental science and how it relates to urban planning. Participants will manipulate alternative energy sources in a model city to learn concepts about alternative energy and how it can be applied when designing a city.

Engineering and Technology Club Robotics

Comprising COD engineering and technology students across a range of disciplines, the award-winning Engineering and Technology Team will share information about the design and build process and provide demonstrations of their robots ETC 1 and ETC 2. One of only 36 teams nationally to compete in the UIUC Midwest Robotics competition for the past four years, COD’s Team has been the only two-year school to be invited to compete against prestigious universities including UIUC, University of Illinois at Chicago, Northern Illinois University and the Illinois Institute of Technology. In 2015, the team was awarded Best Design at the UIUC Midwest Robotics competition and was one of only two community colleges invited to participate in the 2015 NASA Robotic Mining Competition held at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Energy Bike

Participants will learn about energy efficiency through pedaling a bike which will measure their pedal power and use the energy to power a variety of light bulbs including compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), incandescent and light emitting diode (LED) bulbs.

Exploring Electromagnetism

Exploring the wonders of electricity, magnetism, light and optics, visitors will see fascinating demonstrations of variety of phenomena including parabolic reflection, magnetic levitation, electromagnetic induction and the polarization of light.

GMO Taste Test

Visitors will learn about foods that are products of GMOs and can participate in a taste test comparing organic and GMO produced foods. Visitors will also learn how GMOs are used to promote advances in agriculture, medicine, pharmaceuticals and research.

Google Cardboard

Through the use of Google Cardboard, participants will download and install recommended virtual reality apps onto their own smartphones and experience a simple virtual reality environment.

IceCube Neutrino Project

Visitors will learn how to analyze data collected at the South Pole’s IceCube Observatory, the largest single detector ever built. Participants will see if they can tell the difference between cascades and tracks that denote different types of neutrinos or tell the difference between cosmic ray muon and neutrino and more.

Invasion of the Mollusks

Originally native to Eastern Europe, Zebra mussels were picked up in the ballast water of ocean-going ships and brought to the Great Lakes in the 1980s. By 1990 Zebra mussels had infested all of the Great Lakes. Visitors learn about the effects of this invasive species on populations of indigenous Smallmouth Bass and safe handling of bass. Will feature live specimens of living aquatic organisms.

Math Magic

While participants work with the properties of numbers, counting bases, algebra and division properties, mathematicians will guess visitors birthdays, as well as numbers and cards they choose using the everyday “magic” of applied mathematics.

Medicinal Plants

Plants have been used medicinally across the globe to treat a wide variety of illnesses for thousands of years. Visitors will learn about a variety of medicinal plants and beneficial products that are available without a prescription. In addition, participants have the opportunity to observe how plant extracts and fungal products inhibit bacterial growth.

Microbes are Everywhere

Illustrating the importance of hand-washing and the ubiquitous bacteria we commonly come into contact with, this interactive demonstration, with the help of Glo-Germ lotion and an ultraviolet light, clearly illustrates the journey of bacteria from our hands to the hands of others and everything we touch. Visitors will also meet Microbiome Mike and learn about common organisms which can be transmitted by unwashed hands and where they might normally be found.

Nanotechnology: It’s a Small World

Referring to engineering and manipulation of functional systems at the molecular scale, nanotechnology is found in a broad range of industries and applications including, electronics, green energy and conservation, healthcare, medicine, space exploration and textiles, to name just a few. Visitors will take a closer look at molecular structures and particles and investigate changes as particles become increasingly smaller.

Newton’s Third Law

Representatives from Lewis University use Newton’s Third Law to show how teachers impact students.

 Parabolic Properties

While a parabola has many wonderful geometric properties, it also has an amazing characteristic known as the reflection property, which is used in a variety of everyday applications including car headlights and satellite dishes. Visitors explore the reflective property of a parabolic shape as it bounces off a reflective surface and hits a focus point.

Prairie Tour (weather permitting)

Visitors will learn about prairie restoration at COD and tour the Ecological Study area, a section of approximately 15 acres of woodland, marsh and reconstructed prairie featuring nearly 300 species of native tallgrass plants, as well as a variety of wildlife including many species of insects, toads, frogs, turtles, small mammals, and birds such as warblers, wading birds, owls and hawks.

Appropriate clothing (long pants and walking shoes) is required.

Protein Modelling

Proteins are molecules which are necessary for the structure, function and regulation of the body’s tissues and organs. Magnificently complex, proteins are made up of hundreds or thousands of smaller units called amino acids, which are attached to one another in long chains. Visitors will have the opportunity to view and manipulate digital protein structure models to learn about the complex and well-designed world of proteins.

River System Development

Participants will model the development of a river drainage basin by producing precipitation and runoff in a stream table. Each simulation will result in ‘time-lapsed’ erosion of the sand within the table. Within minutes, participants will observe the sediment transport and deposition processes that shape the land naturally over hundreds or thousands of years. Among the structures participants may produce are tributaries, meanders, braided streams and deltas to name just a few. For an eye opening experience, participants can also simulate the consequences of catastrophic floods to the drainage basin.

Robots in Space

Following the Curiosity Rover’s landing on Mars in 2012, the stage was set for increasing use of drone and robotic technology in space exploration. Guided by an expert from the Cernan Earth and Space Center at Triton College, visitors can operate LEGO® EV3 Robots to examine this connection while learning about what the future may hold.

Safe Sun Viewing

Our sun is an awesome sight, a dynamic, living body that changes unpredictably from day to day; however, it is well known that looking directly at the sun can cause permanent and serious damage to the eye’s retina. Visit the sun viewing area for a chance to see the sun without risk to your vision.

Sci-Tech Museum

Participate in a variety of hands-on demonstrations focused on physics, math and logic, chemistry, earth science and more.

Seeds for Change: Restoring Illinois Prairies

While Illinois is known as the “Prairie State,” less than 0.01 percent of the original 22 million acres of prairie that once existed here is still intact due to agricultural development, population growth and urbanization. Visitors will observe, process and plant prairie seeds and take home seedlings (as supplies last).

Smushy Science

Most people have heard of Deoxyribonucleic Acid but know it more commonly referred to as DNA. Providing an up-close and personal view of (DNA), this booth guides visitors through a simple process through which they will use household tools to extract, isolate, and observe the DNA of a strawberry in a matter of minutes.

Society of Women Engineers: Lego® Robots

Guided by representatives of the Society of Women Engineers, visitors can choose to assemble robots at two levels. Younger participants can learn basic robotic construction by assembling own bristle-bot from household items, while older participants with more time can learn more advanced robotics construction by assembling Lego® Robots.

3D Printing

Using cutting-edge technology, participants will learn how special file formats are converted to 3D objects using Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) printing techniques and will observe the creation of 3D printed objects from a sampling of print file options. In addition, visitors will learn about the history of 3D printing and the variety of 3D printing technologies available today.

3D Scanning

3D scanners examine real-world environments or objects and collect data on its shape and its appearance. The collected data is then used to create three dimensional models in a digital format. 3D scanning is utilized by a variety of users, including engineers, architects, designers, educators and consumers, in a broad range of industries including aerospace, civil engineering, consumer products, healthcare, manufacturing, power generation and much more. Through state-of-the-art technology, participants will learn how 3D objects are scanned into files compatible for 3D printing and view the creation of 3D imaging files from physical objects.

Traces of the Past

Providing evidence of long-past life forms and habitats preserved by natural processes, fossils can be the remains of a once living thing, such as bones or plants, or even remnants of biologic events such as dinosaur footprints or animal burrows in an ancient forest. Using modeling clay and seashells, participants will learn how some fossils form as a result of burial by sediment, the most common way fossils are formed.

Water Pollution: Causes and Solutions

Fresh water is one of our most vital resources and when our water is polluted it is devastating to both the environment and to human health. The U.S. relies on public water systems to treat and deliver just over 44 billion gallons of water each day to our homes, schools and businesses and much of this water comes from rivers, lakes and other surface water sources. Through a watershed model demonstration, visitors will learn how storm water runoff carries pollutants through the watershed to a pond, lake, river, bay, or ocean, and ways to mitigate the growing problem of water pollution.

Weather Balloon Launch

To kick off its 28th storm chasing season, the COD Meteorology program will launch a meteorological weather balloon at STEM-CON. Visitors can view the launch and view real-time tracking as the balloon rises into the atmosphere while an attached radiosonde measures and transmits data on atmospheric conditions including humidity, temperature, wind speed and direction, dew point, barometric pressure and atmospheric density, as well as trajectory data such as latitude, longitude, altitude and flight path.

When Art and Science Meet

Representatives from Northwestern University discuss the intersection between Art and Science.

The Wonders of Wireless

Wireless networks use radio waves to connect devices such as laptops, mobile phones, printers and servers to the Internet, business networks and applications. Increasingly ubiquitous, wireless networks can provide increased affordability, convenience, mobility and productivity. Participants will learn the ins and outs of wireless networking and what is in store in the future.

Get hands on with STEM!

Photo of teenager riding bike at STEM-CON Photo of students petting a snake at STEM-CON Photo of microscipes at STEM-CON

From airplanes and NASCAR to DNA and nanotechnology, COD STEM-CON lets you explore the fascinating world of STEM. Get hands on with dozens of high-quality, well-facilitated experiments and demonstrations designed to inform, entertain and spark interest in a broad range of STEM topics.

Email stemcon@cod.edu with any questions or to request information.

Mission Statement: STEM-CON is a public outreach event designed to educate and inspire middle and high school students in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.

Vision: We aspire to be recognized by students and the community alike as a college with a rigorous STEM program and as a compelling option for students wishing to pursue a STEM field of study by increasing their STEM skills in order to prepare them for the global workforce of the future. We want students walking out of this event saying, “That’s cool. I can do that, and I’m going to start at COD.”

Core Values:

  • Teamwork and Collaboration – we know that the STEM disciplines are not exclusive of each other. In the real world, they are often interdisciplinary and require collaboration between and within fields of study. We value teamwork and collaboration and strive to represent these value throughout our event, from the planning stages to the day of the event.
  • Growing and Learning – as an institute of higher education, growth and learning are primary values that shape our vision and culture. Our event is entirely about growing your mind and learning new things.
  • Passion and Curiosity – we want our participants and attendees to find their passion for STEM. Our event is driven by our own passion, which we hope will in turn generate curiosity and passion among our audience.
  • Fun and Innovative – part of educating and inspiring involves providing a positive and engaging atmosphere for our audience. Providing exhibits and other learning opportunities that are innovative and engaging helps increase the fun factor of our event.
  • Global Impact—we recognize the need for increasing STEM skills among today’s students in order to prepare them for the global workforce of the future. Our exhibitors understand that students today are preparing for jobs which may not yet exist and that STEM skills can help them be successful.

This event is funded pursuant to a grant from the Illinois Community College Board and funded partially through the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Improvement Act of 2006.

College of DuPage

425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn IL, 60137

(630) 942-2800 (Main)

(630) 942-3000 (Student Services)

  2017 College of DuPage