We had an amazing time at College of DuPage’s 2017 STEMCON 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. 

2017 Speakers

Keynote Speaker

Eugenia Cheng, "Mathematics can be Tasty!"
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. View video of Eugenia Cheng's presentation.

Guest Speaker

Andre Jefferson, "Stickbomb Kinetics"
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. View video of Andre Jefferson's presentation.

Guest Speaker

Jerry Zimmerman - "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. View video of Mr. Freeze's presentation.

2017 Exhibitors

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.


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 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 smaller.

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 STEMCON. 


9 a.m., COD STEMCON 2017 Opens, Keynote Speaker: Eugenia Cheng (Belushi Performance Hall, MAC)

10 a.m., STEMCON Exhibit Hall Opens (PE Arena)

10:30 a.m., Concurrent Sessions: Hour of Code (1st-4th grade), Basic Physics and Logic in Game Development (5th-8th) 

11 a.m., Concurrent Sessions: Prairie Tour, Guest Speaker: Andre Jefferson (MAC), Web Page Design and Development (9th-12th grade) 

Noon, Concurrent Sessions: COD Speaker: David Fazzini, Alyssa Pasquale "Bed of Nails" (PE Arena Stage), Hour of Code (1st-4th grade) 

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

2 p.m., Concurrent Sessions: Prairie Tour, COD Speaker: Victor Gensini "Predicting Tornadoes" (PE Arena Stage), Mobile App Development (13+ with Google Account) 

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 STEMCON 2017 Closes – See you Next Year!