Child with stemcon exhibitor


2018 Speakers


"Curiosity as a Catalyst"

Keynote Speaker - Emily Graslie

Keynote Speaker:  Emily Graslie

Emily Graslie

Emily Graslie was born and raised in Rapid City, South Dakota. After moving to Missoula, Montana to pursue an undergraduate degree in fine art painting, she fell in love with the campus vertebrate research collection as a place of artistic inspiration. What started off as a passionate volunteering position within a small museum eventually transformed into a full-time career as an advocate for these under-appreciated repositories. Now she lives in Chicago, and work as The Field Museum's 'Chief Curiosity Correspondent,' where she uses a variety of new media to communicate the importance of natural history museums with the world.

"Cryogenics with Mr. Freeze"

Guest Speaker - Jerry Zimmerman

Keynote Speaker: Jerry Zimmerman

Jerry Zimmerman

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. 

"A New View of the Universe: Gravitational Waves"

Guest Speaker - Joe DalSanto

Humanity has always learned about the universe by observing its light. But now we can see the universe in an entirely new way – gravitational waves. Join COD Astronomy Professor Joe DalSanto for an explanation of what these strange phenomena are, how we detect them and what they mean for our understanding of the universe.

"Behind Easter Island's Moai Statues"

Guest Speaker - Dale F. Simpson, Jr.
Many publications document Easter Island's famous ahu (platform), moai (statue), pukao (topknot), and almost millennium–long culture. Yet, little investigation has focused on basalt resources, artifacts, and their geochemistry. As part of a collaborative investigation between the Rapa Nui Geochemical Project, the Elemental Analysis Facility at The Field Museum of Natural History, and the Easter Island Statue Project, we conducted comprehensive fieldwork, material culture and archaeometric analyses focused on Easter Island's archaeological basalt industries. Our results highlight how the prehistoric Rapanui were sophisticated Polynesian stone workers who developed multiple tool reduction sequences for several types of basaltic material, creating unique anthropogenic landscapes in the process. Using laser ablation–inductively coupled plasma–mass spectrometry (LA–ICP–MS) of geological source material from 31 quarries and 83 artifacts from the Sebastián Englert Anthropology Museum, we argue that similar to other culturally valuable stone (i.e. obsidian, scoria, and tuff), there was communal access to and use of Rapa Nui's basalt resources. In turn, the timing of prehistoric communal access to stone hints at patterns of sociopolitical and economic interaction, including cultural connectivity on this eastern Polynesian outpost.


2018 Exhibitors

American Science and Surplus
Participate in a hair-raising experience with the Van de Graaff generator and explore magnets, electromagnets, generators, motors, as well as plant and animal specimens under a microscope.

Argonne National Laboratory
A recent Argonne invention, the Oleo Sponge recovers oil and other petroleum products from bodies of water. View a demonstration of the Sponge and participate in a surface coating chemistry experiment.

Build-a-Blinkie will teach you how to solder your very own STEMCON blinkie.

Chicago Area LEGO User Group ("ChiLUG")
Enjoy LEGO displays, including a Great Ball Contraption (GBC) cycling a LEGO soccer ball in a perpetual loop and build your own unique creation.

Chicago Technology for Kids
Kids can control a robotic arm through blocky(like scratch) or script programming(python), to make the robotic arm draw, write, pick, and suck things.

Clinical Laboratory Management Assn
Learn about applied science and technology used in medical labs that provide diagnostic testing.

COD Architecture ("LEGO City")
Use LEGOs to build structures to place on a city map, learning about scale and context as you develop designs for a specific location on the city plan.

COD Biology
Observe bacteria with a light microscope, and, through the use of Glo-Germ lotion and an ultraviolet light, learn about the journey of bacteria from our hands to the hands of others and everything we touch.

COD Biology – Anatomy and Physiology ("All About Bones")
Learn about your basic structure through a variety of activities, including observing bone tissue under a microscope, examining X-rays of child and adult bones, as well as matching individual bones to their position on a model skeleton, and comparing the female to the male pelvis.

COD Biology – Botany ("Medicinal Plants")
Plants have been used medicinally across the globe to treat a wide variety of illnesses for thousands of years. Learn about a variety of plants and other beneficial products that are available without a prescription.

COD Biology – Ecology ("Seeds for Change")
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. Test your knowledge by guessing prairie seed numbers, learn about seed processing and take home seeds to plant on your own.

COD Biology – Genetics ("Beauty of the Beast")
In recent years, selective breeding has led to an explosion of captive bred pythons displaying a staggering variety of color and pattern mutations called "morphs." Get an up-close hands on view of live pythons representing a variety of morphs while learning about genetic concepts and responsible reptile husbandry.

COD Biotechnology Club
An exploration of ancient biotechnology and modern day biotechnology will be presented.

COD Chemistry – Modeling ("3D Protein Modelling")
View and manipulate digital protein structure models to learn about the complex and well-designed world of proteins

COD CIS – Game Design and Development
Play a game designed by COD students who will be on hand to answer questions about how the game was developed and provide insight and tips about the process of game design.

COD Computer and Information Science
Work with the popular single-board project computer Raspberry Pi to explore visualization and integrated internet technologies.

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

COD Community Education Garden/Fuel Pantry
Learn about the establishment and maintenance of COD's community garden on campus, as well as food security initiatives in the region.

COD Earth Science
Model the development of a river system in a stream table by producing precipitation and runoff, observing the resulting erosion, as well as sediment transport and deposition processes and the landforms that are produced by these processes, including the formation and geomorphology of tributaries, meanders, braided streams and deltas.

COD Earth Science – Astronomy
Explore telescopic viewing and make spectroscope observation of gas spectra to simulate how astronomers identify the composition of stars.

COD Electrical Engineering
Learn about electrical engineering by interacting with a variety of design projects created by COD electrical engineering students.

COD Electro-Mechanical Technology
Get hands-on with our industrial robotic arms and observe how programmable logic controllers operate and how they are used in industry.

COD Electronics Technology
Learn about electronics by assembling a LED circuit that you can wear and take home.

COD Engineering and Technology Club
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.

COD Environmental Science – Honeybee Project
Learn about the importance of honeybees to the environment and help construct 'Native Bee Houses' to assist the native bee habitat on COD's campus.

COD Horticulture
Learn about horticultural machines and equipment and take part in an activity focused on plant propagation.

COD Liberal Arts – STEAM
Explore the connections between the liberal arts and STEM through examining the physics of door harps, experiencing the connection between philosophy and high performance driving in a driving simulation and build a human pyramid using architecture concepts.

COD Library
Experience virtual reality through smartphone powered Google Cardboard devices, interact with a 360-degree camera and learn how they can create their own immersive VR/360 experiences.

COD Mathematics
Explore the surprising world of math through a series of fun exhibits and activities.

A real-time use initiated music composition system based on random probability, logical sieves and digital synthesis.

COD Physics
Numerous hands-on activities showing how the forces of electricity and magnetism are related to the world around us and how they are related to each other.

COD Psychology – Cognitive Science
Experience interactive demonstrations of psychological phenomena, including visual illusions, tricks of perception, the limits of attention and errors in memory. You can also see your own brain in action using an electroencephalograph headset.

COD Society of Women Engineers
Make "squeezy" flashlights using an LED, a coin cell battery and adhesive foam while learning the ins-and-outs of electronic circuitry.

COD Student Education Association
Build a structure out of pipe cleaners that can hold an oreo cookie for 10 seconds! Who will build the tallest structure? Will it be you?

COD Welding
Learn about different types of welding, including shielded metal arc welding (SMAW), flux-cored arc welding (FCAW) and gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW), and their differences and uses.

Learn how electricity is transmitted and used and gain important tips on safety around electricity.

Explore computer and digital hardware, robotics and technology, as well as resources for computer-based workshops and programs for children.

DuPage Children's Museum
Have fun with electrical circuits! Hook up loads and switches to a power source and try your hand at creating simple, series, and parallel circuits.

DuPage County Farm Bureau
Learn about a variety of seeds; how and where they grow in Illinois, what plants they grow into and what products they are used for.

DuPage County Stormwater Management
We will have a floodplain model that demonstrates how students can protect areas from flooding using various engineering concepts, including dams, levees and wetlands.

Learn about foundational concepts in the physical sciences through examining a variety of natural laws including force, motion, electricity, magnetism and accelerators.

Forest Preserve District of DuPage County
Learn about the life cycle of freshwater mussels, how and why they are bred and studied and interact with biological artifacts.

Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwestern Indiana
At this booth, kids investigate floating by building tinfoil boats and loading them with pennies until they sink. Through testing, kids will discover an important pattern—a boat's size and shape make a difference in how much of a load it can carry.

Glen Ellyn Public Library
Build and style your very own brush bots – creating bulky fighters or sleek racers.

Ice Cube Neutrino Observatory and UW-River Falls
Try on the cold weather gear worn by researchers at the South Pole, see an IceCube light sensor, and try their hand at the cosmic messenger toss.

Information and Workshop Check-In (Customer Service)
Have a question? Need to check-in for your workshop? Lose something? This is the booth for you!

ISA Will-DuPage
This booth will display the technology behind industrial instrumentation and control equipment. An industrial radar, level instrument will measure distance and will control the speed of a motor-driven fan. 

Jurica-Suchy Nature Museum
Explore how animals have developed unique traits allowing them to survive in specific environments, participate in a bird beak adaptation lab activity and observe museum specimens.

Lewis University Noyce Teaching Scholars
Explore foundational concepts in energy by calculating the stored energy in wind-up spring-loaded cars.

Midwest Torrance Center for Creativity/Center for Gifted
Stop by and learn about chemistry while making your very own slime to take home.

The Morton Arboretum
Examining tree rings up close can tell you about a tree's history.

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. Walk-ins are welcome.

Pre-Registered Workshops
Participants can take part in a workshop on a variety of topics. All workshop participants must be pre-registered. Limit of one workshop per participant. 

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 6!

SciTech Hands-On Museum
Learn about scientific principles through a variety of hands-on activities and examine the effects of the Harmonograph, a mechanical apparatus which employs dissipating kinetic energy to create beautiful spirals.

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.

Visit this booth to explore educational based STEM games that help children at every skill level develop their unique gifts using the power of play. 

Society of Automotive Engineers
Participate in a variety of activities, including balloon-powered cars, as described above, hands-on wooden transmission gear set to show the relationship between various gear sizes, and learn about motors with a cut-away model of an scaled down automobile engine.

STEAM Ahead with NASA
"See" in infrared using our Infrared Photo Booth and learn about the characteristics and limitations of infrared waves by exploring everyday objects.

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

STEM Teacher Resources
Visit our one-stop teacher spot for STEM resources from COD and other booths participating in our STEMCON event.

STEM Scouts
Students will learn about polymers at our booth, and how friction is used to create the plastics that they see in the world around us.

STEMinar Talks
Hear amazing presentations from some of our STEM experts as well as nationally and internationally recognized speakers..

STEMshala Enrichment Center
Build Lego moving models, interact with NXT Robots, learn basic Python coding, and more at this exciting booth. Explore science topics by creating and programming moving Lego Models (Simple and Robust Machine based)

Swift Nature Camp
Meet "Bubba" the pig and learn about nature, earth science and the environment.

UIC Motorsports
We will be bringing our Formula and Baja vehicles.

University of Illinois Extension 4-H Science Ambassador Program
Explore energy and energy transference through a series of hands-on activities.


To see our exhibitors from previous events, please visit the Past Events Tab.


2018 Schedule

2018 Schedule of Events
Time Event Location
9 a.m. Keynote Presentation - Emily Graslie, "Curiosity as a Catalyst" Belushi Performance Hall 
10 a.m. STEMCON Exhibit Hall Opens PE Arena
10:30 a.m. Prairie Tour Meet at "tour and workshop check-in" booth 15 minutes prior
10:30 a.m. Pre-registered Workshop: Crime Scene Investigation Meet at "tour and workshop check-in" booth 15 minutes prior
11 a.m. Guest Speaker - Joseph DalSanto, "A New View of the Universe: Gravitational Waves" PE Arena Stage
Noon Pre-registered Workshop: Cryptography: Who, Where, and with What?! Meet at "tour and workshop check-in" booth 15 minutes prior
12:30 p.m. Guest Speaker - Jerry Zimmerman, "Cryogenics with Mr. Freeze"  Belushi Performance Hall
1:30 p.m. Pre-registered Workshop: Chicago Area LEGO User Group "Great Ball Contraption" Meet at "tour and workshop check-in" booth 15 minutes prior
2 p.m. Prairie Tour Meet at "tour and workshop check-in" booth 15 minutes prior
2 p.m. Guest Speaker - Dale F. Simpson, Jr., "Behind Easter Island's Moai Statues" PE Arena Stage
3 p.m. Pre-registered Workshop: Make your Own Fidget Spinner Meet at "tour and workshop check-in" booth 15 minutes prior
4 p.m. COD STEMCON 2018 Closes - See you next year!