STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.

STEMfest is Northern Illinois University’s largest nonathletic event, designed to bring young people and their parents to NIU to explore STEM fields and future careers. Parents and teachers can learn about our outreach opportunities and establish ongoing relationships with those interested in encouraging young people to pursue STEM careers.

Our first STEMfest was in October 2010, an outgrowth the Haunted Physics Lab which began in 2003. Over the years we’ve fielded a few questions. Here are answers to our most frequently asked questions. 

Before you get here

  • STEMfest is free to attend! No advance registration is required of participants.
  • Come one, come all! There’s something for every age and stage at STEMfest!
  • But remember – all children must be accompanied by an adult.
  • STEMfest is an expo, an open-house style event. Come and go at any time. Most families report spending three hours at STEMfest!
  • Be sure to bring money for lunch or snacks. No outside food is allowed inside NIU’s Convocation Center.
  • Share the fun! Download and distribute this year’s poster! 
  • Bringing a group?
    • Register your bus group to help us help you! Please bring one chaperone for every six middle school students or every 10 high school students.
    • Scouts & youth groups – earn a patch! Learn more.
  • Need directions?
  • STEMfest is ADA compliant! Talk with Judith Dymond at or 815.753.8213 with any special requests. Advance notice is appreciated!

While you are here

  • There’s lots to see and do!
    • Check out the stage schedule for exciting demos and awesome talks!
    • Peruse our list of current exhibitors to get a taste of the activities that will be offered and careers that will be represented this year.
    • Individual exhibitors may have games and competitions at their booths. Official STEMfest competitions take place prior to the event, with winners announced during the afternoon! Learn more about our competitions.
  • Bring home the memories! Books, science kits, scout patches and t-shirts will be available for purchase at STEMfest.

Get involved

Continue the experience


STEMfest 2019 is Saturday, October 19th!

Please keep me informed of upcoming events!