Educators & Students

We know you want to engage students and make learning relevant to them, whether that learning happens in the classroom or out, face to face or online. NIU STEAM has what you need with educator PD, school programs, lesson plans, coaching and learning modules – all tailored to your needs so you can put them to use right away. No matter the grade level or subject, we’ll help you address state learning standard while increasing engagement and fun.

And we’re not just for classroom teachers! Librarians, afterschool professionals, park district educators, administrators and others are all welcome.

Professional Development

STEAM refers to science, technology, engineering, art and math. But STEAM learning is more than just addressing each subject individually. Instead, the STEAM approach is interdisciplinary and project based, so it fosters creativity, promotes problem solving and helps students relate classroom materials to their lives and the wider world.

Join us for fun, engaging professional development that will introduce you to cutting edge research and help you bring it into your school, library or classroom.


We’ll work with you to develop a series of workshops, coaching and co-teaching to amplify STEAM learning in your building. Our Tier 2 and 3 Educator Programming packages include our STEAMvaluation services. We’ll help you identify local goals and outcomes and evaluate progress towards those goals.

Workshops – Our half- or full-day hands-on workshops provide creative strategies for promoting student learning across science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM) content areas as well as English Language Arts (ELA). All our workshops include interactive lessons, idea sharing and NIU STEAM learning resources for engaging learners with STEAM and developing deeper connections between content areas.

Coaching/Co-Teaching – NIU STEAM provides one-on-one or small group coaching and co-teaching. During the co-teaching sessions, a STEAM Educator will work with an individual teacher or team of teachers to plan and co-deliver the materials with students and reflect on the process.

School Programs

NIU STEAM brings hands-on learning activities to your K-12 school, in person or online. Contact us today to schedule your event.

STEM Roadshows

High-energy, interactive demo shows that quickly engage your students in science, technology, engineering and math. Includes teacher resources. At your location or online.

STEM Read Experience

Learn the science, live the book with online STEM Read field trips. We use interactive games to inspire reluctant and ravenous readers to learn more about the STEM concepts behind popular fiction books.

STEM Exploration Labs

Our mobile science museum is ready to visit your school! Choose from nearly 100 Exploration Lab Stations to make your event something students and parents will remember! Whether for a classroom or a whole-school event, we bring our materials to create discovery stations that promote curiosity and interest in concepts like sound, light, forces, heat, electricity, waves and more.

STEAM Literacy Nights

Bring STEAM and literature alive with hands-on exploration stations based on selected fiction books. We give you what you need to host your own lit night or we can host for you.

  • Do-it-yourself STEAM Lit Night – Online programs include access to activities plus two hours of coaching time from NIU STEAM.
  • NIU STEAM-hosted Lit Night – We do all the work for you to create a magical night of learning! Contact us at for pricing and details.

Three topics are currently available.

  • Let’s Go Polar (grades K-5) – Hear stories from the north and south poles and learn about everything from animal life to native cultures to historical exploration to climate science.
  • Going Green and Growing Green (grades K-5) – Hear poems and stories about gardening, growing, and caring for the earth and then explore a variety of STEM concepts on everything from planting seeds to upcycling to composting to blending art, nature, and science.
  • Artists and Apes inspired by the STEAM Concepts in The One and Only Ivan by K. A. Applegate (grades K-8). Explore a variety of STEM concepts as you help Ivan and his friends find a better home. Learn about gorillas, design better animal habitats, play logic puzzles, and more as you work to solve Ivan’s problems.

STEAM Studio Learning Experience

Looking to enhance your STEAM lessons? Whether they’re embedded into your activities or stand alone, our STEAM Studio sessions meet grade 3-12 curriculum requirements while bringing excitement and hands-on learning to your classroom. Online sessions include synchronous and asynchronous content delivery, independent working time for student projects and facilitated group discussions. In-person sessions are also available at your location. Contact us at with your ideas. We’ll customize our program and topics to meet your needs

Taught by your instructors using our content

We give you the resources to make this curriculum your own.


  • instructor guide
  • student materials
  • supporting videos/media
  • access to NIU STEAM Learning Community for your instructors
  • two hours of coaching for your instructors

Taught by NIU STEAM educators

We’ll seamlessly teach courses from start to finish for an immersive STEAM learning experience.


  • 20 accounts per section in NIU STEAM Learning Management System.
  • Instruction delivered in person or online by experienced NIU STEAM educators.
  • Access to NIU STEAM Learning Community for your instructors.
  • Digital badges for your participants.

Free Resources

In addition to our paid programming, NIU STEAM continues to offer these free programs

  • NIU STEAM YouTube Channel – Visit our YouTube Channel to access a wide variety of videos for your students, teachers, and community. On our channel you will find STEAM Experts, STEAM Demos, Author Talks, STEAMing it UP Anywhere! (our web show featuring regional educators) and more!
  • Podcasts – NIU STEAM, in partnership with WNIU/WNIJ, produces three podcasts. On Sound of Science, our STEAM experts answer your questions about science. Failure Bites highlights the stories of successful people and the failures that got them there. The STEM READ Podcast explores the connections between STEM and storytelling.
  • NIU STEAM Online Community Room – Join our collaboration space for NIU STEAM programs. In the Community Room, you’ll find tools and resources to connect with and learn from each other.
  • STEM Read – The STEM Read website contains free classroom resources and activities connected to some of today’s favorite fiction books for all ages.
  • STEM Fest – Every fall, STEM Fest celebrates innovations in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Northern Illinois University STEM departments, student groups, regional corporations, museums, educators and national labs join forces to present hundreds of activities to entertain and educate people of all ages.

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