Barb City STEAM Team

Learn more about this exciting opportunity at one of our drop in Open Houses on January 11, 12 or 13 from 3:00 – 6:00 p.m. on the campus of Northern Illinois University in the STEAM Classroom in SWEN Parson Hall, Room 146.

A FREE Middle School After-school Program

NIU STEAM has partnered with the DeKalb School district to offer this unique program for middle school children. The program runs every afternoon on NIU’s campus in our STEAM Classroom and offers a fun space for students to learn about STEAM topics while also getting homework help.

For more information, contact us at


  • Monday-Wednesday 3-6 p.m.
  • Thursday 2-6 p.m.
  • Friday 3-5 p.m.

STEAM Learning Topics

STEAM projects are led by knowledgeable, well-trained staff who love to teach, laugh and have fun.

Topics include:

  • Robotics and coding
  • Space
  • Food science
  • Digital media
  • Engineering
  • Design and art
  • Environmental science

Students will influence the direction of the program as they choose the topics and projects that most interest them.

What can I expect?

  • Homework help.
  • Daily snack.
  • Mentoring by NIU students and staff.
  • STEAM activities and self-directed projects.
  • Social, fun time on a college campus.
  • Interesting monthly STEAM events for the whole family.
  • Community partners and special guests presenting on a variety of career and college focused topics.


DeKalb School District 428 Middle School Students

Priority to students with the following criteria:

  • Receiving free or reduced lunch.
  • Students who would be the first in their family to attend college.
  • Parent is a single head of household.
  • Living in Annie Glidden North community.
  • Referral from school personnel.


What is the cost to attend the Barb City STEAM Team program?

The program is available at no financial cost to middle school students in DeKalb school district 428. Priority will be given to students receiving free or reduced lunch, having a single-parent head of household, living in Annie Glidden North community, who would be the first in their family to attend college and/or referred from school personnel.

Is transportation available for students to attend the Barb City STEAM Team program?

Transportation is available for students. Students are picked up at their middle school and delivered to campus to the STEAM Classroom. Transportation home is also available to students who require it.

What will students do during their time at the Barb City STEAM Team program? Upon their arrival, students will receive a snack and spend some time working on homework. NIU student mentors will assist students with their schoolwork as needed. Students will then participate in fun and engaging STEAM themed activities and projects, led by NIU STEAM instructors.