STEM Fest 2021

We came, we played, we tinkered.

We had a blast at STEM Fest 2021

STEM Fest is over, but fun STEAM learning continues all year round with STEAM studio, STEM Cafés, school programs, free activities shared in our newsletter and more.

What is STEM Fest?

STEM Fest is a FREE in-person event every October that celebrates science, technology, engineering and math with hands-on activities, exhibits and talks.

STEM Fest is held in the heart of NIU’s DeKalb central campus in the Holmes Student Center, MLK Commons and Founders Memorial Library. Download our STEM Fest activities and exhibits map to bring along on Saturday.

Parking is available for free in any lot on campus on the day of STEM Fest.  (Do not park in any space marked “Reserved.”) A parking map is available here.

Register your bus group to make arrangements and help you plan for a great day! Buses should drop off participants at the East Entrance of the Holmes Student Center.

Scouts and Youth Groups can earn patches. This year’s learners will have the opportunity to earn our Find Your Spark patch, the Passport to My Future patch, as well as multiple mini patches. If this isn’t your first time at STEM Fest, you can even grab a corresponding year patch and show off your frequent flyer status. Sign-up your scouts or youth group for easy check-in at STEM Fest. Email Hollie Rodriguez at with any questions.

Request disability-related accommodations by contacting Judith Dymond at or 815-753-4751. Advance notice is appreciated.

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Volunteer at STEM Fest! 

We need your help to make STEM Fest a success. If you’re a student, alum or community member, sign up now.

Become a STEM Fest Sponsor for 2022!

It is never too early to be a STEM Fest Supporter! Your generous sponsorship reaches thousands of students, children and adults and helps make this annual event possible. As a sponsor, your name and logo will be featured on digital content including the STEM Fest website and STEM Fest social media. We look forward to talking with you soon about sponsorship of STEM Fest. Please contact NIU STEAM director of development, Judith Dymond, Ed.D. at at your convenience and let’s get started!

STEM Fest by the numbers

As we gear up for year 12 of STEM Fest, we’re thrilled that this flagship event has helped to inspire so many people over the years.

  • Since 2010, STEM Fest has welcomed:
    • More than 50,000 attendees.
    • Over 1,200 exhibits.
    • More than 7,000 NIU volunteers.
  • Local scouts have earned over 5,000 patches.
  • The year of highest attendance was 2019, with almost 8,000 people – and 96% said they planned to come back!
  • The year with largest social media reach was 2020 with more than 80,000 reached.

We’re grateful for the participation of our external partners – NASA, Argonne National Labs, Fermilab, Morton Arboretum and the Rockford Park District, as well as the dedication of our long-term sponsors – Ideal Industries, Thermo Fisher, Ecolab, ComEd and Nicor.

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STEM Fest is brought to you by

Facebook Logo

Thanks also to our other sponsors

Bayer Logo
3M Logo
ComEd Logo

And thanks to our additional supporters