This year we attended 3 big events that involved many young kids from grade levels from kindergarten to 12th grade. These events were at 3 different locations which the NIU STEM Fest 10th Anniversary, A Walk for Education at Northwestern University, and Engineers Week Expo at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Two out of three events required for the NIU NSBE chapter to create 2 projects. We were able to create those projects for the events and it was a lot of interactions with the kindergarteners to 12th graders. Many of them asked a lot of questions pertaining to engineering and becoming successful in engineering.
Event 1: NIU STEM Fest 10th Anniversary (Oct. 19th, 2020)
This event was a huge one because this was sponsored by many companies such as ComEd, ThermoFisher Scientific, Traditional Medicinals, Nicor, Ideal Industries Inc., First National Bank, WALT LTD, Burgess-Norton (BN), Shimadzu, and The Virtual Foundry. Including big names were able to attend like NASA and Northwestern Medicine, and many organizations too. As NIU NSBE attended this event we had two nice projects that were Civil Engineering and Connecting and Building Circuits.
The Civil Engineering project was about the kids being able to build a strong bridge with wooden sticks and tape, and they had to test it out and win the contest by trying to put the whole container of rocks on top of the bridge. We as an NSBE chapter was amazed by the types of bridges many kids were able to build. Below are the Pictures.
The next project is the Connecting and Building Circuits which this project was allowing the kids to connect a LED light with a battery on a sheet of paper, and the 2nd part was allowing kids to build circuit boards on a PCB software that’s called EasyEDA. This project showed many people what is in the field of electrical engineering and how working circuits are connected in everyday use.
Event 2: A Walk for Education (AWFE) at Northwestern University (Feb. 15th, 2020)
The AWFE event was another successful event because we collaborated with other universities in the Chicago area to put presently this event to the elementary school. The following universities at this event were Northern Illinois University, University Illinois at Chicago, Illinois Institute of Technology, and Northwestern University. During this event, we had several workshops that involved elementary kids to use engineering techniques and a lot of brainstorming.
Event 3: Chicago Engineering Week Expo at the University of Illinois at Chicago (Feb. 22nd, 2020)
This event was another huge one with a lot of volunteers and companies attending to help show the younger generation the world’s technology. Many of the NSBE chapters within and near the Chicago area helped the NSBE Professionals of Chicago with setting up and making sure everything goes as planned. We had a great experience with meeting a lot of engineers from Molex, Boeing, Google, Ford, Fermilab, etc. This event was for students from grade levels Pre-K to 12th graders. This has allowed the kids to see the different careers within the engineering field.
As we end the 2019-2020 academic year early due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we really enjoyed the laughter and teamwork that helped grow the NIU NSBE Chapter. Being able to work really made us into a family and we look forward to attending these events again but also continue growing as a chapter and expand more events in the Illinois community. We are continuing to add more projects and more events to the chapter and help advertise the engineering fields to join our organization.