SOS Illinois and Partners Bring STEM to Youth in Foster Care

With the support of partners like the Chicago Blackhawks Community Fund, a McCormick Foundation Fund, our community helped bring STEM to SOS Illinois.

SOS Illinois STEM Expo 2017
Children at our first STEM Expo enjoying the fun and messy sides of science—with slime.

What is STEM?

STEM refers to the collective disciplines of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. STEM curriculum is growing in importance as an interdisciplinary approach to help engage children and help them build skills in critical and creative thinking and problem-solving, as well as create a foundation for future career opportunities.

Fun at our First STEM Expo

One of our valued College Bound and Beyond supporters, the Chicago Blackhawks Community Fund, a McCormick Foundation Fund and continuous supporter of educational programming, helped make our first-ever SOS Illinois STEM Expo possible on May 20, 2017.

Nearly 100 children of all ages from all three of our Villages (Chicago Village, Roosevelt Square Village, and Lockport Village) gathered at the Chicago Village to participate in a range of STEM-focused activities. Activity stations included:

  • An engineering workshop where children learned to build battery-operated model cars, led by Kids STEM Studio.
  • Building glove gardens to plant at home with the Chicago Children’s Museum.
  • Garden exploration that included soil testing to learn about acidity levels and bug-hunting with magnifying glasses.
  • Computer stations set up with coding and math games.
  • The extremely popular Slime Station, where children created slime and enjoyed the messy side of science.
  • And a special workshop led by our Emerging Leaders Board on the Science of Hockey, with exercises from STEM in Sports, made the connection for the children between the sport of hockey and principles like friction and the impact on reaction times.

Needless to say the children were engaged and excited by all of these learning opportunities. Importantly, for many of our youth this event laid a foundation of interest and curiosity in STEM, which is something we will continue to encourage and develop.

What STEM Education Means to SOS Illinois

A crucial component of the Early Leaders tier of the College Bound and Beyond Program is STEM education for children ages 12-16. That makes events like this first STEM Expo and the support of our partners and community so impactful and important. You help us build our STEM curricula, grow our educational programming, and deliver the kind of developmental opportunities all children deserve.

Although many of the children in our care at SOS Children’s Villages Illinois are far from solidifying their career paths, it’s a priority to provide as many opportunities for learning as possible. Thank you to our super-communities for supporting learning every day of the year, today and far beyond for each of our youth.

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