Micro STEM

Micro STEM

Did you know that some of the smallest things in our universe are also some of the most powerful?

From microwaves, to molecules, to circuits and code, this program will take a hands-on approach to exploring the STEM of tiny things.

Students will gain a greater understanding of the small underpinnings of everything around us. What’s behind the flip of a switch? What is life made of?  How can we make sense of the things we can’t see?

This program will harness the power of smartphones and innovative scope lenses to help students answer these questions and more!

E^2: Engineering Explorations

E^2: Engineering Explorations

Design, tinker, build, test—then do it again!

Working in teams, participants will engage in hands-on activities as they explore the engineering design process through electrical, chemical, and biomedical engineering!

Students will design, build, and race boats, experiment with the chemical engineering behind solar homes, perform a calculator dissection to understand circuits from the inside out, and tackle the concept of robotic surgery as they make their own Bristlebot!

STEMvironment 2017

STEMvironment 2017

Get your green on as you explore how STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) is a part of everything around us.

This program will give your student an integrated exposure to the various STEM fields and how they can be applied within an environmental context.

Explorations will include hand-on activities on the chemistry of recycling, solar and water power, and energy transfer.

The week will culminate in an environmental engineering project where students will use these real-world STEM concepts to design, build, and improve their own energy-efficient house.

REGISTRATION FOR THIS PROGRAM IS STILL OPEN! Click your location below to register!

Aurora (closes 6/30)

Belleville (closes 6/9)

Springfield (closes 6/30)

Summer 2017 is Almost Here!

Summer 2017 is Almost Here!

We are gearing up for summer 2017 and we are so excited to have all of you!

As we get closer to the start of our programs, here is some information that might be helpful to you.

Day Programs:

  • The program day begins at 8:30 a.m. and runs to 3:00 p.m. Morning drop-off/check in begins at 8:15 a.m. – and concludes at 8:30 a.m. Do NOT drop your child off prior to 8:15, as there will be so supervision available before this time.
  • Monday morning check-in: On the first day of the program, it is mandatory for parents to park and walk their participant to the summer program staff for first-day check-in. Your child will be assigned to a group leader who will be their same leader throughout the week.
  • Lunch is included in the program fee and provided through our food service, Sodexho. They offer many options for students, including burgers, macaroni and cheese, a salad bar, fresh fruit, and many other items. You may choose to send your child with a sack lunch if you prefer. Please note: the cafeteria is NOT a peanut free environment.
  • Pick up is promptly at 3:00 PM. We do not provide extended care. Please be timely and prompt with drop off and pick up for the best and safest experience for every participant.  Our personnel need to prepare for the next day after day programs end at 3:00 p.m.
  • Late Pickup Fee:  IMSA day programs end at 3 p.m.  Any parent/guardian picking up a child late will be assessed a fee of $15 per child for any pickup 15 minutes late and $1 per minute thereafter. Late fees are due on the child’s next day of camp.

Residential Programs:

  • Residential program check-in begins at 6:00 PM on the Sunday before the program start date. The entrance will change based on which dorms the students will be in. Please make note of this in your pre-program email!
  • Please plan on arriving to pick up your child between 1:45-1:55 p.m. the following Friday(the last day of the program). There will be a 30 minute program presentation/wrap-up starting promptly at 2:00 pm.
  • We do not honor requests to pair or group friends or relatives during their class during the day; however, they will have the opportunity to mingle during common activities such as lunch and free time.  Program participants are grouped at random to encourage a positive learning experience, meeting new friends while engaging in program activities.
  • We DO take requests for roommates. Friends or relatives (of the same gender) can be paired as roommates if both parties request each other by sending an email to us a studentenrichment@imsa.edu. Please include the program name and week offered, your child’s name, and the name of the child being requested as a roommate. We must receive this at least 10 days before the first date of your program to accommodate it.
  • Your child will be assigned to a group leader who will be their same leader throughout the week.

Vital Signs @ Springfield – Friday: Animatronic Extremity

Vital Signs @ Springfield – Friday: Animatronic Extremity

Throughout the week, students have been exploring the realm of artificial prosthetics through the use of their own engineering creativity. Our bold inventors have created their own artificial hands, improving them day by day, and testing them with games and activities. Experiments involved carrying ping-pong balls, and even sign language!

Students have become experts at analyzing design solutions and repeatedly testing them in order to determine the best way to improve the product.

Ask your student:

What is electromyography, and how do modern prosthetics take advantage of it? (voluntary signals that contract muscles, prosthetics can be controlled using remaining nerve endings)

Ask them to show some of the sign language they learned this week!

BioSleuths @ Springfield – Friday: Forensic Entomology

BioSleuths @ Springfield – Friday: Forensic Entomology

Today, students continued their study of forensic entomology: the use of knowledge of insects to help solve criminal investigations. Our junior investigators learned how forensic entomologists use the life cycle of maggot-laying flies in order to determine the exact time of death of a victim. In order to observe the life cycle in action, students examined their canned chicken samples from Monday.

In addition, the biosleuths used the knowledge they had gained about forensic entomology to solve crime scene situations!

Ask your student:

What exactly are maggots? (fly larva)

How can forensic scientists use maggots to estimate time of death? (life stages of a fly take a known amount of time)

C.S.IMSA – Friday: Drops to DNA Part 2

C.S.IMSA  – Friday: Drops to DNA Part 2

The case has been cracked! Our junior forensic scientists worked in the lab today in order to extract DNA from the pieces of a broken vase that were found at the crime scene. After analyzing the evidence and comparing it to the DNA samples from several key suspects, the CSI team has identified the culprit!

Students concluded the week with a successfully cracked case, and experience with real CSI science!

Ask your student:

Were your suspicions from earlier in the week correct? If not, what evidence changed them?

BioSleuths @ Springfield – Thursday: Grasshopper Dissection – External

BioSleuths @ Springfield – Thursday: Grasshopper Dissection – External

Today, our young anatomy investigators set their sights on grasshoppers! Students mainly focused on the grasshopper’s appendages and other features that were easily visible, observing how the structure of each part might enable it to function most efficiently. Our biosleuths even got the chance to identify some correct or incorrect features on famous cartoon insects like Jiminy Cricket!

Students will continue their grasshopper dissections tomorrow by exploring the internal features of the same insects they worked on today.

Ask your student:

What are the three body segments of the grasshopper called? (head, thorax, and abdomen)

Why are the grasshopper’s back legs different from its front legs? (they need to be bigger for jumping)

Vital Signs @ Springfield – Thursday: The Blood Part 1

Vital Signs @ Springfield – Thursday: The Blood Part 1

Today, our scientists delved into the study of blood type and the genetics that help determine it. Students first discovered the physical basis behind the ABO blood type group, analyzing different antigens. In the lab, they attempted to determine the blood type of different samples by creating antibody reactions.

The analysts-in-training also learned the basics of Mendelian genetics, discovering how blood type traits are inherited and why some are dominant over others.

Ask your student:

How many total possibilities are there for blood type? (there are 8 including both genes: A+/-, B+/-, AB+/-, and O+/-)

What is one method to predict the blood type of the offspring when you know that of the parents? (use a Punnett square)