In recent years, there has been a nationwide effort to expose students to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) fields from a young age. As part of this movement, it’s important that youth engage in hands-on STEM activities. The Illinois Novaree is a nonprofit STEM service initiative founded in 2014 by students from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign (UIUC) to fulfill just this purpose.

The Illinois Novaree takes place across two different Saturdays in April. During this event, UIUC students will be teaching classes relevant to their own fields of expertise. By hosting the Illinois Novaree on the UIUC campus, we are able to fully utilize the unique resources available at the university to further enrich each student’s learning experience.

The event is open to all youth who are interested and available. While designed to satisfy requirements for Boy Scout badges and Girl Scout awards, the classes are still rewarding to anyone who wishes to attend. The Illinois Novaree was run in 2014, 2015, and 2017. We’ve received a lot of positive feedback from parents, students, and teachers. Each year, we’ve had about 70 students attend, and we hope to see that number continue to grow in future years!

This year’s event will take place on April 7th and April 14th, 2018, from 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM on both days. The cost for the event is $15 for two Saturdays and $9 for a single Saturday. This cost covers an event patch, a pin if you attended a previous Novaree, and any class materials that may be required. Registration will take place through Eventbrite, and will be opening before Christmas. We also ask our students to please bring their own lunches to the event as we can’t provide food due to university regulations.