STEAM in the Classroom is a University of Illinois Extension program developed to educate youth in concepts within Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Agriculture, and Math. We are introducing new programs and resources involved with STEAM education in order to provide authentic learning experiences for youth in McLean County.
We serve educational facilities expanding Livingston, McLean, and Woodford counties including (but not limited to) 4-H Clubs, Library Programs, Youth Programs, Daycares, and K-12 Schools. Educational programming presentations available upon request.
STEAM At Home
Weekly STEAM Challenges provide experiential STEAM learning experiences to youth, wherever they may be. Please enjoy these virtual activities and feel free to share your creation and experience on our STEAM in the Classroom Facebook page.
Have ideas for a challenging STEAM activity or want to share what your club, class, or youth have done related to STEAM? Contact Heather Hoffman and your idea may be featured here or on our Facebook page!
New challenges and activities will be added each week!
STEAM Resources and Programs
STEAM Resource Catalog
Check out the FREE resources offered to teachers, home-school groups, 4-H leaders, and other youth service organizations.
The resources in our catalog are available free of charge. Teachers, 4-H leaders, and community youth service organizations are encouraged to check out our kits to facilitate STEAM exploration with youth and create authentic learning experiences.
We hope these resources are an easy-to-use way to get youth involved with fun, hands-on activities guided by research-based curriculum. If you find that any resource does not live up to that expectation, please provide feedback so we can ensure quality resources for the youth.
Chick It Out
This program is a long-standing tradition that successfully promotes agriculture in local schools. When you register for Chick it Out, you will get 1 dozen fertilized chicken eggs, and enough chicken feed to last the few days you have your chicks. In addition, you can check out an incubator, egg turner, candler, and embryology curriculum. Materials and curriculum for this program are free for participants. The 2023 Chick It Out Program will run from April 4 - April 28. During this time classes will monitor eggs in the incubator, complete activities related to chick development, observe the hatch, and brood the chicks.
Professional Development Information
Professional development is available to enrich your embryology lessons. Teachers can earn PDHs when they participate in these trainings. This year, we will be offering the University of Illinois' virtual embryology training over Zoom with poultry specialist, Dr. Ken Koelkebeck. Those attending the virtual training will have access to the Box folder with the information shared from the training. Teachers should complete training every 5 years to maximize the benefits of the program.
Registration will close February 12 for February trainings and March 5 for March trainings.
Wednesday, February 15 – 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.
Tuesday, March 7 – 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.
Thursday, February 16 – 4:30 to 6:00 p.m.
Wednesday, March 8 – 4:30 to 6:00 p.m.
Register below for the program and professional development opportunities. Late registrations will not be accepted.
Important Program Dates
Early Equipment Pick-Up
Early equipment pick-up is optional for anyone participating in the Chick It Out Program. Early equipment pick-up will be on Thursday, March 30th, 12:30 - 5:30 p.m. at the McLean County Extension Office - 1615 Commerce Parkway, Bloomington, IL 61704.
Egg and equipment pick-up will be on Monday, April 3, from 1 - 5 p.m. at the McLean County Extension Office - 1615 Commerce Parkway Bloomington, IL 61704.
Chick drop-off will be on Friday, April 28th, 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. at the McLean County Extension Office - 1615 Commerce Parkway Bloomington, IL 61704. (The office is closed 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.)
STEAM in the Classroom Newsletter
Each month, the University of Illinois Extension STEAM in the Classroom newsletter will feature engaging STEM information, what others in our community are doing in the world of STEM, what STEM looks like in the real world (careers, pathways, etc.), Extension resource kits, grant opportunities, and events, monthly STEM challenges, and spotlights on the diversity in STEM to show representation of all youth in our community. Please fill out the form to subscribe to the newsletter.