NIU Hosts Conference to Offer Teachers Tips on Firing Up K-12 Students

NIU Hosts Conference to Offer Teachers Tips on Firing Up K-12 Students

Hey, Kane County teachers! If you’re looking for new ways to hook kids’ attention and engage their minds, you can now register for NIU STEAM Works’ second annual STEAMing It Up!” conference.

The conference is scheduled from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 3, at NIU-Naperville, 1120 E. Diehl Road.

NIU Teacher trainingTeachers of all subjects and age levels will learn how to encourage deep, interdisciplinary learning in their classrooms by adding the arts to STEM to create STEAM: science, technology, engineering, arts and math, all integrated for maximum classroom excitement and impact.

STEAM integration can take many forms, including using fiction as a gateway to scientific concepts, mastering the technology behind musical instruments and participating in design challenges that blend engineering know-how with visual creativity.

Attendees will spend the day in breakout sessions learning about STEAM integration through hands-on activities, then head home with free tools, lesson plans and other resources ready for classroom use.

“Bringing STEAM to your classroom – or library or community program – is a great way to get as many of your students interested as possible,” says conference organizer Kristin Brynteson, director of professional development at NIU’s P-20 Center, which runs STEAM Works.

“It gives kids the opportunity to be truly interdisciplinary thinkers by connecting scientific concepts to interests and passions they already have and to their lives outside of school. In addition, STEAM is a perfect fit with the latest Illinois Learning Standards.”

Each breakout session will be led either by an educator or a P-20 Center expert.

“This isn’t the type of education conference where a bunch of salesmen get up to sell you on their company’s latest products,” Brynteson says.

“This is all about teachers and experts sharing the techniques and technologies that they’ve found work best for interdisciplinary learning. The response last year was tremendous, and we’re looking forward to another full day of teachers making connections as they learn from one another.”

Teachers interested in sharing their own experience with STEAM-related classroom innovation can propose their own sessions using an online form. Proposals are due by Monday, July 11, and accepted presenters will be contacted by Friday, July 15.

The $125 fee includes a networking lunch. Professional development hours will be available. Register online at by Wednesday, July 27.

For more information, visit or contact Brynteson at

SOURCE: NIU news release