Educators bemoan the “summer slide.” At STEM Kids Chicago, we believe in the summer soar. Summer is a great time to find new hobbies, make cool stuff, grow a garden, read, read, read, explore the outdoors, and take advantage of all that our area has to offer. We have ideas to help you explore science and technology at home, too.
If your child attends a Chicago Public School, summer is still ramping up. If you’re looking for a STEAM or STEAM camp experience, we can help. Don’t miss our guide to STEM Summer Camps, as well as our guide to STEM camps just for girls. Also, join our newsletter to receive an awesome roundup of news and events twice a month.
What to Do in Chicago for Summer STEM and STEAM Fun in July
Of course, July is a great time to learn how fireworks get their colors.
Attend a Full Moon Jam.
Be sure to register ahead of time for the Summer Nature Fest at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum. Speaking of nature, July is a wonderful month to get out on the water in Chicago and northeastern Illinois.
July is prime time for Frank Lloyd Wright Drop-ins (see our event calendar for details).
The Millennium Park Family Fun Festival kicks off in late June and runs through early August. They offer free kid-friendly activities from 10 -2 under the tent at the Chase Promenade.
Join the Art Institute at their annual Block Party, a full day of performances, talks, storytelling, and art making in and around the entire museum.
Learn something new (or learn to consider things from a new perspective) at the Bughouse Square Debates, this Chicago tradition from the Newberry Library brings people together for an old-fashioned public debate.
Expand your mind when you pick up a few great books from the annual Newberry Library Book Fair.
Check your local library for cool, indoor STEM programs and public maker spaces, and don’t forget that Chicago is host to several world-class museums. Chicago residents can borrow museum passes from their local library branch.
Grab your binoculars and head to Lisle for the Eyes to the Skies Hot Air Balloon Festival.
Summer STEAM Fun at Home
Play MSI’s Summer Brain Games.
Although DNA Day is celebrated in late April, July is a good time to dive into genetics. Gregor Mendel, widely known as the father of genetics, was born on July 20, 1822 and Rosalind Franklin, the woman who played a critical role in our understanding the structure of DNA but whose contribution was ignored for decades, was born on July 25, 1920. Learn about Gregor Mendel, extract DNA from a strawberry (or other food), make a 3D DNA model out of pipe cleaners or candy.
July 21, 1969, was the first moon walk. It’s the 50th anniversary of a man’s first walk on the moon!
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