STEAM Night at MLK Elementary

ENVISION partnered with Graduate Engineers Diversifying Illinois (GEDI), the Mechanical Science and Engineering Department (UIUC), and the UIUC chapter of National Society of Black Engineers for a night dedicated to hands-on STEM and Art activities. Elementary school students were able to get involved in hands-on activities from anamorphic art to catapult design.

SPLASH at Urbana Middle School Spring 2019

ENVISION partnered with Urbana Middle School’s SPLASH program in Spring 2019 again to introduce students to a variety of science topics. Students created Borax crystals (chemistry), tested the range of homemade catapults (civil engineering/physics), assembled circuits (electrical engineering), and created their own bridges and added weights to these to test the stability of their structures (civil engineering).

SPLASH at Urbana Middle School Fall 2018

ENVISION partnered with Urbana Middle School’s SPLASH program in Fall 2018 to introduce students to a variety of science fields through interactive experiments. This semester they used 3D pens (3D printing), created rain in a jar (atmospheric sciences), tested homemade structures on an earthquake simulator (civil engineering), and created parachutes for an egg drop test (physics).

Principal Scholars Program

ENVISION partnered with the Principal Scholar Program (PSP) to welcome over a hundred middle school students to interact in three break-out sessions about circuitry, aerodynamics, and structures.

I-STEAM Live Event

Envision partnered with the Principal Scholar Program (PSP) to welcome over a hundred middle school students from Champaign-Urbana and Chicago areas to create a day-long symposium that highlighted the diversity of engineering fields. Envision hosted three break-out sessions that taught students about circuitry, aerodynamics, and structures. Each break-out session corresponded to a different engineering discipline and encouraged students to design, prototype, and work in teams.

Orpheum Museum: Fun House Art

ENVISION hosted an event on November 11, 2017 at the Orpheum Museum that used curvature to explore reflections and transformations. We had several hands-on activities where kids (and adults!) could learn about basic optics, math transformations, and art.

-Kids learned about how curvature can affect how light reflects

-Students tried to line up beans in a curved and straight line by using a curved reflection

-Attendees got to see how distorted images were corrected using a curved reflective surface.

Other activities included making anamorphic art and taking a picture in cartesian coordinates and transforming it into polar coordinates with a computer program. Thanks to all of our volunteers who helped out!

ECIRMAC Polymer Event

ENVISION partnered with ECIRMAC (East Central Illinois Refugee Mutual Assistance Center) to hold a polymer bouncy ball activity on November 11. Students learned about polymerization and examples of commonly used polymers, and made their own polymer bouncy balls.        

Static Electricity at CPL

ENVISION hosted an event at the Champaign Public Library on September 25 where students learned about how static electricity can be created/harnessed and how it interacts with everyday objects. There were several stations with activities ranging from racing aluminum cans,  waterbending with static, and a Van De Graff generator. The goal was the demonstrate properties of static electricity and charge-based interactions as a function of material.

Science at the Market: Polymers

ENVISION partnered with the Sing Group in the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering department to introduce kids to polymers.  We did three activities to demonstrate different aspects of polymers:

-Polymer simulations showed kids a basic idea of how polymers are made. They got to compete with each other to see who could make the longest polymer chain!


-Sodium polyacrylate is the super adsorbent polymer found in diapers, and kids got to see how different polymers can interact with water!


-Hot glue guns and letter molds were used to demonstrate how polymers are molded into different objects.


Urbana Middle School Math Camp Anamorphic Art

Event Title: Urbana Middle School Math Camp Anamorphic Art

Location: Urbana Middle School

Date: June 20, 2017

ENVISION hosted an Anamorphic Art Activity at Urbana Middle School’s summer math camp for 35 incoming 6th-8th grade students.

The activity used anamorphic art to investigate how pictures change in a curved mirror. The students created their own drawings, and transformed their drawings to another grid for anamorphic reflection. During the activity, students learned principles from optics, math and design.