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Argonne resumes hosting fun and engaging science activities for youth at STEM fairs.

For an inspiring day of science and engineering activities for kids, there’s little better than a STEM fest.

For children in elementary, middle and high schools, science, technology, engineering and mathematics fairs provide an opportunity to see and participate in the game-changing science and technology produced by different organizations. Although the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory’s attendance at regional STEM fests had gone on hiatus during the COVID-19 pandemic, their recent resumption provides an exciting option for kids seeking to learn more about science.

Schools, libraries and other institutions host STEM fests as a way for youth to participate in various STEM activities and connect with research institutions such as Argonne. Through the dedicated efforts of outreach staff and volunteers, Argonne regularly provides exciting, hands-on learning for kids at STEM fests throughout the Chicago area.

I really liked all the science and engineering activities, but engineering is my favorite. It was fun making a battery (at Argonne’s stall) — it’s so easy!” — Joshua Burgess, STEM fest participant

Volunteering at STEM fests lets me connect with the community that we are working to help, and it helps me learn about the actual interests and concerns of the people around me,” said Aaron Oaks, a nuclear engineer at Argonne who regularly volunteers to facilitate STEM fest appearances for the lab. I think this connection is especially important after two years of isolation.”

Argonne strives to make its STEM fest activities fun and engaging, with a focus on Argonne’s research and careers. Many students have enjoyed visiting Argonne booths.

I really liked all the science and engineering activities, but engineering is my favorite,” said elementary student Joshua Burgess after attending a STEM fest. It was fun making a battery (at Argonne’s stall) — it’s so easy!”

One of Argonne’s popular activities at STEM fests is for kids to make their own battery — or become part of a battery themselves. (Image by Argonne Educational Programs and Outreach.)

STEM fests form an important part of Argonne’s STEM outreach initiatives. Through STEM fairs, Argonne connects students and communities with hands-on STEM learning and provides information on how to get involved with even more STEM opportunities at the lab.

Participating in STEM fests is an excellent way to take the research conducted in the lab and share it with diverse communities,” said Brandon Pope, Argonne’s STEM education outreach coordinator. By doing this, we connect the discoveries achieved in the lab and apply that knowledge to everyday life.”

To learn more about STEM activities across all of the DOE’s laboratories, visit the new DOE STEM website.

Argonne National Laboratory seeks solutions to pressing national problems in science and technology. The nation’s first national laboratory, Argonne conducts leading-edge basic and applied scientific research in virtually every scientific discipline. Argonne researchers work closely with researchers from hundreds of companies, universities, and federal, state and municipal agencies to help them solve their specific problems, advance America’s scientific leadership and prepare the nation for a better future. With employees from more than 60 nations, Argonne is managed by UChicago Argonne, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, visit https://​ener​gy​.gov/​s​c​ience.