NIU STEM Cafés Feed Your Mind


STEM Cafés are fun, casual gatherings where adults can eat, drink, and chat with STEM professionals about the latest scientific research. These events are free and open to the public. Food and drinks are available for purchase from our host restaurant. They all take place on Tuesdays.

Here are upcoming STEM Cafés:

Mapping the Future

February 12 at 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Fatty’s Pub & Grill, 1312 W Lincoln Hwy, DeKalb, IL 60115

We’ve come a long way from paper maps! Technological advances such as geographic information systems let us see the lay of the land in much greater detail and in multiple dimensions. Learn about mapping technology used by companies such as Google, Microsoft and ESRI, and how it’s changing the way we view our world.

Philip Young, Research Associate and Director, NIU Geovisual Mapping Lab
Ryan James, Associate Professor, NIU Geographic and Atmospheric Sciences

Online Aggression and What We Can Do about It

Our speakers will discuss what harassment online really looks like, why typical advice about online harassment and aggression fails and how targets and witnesses of harassment can respond and manage their online communities.

March 19 at 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Fatty’s Pub & Grill, 1312 W Lincoln Hwy, DeKalb, IL 60115

Jessica Reyman, Associate Professor, NIU Department of English
Erika Sparby, Assistant Professor, Illinois State University
Kristen Myers, Director, NIU Center for the Study of Women, Gender and Sexuality and Distinguished Teaching Professor, NIU Sociology

The Hunt for Dark Matter: How the New SENSEI Experiment is Advancing Astrophysics

April 16 at 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Eduardo’s Mexican Restaurant, 206 E Lincoln Hwy, DeKalb, IL 60115

One of the mysteries of astrophysics is dark matter, which has mass and feels the effect of gravity but otherwise interacts rarely, if ever, with “normal” matter and has not yet been directly detected. The new SENSEI experiment will be joining the hunt for dark matter using new, super-sensitive detector technology, allowing it to cover previously unexplored territory with a group of sensors that weigh less than a handful of pocket change.

Greg Derylo, Fermilab Engineer

STEM Café: Brews and Bison

May 14 at 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Two Brothers Roundhouse, 205 N Broadway St, Aurora, IL 60505

Holly Jones talks about the role of bison and fire in restoring and managing prairie ecosystems in Illinois. She shares her research team’s findings of how bison reintroduction has impacted prairie plants, animals and ecosystems.

Holly Jones, NIU Associate Professor of Biological Sciences


NIU STEAM is made up of programs and people committed to providing activities that spark curiosity, creativity, collaboration and critical thinking.

Focused on exploring science, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics, NIU STEAM has something for everyone–whether you’re a student, teacher, parent or member of the community! If you are looking for a school program, a family science festival, online games, lesson plans, artistic endeavors or literacy skills – you’ve come to the right place!

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