Tag: NIU Stem

Future Telling Conference

Every great leap forward starts with a burst of creativity. Someone sees the world as it is, dreams of what it could be, and then works to make the dream a reality. This is future telling, something that writers, innovators, and STEM experts do every day to imagine and create a better world.

This fun, fast-paced event will include panel discussions, small-group ask-me-anything sessions, and even STEM-themed stand-up comedy. Our goal is to introduce writers to bleeding-edge concepts, to invigorate STEM experts with mind-bending views of the future, and to celebrate the connections between STEM and storytelling.

Learn more at go.niu.edu/futuretelling

STEM Café: Eating in the 21st Century: A Look at Health and Sustainability

Event Description We know that diets rich in plant-based foods, such as the Planetary Health diet and the Plant Forward diet, are good for us and the planet.

As we face a growing world population and increases in nutrition-related diseases such as diabetes and heart disease, how can we change our eating habits to benefit our health and the environment? And how can we make healthy choices in our busy lives when we rely on eating out and ordering in?

Find out at this STEM Café! Learn the latest information about the relationship between the foods we eat, our health and the environment. Get sensible solutions for healthy, nutritious meals that will fit your lifestyle. By identifying simple solutions to weave into our everyday lives, we can collectively make a difference for our bodies and the planet.

•    Julie Ann Patterson, NIU Assistant Professor of Nutrition and Dietetics
•    Nancy Prange, Registered Dietitian and Dietetic Internship Director at NIU
•    Lisa Brandt, Registered Dietitian, Hy-Vee

Meet Author Neal Shusterman

Join NIU’s STEM Read for a conversation, audience Q&A and book signing with Neal Shusterman. Shusterman is the New York Times bestselling author of more than thirty award-winning books for children, teens, and adults, including the Unwind dystology, the Skinjacker trilogy, Downsiders, and Challenger Deep, which won the National Book Award. Scythe, the first book in his latest series, Arc of a Scythe, is a Michael L. Printz Honor Book. He also writes screenplays for motion pictures and television shows.

At this public talk, Shusterman will discuss his work, his writing process and the ways he incorporates real science and technology concepts into his chilling visions of the future. Books will be available for purchase.

The event is free and open to the public.

STEM Café: Trash Talk: Rethinking Recycling

If you put a used plastic bottle, food carton or cereal box in your recycling bin, what happens to it? You might be surprised to hear that many of the recyclable products we use actually end up in incinerators or landfills, instead of being recycled. As international recycling markets break down and environmental crises overwhelm us, how can we rethink recycling, reducing and reusing?

Courtney Gallaher, Associate Professor in the NIU Department of Geographic and Atmospheric Sciences and the Center for the Study of Women, Gender and Sexuality, will lead us in a lively discussion about the ways in which we consume products, types of materials they are made from, and the environmental and social justice implications of our recycling industry.

Dr. Gallaher will be joined by Meghann Maves, Total Recycling Program Manager at Waste Management Recycling Services, who will describe the recycling process and share examples of what happens when we don’t prepare our recyclable items properly.

Join us for a little “trash talk.”

Swarming Robots: Learning from nature to build better robots

Event Description What can we learn from bird flocks and fish schools to mitigate crowd disasters? How can we program robots to work together so one person controls an entire swarm of them? Researchers are studying the collective behaviors of fish, birds and swarming insects to answer questions like these.

Join NIU Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering Sachit Butail to learn about his work studying malarial insect swarms and fish schools. Discover how his research helps engineers design swarm robotic systems and prevent crowd disasters.

You may never think of a flock of birds in quite the same way again!

NIU STEM Café: Legalization of Cannabis

Cannabis has been illegal for a relatively short period of time in the U.S. and drug enforcement has led to increases in violent crime.  With marijuana becoming legal in Illinois in January of 2020, what changes can we expect to see?

At the next STEM Café, join NIU Political Science Professor Scot Schraufnagel for a lively discussion about the costs and benefits of legal cannabis.

Learn when and why cannabis became illegal in the U.S., the history of medicinal cannabis and the current spread of legal marijuana policies across America.

This event is free and open to the public.
Food and drink available for purchase.
Accessible seating is available.