Tuesday September 11th, 2018 8:00am-10:00am 

STEAM Network Summit

We invite regional educators, business leaders, researchers, parents, and community STEAM stakeholders to join us for the South Suburban STEAM Network Summit held at Homewood Science Center, 18022 Dixie Highway in Homewood, IL 60430. 


South Suburban STEAM Network was recently accepted into the STEM Learning Ecosystems Community of Practice, a global movement to change how students learn, educators teach, and how our country’s STEM workforce is developed. We join EvanSTEM and Chicago STEM Pathways Cooperative as Illinois’ representatives within this esteemed group of 68 national and international members.  



Dr. Amy Pratt, Assistant Dean for Community Education Partnerships, Northwestern University, is a leader in the  STEM Learning Ecosystems Community of Practice and will speak to us about the goals of the movement and how our region will benefit from participating. In addition, she will talk about her work at Northwestern and opportunities for you to partner with the University.




Meet and mingle over everyone's guilty pleasure- donuts & coffee! Enjoy making demos in our STEAM Studio by connected learning educators including:

Jeff Sweeton

CodeCreate Technology Education

Northwestern Center for Talent Development

Tori Alt

Homewood Public Library



South Suburban STEAM Network want to hear from you! 

  • What are your STEAM goals and aspirations? 

  • What do you need help with in achieving your STEAM goals?

  • How can we collectively work to strengthen STEAM in Chicago's Southland and beyond?


Ignite talks are a quick and energetic way to spread excitement about your program! We challenge our presenters to get their point across with 10 slides, 20 seconds a slide.

Holly Kelsven, Homewood Science Center

Cheri Pesina, James Hart STEM Lab

5:00pm | Aurelio's Pizza | Networking | Building Tours

Have a slice of pizza, catch up with STEAM colleagues, and make new connections! The South Suburban STEAM Network attracts educators, business professionals, parents, community leaders, and STEAM enthusiasts from the Chicago Metropolitan region.
First time at Homewood Science Center? We’ll be on hand to show you around.

Britta Wilk McKenna, MPA is an innovator, philanthropist, dot connector, entrepreneur and community leader with a knack for nurturing new ideas. Britta’s work as the Chief Innovation Officer at Illinois Math and Science Academy led to the development of IN2, a state-of-the-art innovation center designed for students to explore STEM, entrepreneurship, and making.

5:30pm | "Creating the Next Generation of Innovators" | Britta Wilk McKenna, MPA
How and what we learn must be disrupted to keep the US competitive.  Schools need to purposely design new and innovative learning opportunities for students to be prepared for the future of work.  #Inquiry-basededucation #servicelearning #problem-solving #connected learning #entrepreneurial thinking #skill-basedlearning are key cornerstones in the new economy. Come hear about innovative learning for the future of work from IMSA's chief innovation officer, Britta McKenna and how IMSA is learning and leading in this space.

6pm | Engineering Electromagnet Kit | Sarah & Jay Margalus
The Engineering Electromagnet Kit is a reusable resource that includes all materials needed to make various iterations of an electromagnet. Engineering Electromagnet Kits are a perfect addition to any classroom, makerspace, or home.



Register to take a reusable kit home for just $20! A material list, directions, vocabulary, and data collection cards are included in the kit as well as a list of NGSS learning standards that can be addressed through this learning experience. 

Connect & Network

South Suburban STEAM Network Summit

August 29th | 5pm-7pm

Sponsored by CN  

Sponsored by Aurelio's Pizza

Connect & Network

South Suburban STEAM Network Summit

March 14th 2017 | 5pm-7pm

Sponsored by CN  

Sponsored by Aurelio's Pizza

Featuring Flossmoor Station

Featuring Hypnotize Pies

The South Suburban STEAM Network convened at

Homewood Science Center for an opportunity to connect and celebrate STEAM initiatives in the South Suburbs.

On the agenda:  

We announced the recipient of the STEM Innovation Award!

Congratulations to Charlotte Kelly,

STEAM teacher at Infant Jesus of Prague

on being selected to receive the STEM Innovation Award!

Patty Messersmith

Museum of Science and Industry Senior Educator

led a discussion and a hands-on activity regarding

the Next Generation Science Standards.

Participants used spaghetti and masking tape to build towers strong enough to hold a marshmallow.

What a fun way to learn about engineering design process!

On the menu:

In honor of Pi Day, 3.14, we served some of the best pies in Homewood- pizza pies from Aurelio's and sweet treats from Hypnotize Pies! Thanks for the pies!

Thanks to our friends at Flossmoor Station for tasty craft beer!

South Suburban STEM Network Open House August 30th, 2016

Homewood Science Center hosted the first gathering of the South Suburban STEM Network, a group of educators and enthusiasts from the Chicago Southland region who are involved in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) initiatives.


Thank you to all who attended on August 30th! It was a great opportunity to convene STEM champions for demonstrations, conversation, and cuisine featuring a “Taste of Homewood.” Our keynote speaker and advisor, Barry Aprison, Ph.D. delivered a compelling speech about engaging today's youth in hands-on exploration.


Thank you to CN for sponsoring the South Suburban STEM Network and to AAA Rental, The Little Guys, Del Mar Builders, and the restaurants of downtown Homewood for your partnership at our Open House.

Vice District
Aurelio's Pizza
Wiley's Grill
Show More
Thank your to our community partners who provided a delicious "Taste of Homewood"


Professional Development 

Introduction to Three Dimensional Learning 
For K-12 educators from Cook County Schools & Districts



Do you teach K-12 science in Cook County?

Do you want to experience 3-D learning as outlined in A Framework for K-12 Science Education?

Do you lie awake at night wondering how to align your teaching practice with the NGSS?

Cook County STEM educators Sue Gasper and Meghan McCleary will facilitate your journey using the Next Generation Science Exemplar (NGSX) professional development system.  This blended model of professional learning involves face-to-face group work that draws on resources in a web-based environment.  The web-platform provides access to high quality, image-rich resources from classrooms as well as videos from NGSS and classroom discourse experts.  Study group participants will experience three-dimensional learning as students and dissect that experience as teachers.  They will also discuss the use of phenomena in instruction and dig into the Framework as they start to unpack the Practices of Science and Engineering.

Attention math educators!

Join us for professional development courses at Homewood Science Center

offered by University of Illinois Extension!

Earn between 12-18 CEU's for a great price, walking distance from the Homewood Metra Electric stop!

"Math Outside the Book"

@Homewood Science Center

For more information email

Looking for ways to begin aligning your instruction with the NGSS? This workshop offered a brief but comprehensive overview of the NGSS as well as activities designed to deepen teachers understanding of the Practices of Science and Engineering. Teachers examined a common lesson to get ideas for revising materials to enhance student engagement with the Practices.

Professional Development 

Thinking about NGSS:

Introducing the Practices 
Grades K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12
2 CPDU’s

@ Homewood Science Center

Professional Development 

Introducing Engineering in the NGSS 
(Grades K-5, 6-8, 9-12)
2 CPDU’s

@ Homewood Science Center

Start using engineering in your classroom! This introductory session is intended to familiarize teachers with the engineering design process in the context of the NGSS and provide them with a starting point for integrating engineering into their classrooms. Teachers will have the opportunity to engage in both a simple and a more complex project in order to experience the engineering design process.


Tuesday March 12th, 2019 from 6pm-8pm 

STEAM Network Summit



South Suburban STEAM Network was recently accepted into the STEM Learning Ecosystems Community of Practice, a global movement to change how students learn, educators teach, and how our country’s STEM workforce is developed. We join EvanSTEM and Chicago STEM Pathways Cooperative as Illinois’ representatives within this esteemed group of 68 national and international members. Homewood Science Center's Executive Director Edie Dobrez will share the STEM updates and information gathered at the last national convening. 



Xiaobo She, PhD, is an associate professor of Mathematics Education in the College of Education at Governors State University (GSU). She teaches mathematics methods and content courses and coordinates teacher candidates’ field practice. Since joining the GSU faculty in 2012, she has been the principal investigator on several projects, including a three-year (2014-2017) professional development program aimed at improving the teaching quality of preschool teachers who serve children in the southern regions of Chicago. In addition, she helped the Family Development Center at GSU improve the center’s mathematics teaching at the preschool levels, and she has conducted workshops for math teachers at area elementary and middle schools. Since 2009, her research papers have consistently been selected to present at Annual Conferences of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), a highly-recognized organization in the field of education research.

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18022 Dixie Highway    Homewood, IL 60430    (708) 206-6541

© 2020 Homewood Science Center