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Aerial view of STEM Mentoring Café table in Chicago: Photo Courtesy of Argonne National

Aerial view of STEM Mentoring Café table in Chicago: Photo Courtesy of Argonne National

In the heart of the Midwest, the Museum of Science and Industry Chicago is helping to engage STEM professionals and middle school students. As part of the Energy Department’s (DOE) STEM Mentoring Café series, Science and Technology Centers across the country are working with DOE national labs to bring STEM to students and teachers.

On May 16, 2015 close to thirty STEM professionals from the Department of Energy, Argonne National Laboratory, Army Corps of Engineers, Navy and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission met with over 100 students from the Chicagoland area to talk about their careers in STEM. The professionals, armed with illustrative props, spoke to students about their jobs and how they are using their STEM careers to make a difference.

Students learned about STEM professionals’ work with bacteria, lasers, radiation detection, the advanced photon source, and even got to see a sample of paint from one of Picasso’s works of art. They learned how science, technology, engineering, and mathematics impact our daily lives.  After the Café, participants were invited to tour the museum to delve deeper into topics they learned about during the event.

To learn more about best practices for engaging with STEM and middle school students join us on August 13, 2015 at 3 pm ET. The Museum of Science and Industry Chicago and TechBridge will be offering a free virtual training on engaging middle school students in STEM. Register for the webinar:

To find a STEM Mentoring Café locations visit our STEM Café website. Future locations include: West Palm Beach, FL; Anchorage, AK; New York, NY; Houston, TX and more. Come see us when we are in your town! Email us at