Family Science Day 2015 will encourage scientific discovery through hands-on activities, challenges and demonstrations from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, April 11, in Redbird Arena at Illinois State University.

Family Science Day is a public-outreach event to educate and inspire K-8 students in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). “The event helps to raise awareness of the importance of STEM in our society,” said Sara McCubbins of the Center for Science, Mathematics and Technology, which organizes Family Science Day.

Family Science Day is the final day of the Spark! Festival, a weeklong celebration of STEM as rich dimensions of everyday life and culture in Central Illinois. Through a variety of events, the Spark! Festival brings together several organizations to provide experiences that unite people in a spirit of exploration and inspire minds—young and old—with the exhilaration of discovery. Some of the events include:

April 6
Infinite HeArt Studios Art from 10 to 11:30 a.m. and 1 to 2:30 p.m. at the Infinite HeArt Studios – This event will explore mathematical angles, inertia, gravity and more to create pieces of art. This event is open to the public and costs $10.

April 7
Challenger “SparkFest” Singles Mission from 6 to 8:30 p.m. in the Challenger Learning Center – This is a speed-dating event for people 18 and over. The evening will start with a pizza dinner and end with a simulated space mission. The event is open to the public and costs $20.

April 8
Spark a 4-H Adventure from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at the University of Illinois Extension – This event is for children ages 6 to 12 and looks at how electricity can be made from everyday items.

April 9
StickBombs with Andre Jefferson from 10 to 11 a.m. in the Metcalf Elementary School auditorium – Andre Jefferson is an 11-year-old boy with a passion for kinetics. Jefferson has a pending world record for the longest stick bomb. This is an ISU-only event and requires an RSVP to Kara Pool at

The Chemistry of Food and Wine from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the White Oaks Vineyards – This event lets attendees experience a variety of flavors, and learn about the process of making wine. Wine and food samples will be provided throughout the evening. This event is open to adults who are 21 years old and over and costs $25. RSVP by calling (309) 376-3027.

Youth Maker Night – Spark Your Curiosity, Ignite your Imagination from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Children’s Discovery Museum – Children ages 10 to 15 are welcome to use materials in the Maker Space, share ideas and work together to fabricate concepts.

April 10
14th Annual High School Research Symposium from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Redbird Arena – High school students from around the state are invited to come showcase their research projects. This event is free and open to the public.

For more information on Family Science Day or the Spark! Festival, visit the website or contact the Center for Mathematics Science and Technology at (309) 438-3089 or