Saturday STEM Program is a series of model-based, inquiry experiences designed to provide interesting and exciting opportunities in STEM for elementary and middle school students. The program provides K-8 students with the opportunity to explore a major integrated STEM theme for five weeks in Fall and Spring semesters.

kids working on stem project

Spring 2024 Saturday STEM Program

Registration for the Spring Saturday STEM courses is open through Friday, Mar. 1. Please note that we will admit 15 fee paying students to each course on the first-come-first served basis. We will offer 10 free seats to students who are qualified for Free and Reduced Lunch (FRL). If your child is qualified for FRL please fill out the application form by Sunday, Feb. 25 to enter into a lottery to win a free seat. If your child wins the lottery we will contact you.

Fire Science and Engineering Activities (Grades 5-7)

Join us in learning about fire science and how fires affect our environment with hands-on activities adopted from the DRI's Nevada Fire Ecology educational activities. Some activities will include live burn demonstrations, soil experiments, and wildlife games. Paired with these fire science activities each week will be engineering and science activities where students will use and build various devices. Join us for a few hours of fun experiments, building, and games!

March 2, 9, 23, 30 and April 6 | 10 a.m.-1 p.m.

Fee: $150

Instructors: Nikki Adams, Nikki Tibayan, Donna Rouhani, Frances Tibayan, Yanai Avila, Yareni Avila, and Jony Barboza

Register online by Friday, Mar. 1.

Learning Science and Math with the Finch Robot (Grades 3-5)

Finch is a robot that can be coded to move on a surface to accomplish given goals. By using Finch with Snap! block-based programming, children will learn how to code a robot and learn science and math concepts! Children will be given ample opportunities to hone their skills and improve their understanding of robotics and coding, along with their conceptual understanding of math and science. Students will also have an opportunity to experience machine learning (image recognition, audio recognition, and pose recognition) by using Google Teachable Machine and Snap! to code the Finch robot. Starting to learn block-based coding and machine learning through educational robotics will enhance students' critical thinking skills and raise students’ interest in STEM and Computer Science careers!

March 2, 9, 23, 30 and April 6 | 10 a.m.-1 p.m.

Fee: $150

Instructors: Dr. Hasan Deniz and Dilara Kara Zorluoglu

Register online by Friday, Mar. 1.

Previous Saturday STEM Courses:

Campus Science Explorers (Grades 6-8)

Students will explore UNLV’s campus over the course of five Saturdays using investigative techniques related to biology and geoscience. Each week, students will investigate topics such as plant identification, biodiversity, and rock/mineral identification on campus. The campus explorers will end the sessions with a science notebook to keep up with all of their discoveries and a completion certificate outlining their science achievements.

Dude Perfect Math (Grades 6-8)

Learn about mathematics connected to trick shot videos that the YouTube sensations “Dude Perfect” have created. Model rockets, fidget spinners, bottle flipping, and more will be investigated!

Engineering-Based STEM Activities (Grades 6-8)

Students will participate each week in a realistic, fun, engaging, team-based activity. The activities will involve the legendary creature Bigfoot, art, sports analytics, alternative energy sources including wind power, and using mathematics to make predictions about the future. Students will develop communication, teamwork, and presentation skills as they investigate a new activity each week that integrates STEM subjects.

Exploring Ecology (Grades 3-5)

Through exciting activities students will investigate life cycles of plants and animals, and basic ecological concepts such as populations, habitats, food webs, and carrying capacity. Student investigations will be supported with scaffolds in merging science content with the practice of evidence-based explanations.

Fun Engineering Design Challenges! (Grades 3, 4, and 5)

Want to learn how to design and build cool things? Get hands on-experience tackling several engineering challenges where you'll work on a team to design, build, and test your way through multiple activities. Activities may include keeping boats afloat, building strong structures, and designing efficient paper planes.

Game-based Mathematics (Grades 7 and 8)

Students will be challenged and engaged through a variety of game-based mathematics activities including robotics, escape rooms, and technology-based games. Students will learn more about having the right mindset for mathematics through these experiences.

Integrating Engineering with Robotics (Grades 6, 7, and 8)

This five-week course is designed to engage students who may not think robotics or computer science is for them. This course integrates engineering with the essentials of coding in an engaging environment through Hummingbird robotics. Hummingbird robotics is a great way to introduce kids to STEM by solving authentic problems with construction materials that they are already familiar with. By the end of the course, students will improve their knowledge and skills in engineering and computational thinking, and they will be informed about STEM and computer science careers. No prior experience in robotics is required.

Program meets on Saturdays, Oct. 15, 22, and 29, and Nov. 5, and 12.

Section I: Noon -2:30 p.m. with Dr. Hasan Deniz

Integrate Engineering, Robotics, and AI for STEM Learning (Grades 6-8)

In this session, middle school students: 

  • Used Google Teachable Machine and visual block-based coding
  • Learned about engineering design process with machine learning, including image recognition, audio recognition, and pose recognition
  • Got hands-on experience with a Hummingbird robotics kit
  • Explored careers in STEM and computer science

Integrating Engineering and Robotics for STEM Learning (Grades 6, 7, and 8)

Interested in robotics and coding but hesitant about engineering or computer science? Have no fear. Over the course of five weeks, you'll learn coding essentials of coding using Hummingbird robotics. You'll solve real-world problems with easy-to-use construction materials. By the end of the course, you'll know more about engineering, improve your problem-solving skills, and explore STEM-related career options that use these skills. No prior experience in robotics is required.

Introduction to Engineering with EV3 Robotics (Grades 3-5)

This course teaches students the core computer programming logic, reasoning skills using a robotics engineering context. It contains sequences of projects (plus one capstone challenge) organized around key robotics and programming concepts. Introduction to engineering with robotics provides a structured sequence of programming activities in real-world project-based contexts. The projects are designed to get students thinking about the patterns and structure of not just robotics, but also programming and problem-solving more generally. By the end of the course, students should be better thinkers and engineers, not just coders.

Learning Science and Math with the Finch Robot (Grades 3, 4, and 5)

Finch is a robot that can be coded to move on a surface to accomplish given goals. By using Finch with Snap! block-based programming, children will learn how to code a robot and learn science and math concepts! Children will be given ample opportunities to hone their skills and improve their understanding of robotics and coding, along with their conceptual understanding of math and science. Starting to learn block-based coding through educational robotics will enhance students' critical thinking skills and raise students’ interest in STEM and computer science careers.

Program meets on Saturdays, Oct. 15, 22, and 29, and Nov. 5, and 12.

Choose from Section I or II.

  • Section I: 9 -11:30 a.m. with Dr. Hasan Deniz and Burak Sahin
  • Section II: Noon - 2:30 p.m. with Burak Sahin

Mathematical Escape Rooms (Grades 6-8)

An escape room is a game during which teams solve multiple puzzles using clues, hints, and strategy to determine how to escape from a room. Students will be challenged and work together to complete the fun games.

Model Eliciting STEM Activities (Grades 6-8)

Students will participate each week in a realistic, fun, engaging, team-based activity. Each week will have a different topic but will focus on integrating STEM concepts. The activities are structured for students to use applications of math and science while working through the engineering design process while integrating technology. Students will develop communication, teamwork, and presentation skills as they investigate a new task each week.

National Basketball Association Math Hoops (Grades 6-8)

NBA Math Hoops is a basketball board game and mobile app that allows students to learn fundamental math skills through direct engagement with the real statistics of their favorite NBA and WNBA players. The NBA Math Hoops curriculum is tied to Common Core State Standards and 21st Century Learning Skills. NBA Math Hoops was developed and launched by Learn Fresh, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving student engagement and achievement through the creation and distribution of innovative, fun, and effective educational tools.

Natural Hazards (Grades 3-5)

Are you fascinated by the powerful and extreme natural world around you? Events such as wildfires, earthquakes, volcanoes, and floods occur regularly. Understand why and where they happen and how we can be more prepared. Focus on natural hazards locally and globally, including drought in Nevada, volcanoes in Iceland, and earthquakes in New Zealand along with how humans mitigate the impacts of these events.

Robotics for STEM Learning (Grades 3-5)

This course is designed to engage students who may not think robotics is for them. This non-competitive robotics course teaches the essentials of coding in an engaging environment. Hummingbird robotics is a great way to introduce kids to STEM by solving authentic problems with construction materials that they are already familiar with. By the end of the course, students will improve their computational thinking skills and will be informed about STEM and Computer Science careers. No prior experience in robotics is required to enroll in the course.