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STEAM Spooktacular in Romeoville took the scare out of learning ‘far reaching’ concepts.

Approximately 150 people, many in costume, came out to Lewis University in Romeoville to participate in ghoulish STEAM activities during the second STEAM Spooktacular.

STEAM represents Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math.

STEAM Spooktacular was geared to children in grades three through eight, although whole families attended, too, according to Natalie Coleman, founder and chief executive officer of After The Peanut.

Kids walk through the Haunted Lab at the STEAM Spooktacular hosted by the After the Peanut Foundation on Wednesday at Lewis University.

Kids walk through the Haunted Lab at the STEAM Spooktacular hosted by the After the Peanut Foundation on Wednesday at Lewis University. (Gary Middendorf – gmiddendorf@shawmedia.com/)

After the Peanut’s mission is to increase equity in STEAM education for students in kindergarten through 12th grade.

After the Peanut offered a similar program in 2019 at the Fairmont Community Center, Coleman said.

“We wanted to keep in mind our purpose to engage the community with real work STEAM,” Coleman said. “So we basically just applied STEAM behind some of the things kids see, like glow-in-the-dark paint and how people make the little potion bottles.”

Dr. Natalie Coleman, founder and CEO of After the Peanut Foundation, walks the halls dress in an inflatable character at the STEAM Spooktacular hosted by the After the Peanut Foundation on Wednesday at Lewis University.

Dr. Natalie Coleman, founder and CEO of After the Peanut Foundation, walks the halls dress in an inflatable character at the STEAM Spooktacular hosted by the After the Peanut Foundation on Wednesday at Lewis University. (Gary Middendorf – gmiddendorf@shawmedia.com/)

Kids measured how far they could catapult pumpkins. They used “bones” (cotton-tipped swabs) to build a bridge, Coleman said. They enjoyed fog-filled punch and a haunted lab.

Octavia Samuels, director of partnership and marketing for After the Peanut, said STEAM Spooktacular especially focused engineering and art, so the students could learn in “hands-on and interactive ways” how the two concepts are connected.

Coleman added that many creations have both a design element and an aesthetic element. STEAM Spooktacular also built some soft skills into the event, such as collaboration and critical thinking, especially when troubleshooting an activity, she said.

“You have to communicate with the people you’re working with,” Coleman said.

Olivia Kuncis, right, a student at Lewis University helps Luis Roman, 8, from Joliet make a potion at the STEAM Spooktacular hosted by the After the Peanut Foundation on Wednesday at Lewis University.

Olivia Kuncis, right, a student at Lewis University helps Luis Roman, 8, from Joliet make a potion at the STEAM Spooktacular hosted by the After the Peanut Foundation on Wednesday at Lewis University. (Gary Middendorf – gmiddendorf@shawmedia.com/)

Coleman said STEAM Spooktacular was possible due to After the Peanut’s partnership with Lewis University’s Center for Community Research and Education and sponsorships.

For more information, visit afterthepeanut.com.

Kids walk through the Haunted Lab at the STEAM Spooktacular hosted by the After the Peanut Foundation on Wednesday at Lewis University.Kids make potions at the STEAM Spooktacular hosted by the After the Peanut Foundation on Wednesday at Lewis University.Dr. Natalie Coleman, founder and CEO of After the Peanut Foundation, walks the halls dress in an inflatable character at the STEAM Spooktacular hosted by the After the Peanut Foundation on Wednesday at Lewis University.A jar of eyes sits on a table in Haunted Lab at the STEAM Spooktacular hosted by the After the Peanut Foundation on Wednesday at Lewis University.Emiliya, left, from Plainfield waits for her drink from the fog filled Hocus Pocus Punch bowl at the STEAM Spooktacular hosted by the After the Peanut Foundation on Wednesday at Lewis University.Quinn Bredesen, 8, form Crest Hill paints a mask at the STEAM Spooktacular hosted by the After the Peanut Foundation on Wednesday at Lewis University.The hall of Lewis University are transformed for the STEAM Spooktacular hosted by the After the Peanut Foundation on Wednesday.Kids walk through the Haunted Lab at the STEAM Spooktacular hosted by the After the Peanut Foundation on Wednesday at Lewis University.A child checks out the skeletons in the hallways of Lewis University at the STEAM Spooktacular hosted by the After the Peanut Foundation on Wednesday.Olivia Kuncis, right, a student at Lewis University helps Luis Roman, 8, from Joliet make a potion at the STEAM Spooktacular hosted by the After the Peanut Foundation on Wednesday at Lewis University.The halls of Lewis University are transformed for the STEAM Spooktacular hosted by the After the Peanut Foundation on Wednesday.
Source: The Daily Chronicle

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