Rave-worthy hands-on camps covering STEAM (Science, Tech, Engineering, Arts, and Math).


Children learn with their hands, exploring Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (STEAM) interactively and collaboratively.


Our experts bring real-world insights and hands-on projects to all District 97 students and teachers.


Every K-8 Oak Park public school student participates in at least six free hands-on residencies during their time in D97.


Learn how your contributions can make a difference in the lives of Oak Park children.

Award-Winning Programs

Architecture Adventure

Architects design, build and explore the human-made world with K-8th graders.

Art Start

Artists animate the curriculum through visual and performing arts with K-2nd graders.

Geared Up

3rd-grade students engineer simple machines using specialized LEGOs.

Science Alliance

Working scientists conduct experiments and lead field trips with 3rd-8th graders.

Spoken Word

Middle schoolers find and cultivate their unique voices by reading, writing and performing poetry.

Vex Robotics

Tech experts work with teams of middle schoolers to design, build, program and compete with robots.

What’s New

New Mosaics Grace D97 Walls

New Mosaics Grace D97 Walls

NEW MOSAICS GRACE THE WALLS OUTSIDE FOUR D97 SCHOOLS It's always inspiring to see creative ideas burst into fruition for all to enjoy. This school year you will find original mosaics by renown artist Tracy Van Duinen gracing prominent exterior walls of...

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Teacher Spotlight: Guillermo Delgado

Teacher Spotlight: Guillermo Delgado

Folk Art fun with BASE Camp's Guillermo Delgado Guillermo Delgado is the kind of OPEF instructor that makes campers feel instantly at ease. When visiting his BASE Camp Folk Art classroom, Delgado had familiar classical soundtracks from top movies like...

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Recreating History with Harmonicas

Recreating History with Harmonicas

Children from Mr. Podlasek’s second-grade performed at Oak Park’s Belmont Village last week, sparking smiles and warming hearts for the residents. The students have been working with OPEF’s Art Start artist John Milan, who taught them songs to sing and...

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Summer Scholarship Soiree

September 6, 2019 – Late summer gathering with food, drinks, and conversation–all to benefit OPEF’s BASE Camp Scholarship Fund.

Super STEAM Saturday

November 9, 2019 – Join us for a family friendly fun day of science and art in Longfellow’s new space and learn a little more about OPEF and our programs.

Battle of the Bots

March 7, 2020 – Exciting all-day competition for local middle school VEX Robotics teams

Bingo Bash

March 13, 2020 – Join us for Bingo Bash, a new kind of FUNdraising.

Respect The Mic Spoken Word Slam

May 2020 – Middle School Spoken Word Club members gather at School of Rock to showcase their poetry and writing skills

See Us in Action!

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“There isn’t any other part of our curriculum that is like this. It gives students a glimpse into a very specific world of science through a person who is making a career of it, but it also carries over into our everyday science units in school. I appreciate the time the scientists give this program.”

District 97 Teacher