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

Violets Are Blue, Happy Birthday to You

Spoken Word teaching artist Isaiah Makar celebrated his birthday with a very special event, the first-ever Julian Middle School 6th Grade Poetry Slam. A participant from each class was chosen by their peers and presented their work to the entire 6th grade class. The...

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Exploring Family Traditions at Lincoln

Students in Ms. Nagano's Spanish Immersion class at Lincoln Elementary School have been exploring the art of the codex book with teaching artist, Guillermo Delgado. Mr. Delgado introduced students to codex books from the Mayan and Aztec cultures. Students then...

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All About BASE Camp 2019

BASE Camp never really ends in the OPEF offices. If we aren’t running camps, we’re planning for them. Mark your Calendar! Registration for BASE Camp 2019 will open January 30th at noon. Our full list of 2019 camps can be seen here. More Camp! Perhaps the biggest...

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Summer's End Soiree

September 7, 2018 – Luscious late summer gathering with food, drinks, and conversation.

Open House

November 3, 2018 – Join us for a family friendly fun day of science and art and learn a little more about OPEF and our programs.

Battle of the Bots

March 2, 2019 – Exciting all-day competition for local middle school VEX Robotics teams

Bingo Bash

March 15, 2019 – Join us for Bingo Bash, a new kind of FUNdraising.

Spoken Word Poetry Slam

Date TBA – Poets from Gwendolyn Brooks and Percy Julian Middle Schools gather on stage 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