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Making STEM fun!

The STEM Research and Learning Center is committed to inspiring the next generation of STEM leaders with a full program of experiential events for students at all levels. Join a fun, dynamic community of STEM students exploring the many aspects of the STEM fields.


The STEM Research and Learning Center is proud to offer a variety K-12 outreach events for schools throughout the year.

Each event requires a signed parent/guardian waiver.

STEM Field Trips

The STEM Research and Learning Center offers full-day STEM field trips throughout the academic year for students in K-12th. Schools may bring an individual class or student club.

Most events require a minimum of 20 students with a maximum of 40 students. Predetermined activities have different minimum and maximum requirements; see the activities section below. To meet the minimum requirements, consider partnering with another school district for your STEM field trip.

See STEM Field Trip Activities dropdown for information on the available activities.


Full day (9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.) with lunch: $45 per student and $25 per teacher*

  • Variety of STEM activities
  • STEM shirt
  • Name tag with lanyard
  • Planetarium show
  • Lunch included

Full day (9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.) without lunch: $35 per student and $15 per teacher*

  • Variety of STEM activities
  • STEM shirt
  • Name tag with lanyard
  • Planetarium show
  • Lunch NOT included - Students may bring a sack lunch or money to eat in the Baker Pattillo Student Center food court

Half day (9 a.m. to noon): $20 per student and $10 per teacher*

  • Variety of STEM activities
  • STEM shirt
  • Name tag with lanyard
  • Planetarium show
  • Lunch NOT included

*Note: These prices are subject to change depending on activities scheduled. Times may also be slightly adjusted to accommodate travel.

STEM Field Trip Activities

The activities below are just a sample of activities available. The STEM Center can customize a trip based on the needs of the school or group. The availability of activities is based on the age of the students as well as the availability of faculty.

Arduino Boards and GPS Tracking: Students use Arduino boards to create a blinking, beeping, battery-powered beacon to place in the SFA Arboretum. Using a GPS app on their phone (at least one student per group of four will need a phone with data), students will track the beacons.

Biology Microorganisms: Students will mount organisms on a microscope slide to view either microscopic animals or microscopic plants such as volvox, paramecium or euglena.

Engineering Catapults: As a partner pair, students will use a bag of supplies to create and build a catapult that launches marshmallows through different challenges. Each catapult will test distance, accuracy and precision.

Robotics: Students work with a partner to program an EV3 robot through different obstacle courses. Based on students’ knowledge, this activity can be an introductory module or an intermediate module.

Wiggle-Bots: Wiggle-Bots are contraptions built by students and powered by a motor. They can scribble, race, dance, paddle… and so much more! This engineering activity allows students to experiment and build their own innovative design.

Chemistry in a Bag: Using household chemicals and an indicator, students will explore evidences of chemical reactions. Students will employ problem-solving skills to determine which of the reactions produces the evidences of chemical changes they observe.

Egg Drop: The egg-drop activity introduces students to physics and materials science. Middle-school students will have a wide range of materials to “buy” with their allotted budgets. High-school students will have a reduced budget and materials, making the challenge more difficult and emphasizing the engineering design process. Additional components include timing the falls to calculate the average speed and data analysis to compare which materials worked best overall.

Makey-Makey: With Makey-Makey, everyday objects are transformed into touchpads empowering students to interact with computers as creative tools. The computer becomes an extension of their creativity, fostering imaginative play and discovery.

Rockets: Students will work with a partner to design, build and implement a rocket launch. These prototypes are launched using basic pressure systems. Students will determine what features of a rocket will help it achieve greater height and distance by applying physical science concepts and the engineering-design process.

Slime: Slime is chemistry! It is all about the way different materials are put together. Students will work with a partner to make their own slime in different colors.

Geo-Environmental Exploration: This geology module focuses on the water cycle and transport of contaminants through natural systems. Students will investigate quantitative and qualitative measurements for the characterization of water resource management.

Shark Dissections: This biology module gives students the opportunity to explore the anatomy of a dogfish shark. Students, with support from SFA faculty and SFA students, will dissect all parts of the shark and learn new vocabulary along the way!

ER!: During this nursing module, students rotate through hands-on stations such as using mannequin arms to determine varying blood pressures and starting an IV. This event will be at the DeWitt School of Nursing, 5707 North St., Nacogdoches.

Planetarium Show Options:

High-School STEM Day


This annual high-school event offers a variety of hands-on STEM modules designed and facilitated by SFA faculty and staff members with support from the STEM Research and Learning Center. Students will rotate through multiple modules based on areas of interest.

This year's HS STEM Day has already passed, but stay tuned for more information about HS STEM Day 2024!

STEM Summer 2024 programs - registration opens April 1, 2024

The STEM Research and Learning Center offers annual STEM events throughout the summer. Parents, grandparents and guardians, sign your children up for these inquiry-based, interactive activities facilitated by the STEM Research and Learning Center along with SFA faculty, staff and students.

Little STEM Jacks

This event captures the attention of children of varying ages by providing them opportunities to learn and play with science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Through immersive scientific discovery, the day camp looks to excite students to the many possibilities in math and science.

Choose the camp based on the grade your student will be entering for the upcoming school year.

Grades 1-2 Camp

Monday, Jul. 29 through Wednesday, Jul. 31, 2024
9 a.m. to noon
Cole STEM Building

Grades 3-5 Camp

Wednesday, Jul. 31 through Friday, Aug. 2, 2024
9 a.m. to noon
Cole STEM Building


  • $75 per child

Cost includes materials, snacks, prizes, planetarium show and a T-shirt.

Register for Little STEM Jacks

For more information, email, or call 936.468.5814.


STEM Research and Learning Center
Staff directory

Physical Address:
Cole STEM Building, Suite 406

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 6070 SFA Station
Nacogdoches, TX 75962-6070