More than 500 campers from 13 states connect for fun, educational programs

The Illinois Biotechnology Innovation Organization (iBIO), dedicated to inspiring the next generation of innovators and helping restore America’s leadership in technology education, today launched its 2021 STEMfamily Virtual Camp with the active participation of 528 campers. While Illinois is home for the largest number of campers, 12 other states also are represented by rising 3rd to 8th graders.

Over the next five days, kids and their families will explore a wide variety of areas related to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Topics include chromatography, biometrics, solubility, centripetal and centrifugal forces, robotics, and gravity. This year iBIO is emphasizing career opportunities for the children that will be entering the workforce in the next five to ten years. Forty STEM professionals submitted videos that are intended to educate and inspire students and their families.

In his videotaped opening remarks, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker inspired the children and their families by saying, “I know you’ll enjoy your camp experience and I hope you will leave envisioning your future success in a STEM career. What you are learning here will give you the opportunity to shape our communities, our state, our nation, and the entire world.” Click here to watch Governor Pritzker’s remarks.

Without sponsors, iBIO’s STEMfamily Virtual Summer Camp would be impossible.

Every iBIO program and activity is made possible through the generous donations of individuals, foundations, and corporations. Abbott is the lead sponsor for the 2021 STEMfamily Virtual Summer Camp.

“We know that providing children with hands-on STEM experiences when they are young provides a strong foundation to pursue related education and careers later in life,” said John Frels, vice president of diagnostics research and development for Abbott.  “Abbott is happy to partner with iBIO and STEMfamily for their annual camp to help inspire future STEM leaders.”

Other Chicago-area healthcare companies that provided financial support for the camp include Astellas, Horizon and Medline, as did the Steans Family Foundation.

“When we launched STEMfamily Camp last year, the pandemic had wiped out the chance for kids to connect in person,” said iBIO Senior Vice President Ann Vogel. “Also, there were few options for families seeking fun, virtual summer camps in STEM. Today, despite having spent a full school year enduring distance learning, and despite the reopening of in-person camps and other recreational options, we have our highest number of families joining us for our virtual summer camp. That is thrilling and rewarding, and we couldn’t do any of this without our supportive and dedicated sponsors.”

After this year’s camp ends on June 25th, iBIO will post photos and videos highlighting many of this year’s activities. Click here to watch videos from last year’s inaugural STEMfamily Virtual Summer Camp.

About iBIO

The Illinois Biotechnology Innovation Organization (iBIO) is a life sciences industry association that represents the nearly 88,000 life sciences employees at member companies, universities, service providers and venture firms. iBIO promotes the industry’s value to the public and policymakers; connects innovators to investment and talent; stimulates collaboration and fosters the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs to transform patient lives through groundbreaking research and works to grow the Illinois economy.

iBIO delivers industry-led STEM programs for teachers and students, thereby inspiring the next generation of innovators and helping restore America’s leadership in technology education. To learn more about iBIO and its programs, visit

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