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Scitopia Chicago is envisioned as a novel STEAM-themed learning hub and destination promoting teen self-realization and beneficial community opportunities.


Self-realization hub for Chicago teens
An attractive out-of-school-time hub for teen self- realization to enhance graduation and pursuit of 21st century STEAM career pathways

Link to science learning and opportunities
Center for programming, mentoring, school visitation and link to vocational and academic opportunity

Anchor for neighborhood revitalization
Centerpiece partner for Garfield Green Line South eTOD Action Plan

Free Southside destination
The first conservatory and vivarium attraction for southwest Chicago in over a century


Scitopia Chicago is envisioned as a ground-breaking, teen interactive learning center and Southside destination that places under one roof:

  • STEAM library and ecafé
  • Science and media makerlabs
  • Community space & museum
  • Prehistoric greenspace & vivarium

Advisory Committee

2017 Conference

A variety of experts and stakeholders, including community leaders, STEAM/makerspace educators, design experts and architects, participated in a full-day conference at the Neubauer Collegium, STEAM Engagement & Neighborhood Revival on Chicago’s South Side, to consider whether and how science education, more specifically STEAM, might play a role in supporting and strengthening neighborhoods.

Scitopia Chicago Advisors

Paul Sereno, Ph.D.

Professor, Dept. of Organismal Biology & Anatomy, University of Chicago

Walter E. Massey, Ph.D.

President Emeritus, School of The Art Institute of Chicago and Fmr. Director  of  NSF & Argonne Nat’l Laboratory

Cecilia Butler

President, Washington Park Residents Advocacy Council

Jessica Biggs, M.Ed.

Director of SW System of Care, Southwest Organizing Project and Fmr. Principal, Burke Elementary

Kamau Murray, M.B.A

Founder and CEO of the XS Tennis and Education Foundation

Dr. Ken Polonsky, Ph.D.

Fmr Dean of Biological Sciences, University of Chicago

Zeray Alemseged, Ph.D.

Professor, Dept. of Organismal Biology and Anatomy, University of Chicago

Erin Adams, Ph.D.

Professor, Dept. of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, University of Chicago

Fabiola Delgado, CPA

Chief of Staff of UChicago National Laboratories & Assist. Vice President for Finance

Rev. Jesse Knox, III, M.R.E.

Senior Minister, Church of the Good Shepherd UCC

Matthew Meyer, MSIT

Executive Director of Academic Technology Solutions, University of Chicago

Eric Klinenberg, Ph.D.

Author & Professor at NYU

Torsten Reimer, Ph.D.

University Librarian & Dean of the University Library, University of Chicago

Lisa Roberts, Ph.D.

Founder & Principal, naturalia, Inc.

Rich Crowley, M.B.A.

Compliance Lead, Argonne National Laboratory and Fmr. President of the Chicago Herpetological Society

Tim Knowles, Ph.D.

President, Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching

Julie Koslowsky

Teen Services, Chicago Public Library

Orrin Williams

Food System Coordinator, Office of Community Engagement & Health Partnerships, UIC

Rebel Roberts

Practice Leader, Stantec

Bob Bavirsha

Chicago Herpetological Society

John Archer

President, Chicago Herpetological Society