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2021 - ECC presents Math and Science STEM Speaker Series

Tags: Academics | Events
Published 02/05/2021
Get into STEM with ECC!

Get into STEM with ECC!

For the past two years, Elgin Community College’s Health Professions, Math, Science, and Engineering Division hosted a STEM Expo to encourage current and prospective students to consider coursework and careers in science, technology, engineering, and math. Due to the ongoing challenges with COVID-19, the 2021 STEM Expo will not take place this year. Instead, a virtual STEM speaker series presented by ECC STEM faculty will be offered on Zoom.

“I am excited for this opportunity to continue to find ways to offer STEM programming,” said Renee Skrabacz, associate dean of health professions, math, science, and engineering. “We want the community to continue to see ECC as a destination for students pursuing a degree and career in STEM.  We have a variety of topics in this speaker series to appeal to everyone.  Come Zoom with us!”

All events are free and open to the public and intended for ages 12 and up. For more information and to register, visit


Spring 2021 STEM Faculty Speaker Series Events:


Which Came First, the Virus or the Vaccine?

Thursday, Feb. 18

7-8 p.m.

Presenter: Chad Pearion, MS, Assistant Professor of Biology

This presentation will give a brief history of vaccines, the principle of vaccination, types of modern vaccines, and vaccine safety. We will also discuss viruses and the current vaccines recommended for influenza virus and SARS-CoV-2 and why there is currently no vaccine for HIV.


What Is Infinity? And Other Perplexing Questions

Thursday, Feb. 25

7-8 p.m.

Presenter: Kenny Beynon, MS, Associate Professor of Mathematics

This presentation includes a brief introduction to the concept of infinity and how it has led to some amazing mathematical discoveries and quandaries.


Mysteries of the Universe

Thursday, March 4

7-8 p.m.

Presenter: Rick Jesik, Ph.D., Astronomy Unit Adjunct I Faculty

This presentation will give an overview of our understanding of the universe and address many unanswered questions. Particular emphasis will be given to the Big Bang, dark matter, and dark energy.


A Healthy Diet and Lifestyle to Support Your Immune System

Thursday, March 11

7-8 p.m.

Presenter Janet Whitsitt, MS, Associate Professor of Biology

Every part of your body, including your immune system, functions better when supported by a healthy diet and lifestyle. Let’s discuss evidence-based research on a balanced diet as well as other lifestyle changes to support your health.


Asteroids and Comets—The Solar System Wanderers

Thursday, March 18

7-8 p.m.

Presenter: Ryan McGuire, MS, Astronomy Unit Adjunct Faculty

Asteroids and comets have been the focus of superstition and wonder for millennia. In this presentation, we will learn about the origins and properties of comets and asteroids and what NASA (and the government) can do to prevent Earth from being hit in the future.