Molecule Maker Camp [*IDEA]

Camp is FULL for Summer 2024.
Application is OPEN for Summer 2024. Register Now.
Application is CLOSED for Summer 2024.
This is an INVITE-ONLY camp.
Application is TBA for Summer 2024. Check back soon.

Age Group: 10th - 12th


  • Residential: $1000
  • Commuter: $600
  • Virtual:
  • Day Camp:

Category: 3-D Sessions


  • Jul 14 - 20

Residence Hall:

Scholarships: Yes, see details No

*IDEA camps are mission-driven camp sessions aimed at Increasing Diversity, Equity, & Access in STEM majors and careers. These camps focus on support and empowerment of traditionally excluded populations in STEM including (but not limited to) the areas of gender, race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and ability. All are welcome to apply.

2023  Molecule Maker Campers working with Lego
2023 Molecule Maker Campers working with Lego

Ever wondered about the tiny building blocks that make up everything around us? Welcome to the Molecule Maker Lab Institute –where chemistry and computer science collide to create amazing things! At MMLI, we use the power of AI and robots to make groundbreaking molecules. Think medicines, eco-friendly materials, and even better organic solar cells that can power the world without harming our planet. And guess what? You can join the molecule-making fun too! During the Molecule Maker Camp experience you'll explore:

  • What are molecules, anyway?
  • How can we make them do what we want?
  • How do we make molecules even better?

Get ready for some experiences like:

  • Making your own organic solar cells - make decisions just like MMLI researchers do!
  • Touring THE Molecule Maker Lab with its high-tech robots!
  • Learning how to make your own virtual molecule on our Digital Molecule Maker.
  • Checking out the Illinois Biological Foundry and seeing how automation speeds up research tasks!
  • Visiting the Beckman Institute and Siebel Center for Design.
  • Meeting and working with real MMLI researchers!
  • Conquering the Escape Lab217 – our brand new MMLI escape room!

If you're ready to dive into the world of molecules, creativity, and problem-solving, join us at Molecule Maker Camp!


2023 Molecule Maker Campers in lab
2023 Molecule Maker Campers in lab


Sabrina Abdulla is the Outreach coordinator for the Molecular Maker Lab institute at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Sabrina works mainly with the Education and Outreach aspect of MMLI to coordinate programs with members of Siebel Center for Design, graduate students and post-docs in Chemistry, Computer Science, Engineering, and other MMLI affiliated departments, along with community partners within Champaign-Urbana. 

James Planey defended his thesis spring of 2023 in the College of Education exploring how students leverage an immersive VR drawing platform he designed to explain the mechanisms behind the lunar phases. Broadly James is interested in the integration of immersive science learning experiences into formal classroom environments. He also has experience as a science curriculum designer, high school science teacher, and outreach nature educator. He is currently a postdoctoral researcher with the Molecule Maker Lab Institute at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign where he is helping shape the NSF-funded institute’s vision for AI supported chemistry research into meaningful learning experiences and digital tools across K-12 and undergraduate settings.


Frequently Asked Questions