The article describes the STEM education projects presented on the educational platform of the Childrens University, created on the basis of Sh. Ualikhanov Kokshetau University, in the context of traditional and distance learning. The article aims at studying the activities of the Childrens University and identify indicators that arouse interest among primary school students in STEM education. The study involved children from 8 to 12 years old in the amount of 250 students from schools in the city of Kokshetau (Kazakhstan). Methods: A mixed method, questionnaire and semi-structured interviews of children were used. The Likert scale questions allowed for the analysis using descriptive statistics. Open-ended questions and data from the interviews were classified using content analysis and analytically interpreted through the theory of the development of cognitive interest in children. Results: the study identified a new factor influencing childrens interest in STEM education at the Childrens University future teachers-students. Five important indicators proposed in previous studies were checked: the topic of classes, the learning environment, the spectacularity of the classes, training, the role of the family in face-to-face meetings and distance learning at the Childrens University. Conclusions: the study highlighted a new factor that arouses the interest of primary school students in STEM education when visiting Childrens University, of interest to all parties involved in STEM education in non-formal learning
Key words: Childrens University, virtual 3D laboratory Labster, STEM, students future teachers.