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Contents tagged with science on the go

  • Nature in Your Backyard

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    Tags: nature, education, science on the go, chicago

    Created: 12/6/2012      Updated: 8/10/2016

    A couple of years ago, I taught a lesson about Midwest ecosystems in a fourth grade classroom on the far south side. Two weeks later, I returned to the same classroom, but before I could make it through the door, several students began excitedly shouting, “We saw a wetland! We saw a wetland!  It’s right behind the school!”  (And I’m not talking about moderate excitement; they were “I just won a million dollars” excited!)  They couldn’t believe that the wetlands they had learned about in the classroom – cattails, ducks, and all – could be found right here in their neighborhood. Just behind their school, stuck in between the busy city streets, here’s what they had found:

    Ducks in the pond

    Over the past several years, we’ve ramped up our efforts to connect students to the nature in their neighborhoods. Last month, as part of these efforts, I traveled around Chicago to photograph wetlands in different areas of the city. We know that many teachers aren’t able to take their students to visit wetlands, so we wanted a chance to bring those wetlands – the ones right in their neighborhoods - into the classrooms. 

    Can kids who live near McKinley Park learn to appreciate that their local wetland supports living things that aren’t found on most city blocks?

    Ducks in a wetland setting

    Can students in Lincoln Park get excited about turtles sunning themselves near their school?

    Turtles in North Pond

    Can school kids on the northwest side learn about bird migration by studying a Green Heron in Humboldt Park?

    Green Heron

    We think we have the answers to these questions: YES! ABSOLUTELY! OF COURSE!  But let’s not forget that these connections to nature are always there, waiting for people to experience them, and not just in schools. Get out there and find out what’s going on with the nature in your neighborhood, and when you find something cool (which you certainly will!), we want to hear about it!

    Kristi Backe
    Curriculum Coordinator

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  • The Lives We Touch

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    Tags: education, science on the go, camp, summer camp, student workshops, teacher professional development

    Created: 11/15/2012      Updated: 8/10/2016

    The education department at the Nature Museum logged in just over 67,500 contact hours last year. Here is a breakdown of some of those hours:

    Student in classroom

    Sharing our knowledge about science at 137 Science on the Go! classrooms.....

    Student in workshop

    Conducting 627 student workshops for visiting school groups right here in the Nature Museum science labs.....

    Museum educator in classroom

    Visiting over 100 schools with in class workshops to 124 classrooms.....

    Education campers

    Leading camps both on site and off that included over 375 children in the Chicago area.....

    Teacher professional development program

    Supporting teachers while conducting 19 teacher professional development workshops that featured activities and strategies for hands on, inquiry based learning.....

    Summer campers and counselor

    And having fun the whole time we are doing it!

    We are lucky to have this opportunity and are working very hard to make this year memorable for another 67,500+ students, teachers, parents, and others. Thanks for stopping by and letting us visit you at school!

    Barbara Powell
    Associate Director of Education Operations

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