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Field Trip Workshops

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Children looking at flowers in prairie

The Nature Museum offers Pre-K through High School workshops at the Museum that use unique Museum resources to teach relevant science and nature content. All workshops are taught by Museum educators and are correlated with Next Generation Science Standards. School groups can register for these creative, hands-on programs to enhance a field trip experience and enrich learning outside of school.

Workshops are 45 minutes unless otherwise noted. Outdoor workshops are available from May 1 through October 31.

Click "Field Trip Workshops" below (printable), use quick links or scroll down for titles and descriptions of available workshops. Program descriptions subject to change.

Field Trip Workshops     School Field Trip Request Form

Quick Links: Pre-K and K | Grades 1, 2 and 3 | Grades 4 and 5 | Grades 6 through 12 | Cost and Payment | How to Register 

Pre-K and K

Nature is Sense-ational (outdoor)
NGSS: ESS3
Awaken your senses and embark on an outdoor adventure! Join a Nature Museum educator on an exploration of the Museum grounds. Students will discover the sights, sounds, feels, and smells of nature in the city!

Bugs Alive
NGSS: LS1, ESS3
Observe live insects from the Nature Museum’s collections! Students will learn more about the ways that these animals move, eat, and protect themselves from danger. Each student will have the opportunity to compare and contrast several different live insects.

Teenie Greenies
NGSS: LS1, LS2, ESS3
Plant seeds to take back to your school classroom! Students develop an appreciation for nature as they learn about planting seeds through hands-on activities that highlight how plants grow and how they are important to animals, including humans.

Grades 1, 2 and 3

Habitat Explorers (outdoor)
NGSS: LS1, LS3, LS4
Go outside and explore prairie, pond, and wooded habitats on the Nature Museum grounds! Students will practice making careful observations as they examine plants and animals in various outdoors areas. Students will also discover how these living things get food, water, and shelter in their habitats.

Animals Up Close
NGSS: LS1, LS3, LS4
Meet two live animals from the Nature Museum’s collections! Students will observe the animals’ features and movements and use critical thinking skills to compare and contrast the animals’ bodies, behaviors, and habitats.

Metamorphosing Monarchs
NGSS: LS1, LS3, LS4
Watch a classmate transform into a butterfly! Students will become butterfly scientists and learn about the body parts and life cycle of butterflies. They will also create their own butterfly life cycle models to take home and use to teach others what they know.

A Seed’s Journey
NGSS: LS1, LS2
Find out how seeds travel from one place to another! Students observe real seeds and do hands-on investigations to compare and contrast the ways that these seeds move. Students will also record their observations and results in journals to take back to school.

Grades 4 and 5

Ecology Rangers (outdoor)
NGSS: LS1, LS2, LS4, ESS3
Go outside and observe prairie, wetland and urban woodland ecosystems! Students will increase their knowledge of Illinois ecosystems by observing living and non-living things on the Nature Museum grounds and by evaluating how the parts of each system interact and work together.

Worm Investigations
NGSS: LS1, LS2, ESS3
Get an up close look at the red worms that work at the Nature Museum! Students learn how these worms can recycle food and paper waste and then practice classifying items that can and cannot be fed to red worms. Teachers will leave with a do it yourself guide to vermicomposting that can be used to build a worm compost bin for the classroom.

Exploring Butterfly Conservation
NGSS: LS1, LS2, ESS3
Observe and compare rare and endangered Midwest butterflies, including metalmarks, checkerspots, and fritillaries! Students will learn about the characteristics of native butterfly habitats and the Nature Museum’s conservation research initiatives. By reviewing basic butterfly biology and exploring the unique needs of local butterflies, students gain an understanding of how people impact Midwestern butterfly populations.

Grades 6 through 12

Amazing Biodiversity (outdoor)
NGSS: LS2, LS4
Compare the biodiversity of different outdoor areas on the Nature Museum grounds! Students use sampling, systematic observation, and data collection techniques to gather information about the plants present in each location. By graphing, analyzing, and comparing data, students will determine species richness and biodiversity in the two areas. (90 minutes)

Interpreting Ecosystems (outdoor)
NGSS: LS2, ESS3
Get outdoors and investigate various urban ecosystems on the Nature Museum’s Nature Trails! Students will observe and record the diversity of living things in two of Illinois’ most dominant natural environments. By considering the changes in these natural areas over time, students will evaluate the roles humans play as a part of these prairie and lawn ecosystems.

What’s the Buzz about Honey Bees?
NGSS: LS1, LS2, LS4, ESS3
Examine honey bee specimens and honeycomb from the Nature Museum’s bee hives! Students will study honey bee biology, social systems, and importance to humans while learning about the recent decline in honey bee populations.

H20 Investigations
NGSS: LS2, ESS3
Find out what the invertebrates found in water really say about the water’s quality! Students learn about water quality indicators, tolerant and intolerant species, and citizen science initiatives while identifying preserved macroinvertebrates. Students then use their findings to analyze the health of a water sample.

*Programs are modified appropriately for the grade level indicated by the teacher on the registration form

Cost and Payment

  • $125/45 minute workshop.
  • $175/90 minute workshops.
  • Payment is due 30 days before the date of the visit or programs will be canceled.

Kindergarten - 12th grade workshops have a maximum of 30 students, and Pre-K workshops have a maximum of 20 students.

Groups with workshops containing more than 30 K-12 students or 20 Pre-K students without prior approval will be charged for an additional class.

How to Register

Visit www.naturemuseum.org/fieldtrip to complete an online registration form. For more information or for special requests, e-mail the Registration Office at fieldtrip@naturemuseum.org.
 
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