Last month, the Nature Museum hosted 24 Conservation Clubs from all over Chicago for the C3 Club Summit. The Chicago Conservation Corps (C3) clubs are organized by teachers who have gone through C3 Club training here at the museum and are now organizing afterschool programs on environmental conservation issues in their schools with support from C3!
At the Club Summit, the clubs got to meet, share, explore, and get pumped up about their club’s Green Vision for the year!
During the Summit, Clubs shared their Green Vision for the school year:
Students brainstormed action items for the environmental issue they wanted to undertake this year in their classroom, school, or community. They made posters and recorded a short video that detailed their goal, audience, and steps to complete achieve their Green Vision!
Bronzeville students share their Green Vision through posters and a video component.
Students from Hendricks brainstorm and plan together.
Clubs also made PLARN (plastic yarn)-for local initiative “New Life for Old Bags”:
Students repurposed plastic grocery bags by cutting them into strips and looping them together to create PLARN. The PLARN is later crocheted into sleeping mats for the homeless—an initiative started by “New Life for Old Bags”.
A completed sleeping mat made from Plarn!
Students cutting and tying plastic yarn.
Clubs attended a "Maker Party":
A number of partner organizations engaged Clubs in production-centered activities focused on sustainability, environmental conservation and youth voice, providing Clubs with inspiration and tools for their own sustainability projects, events, and awareness-raising campaigns in their schools and broader community. The Anti-Cruelty Society’s “PUPcycle & rePURRpose” station had students make upcycled pet toys out of reclaimed cardboard, old t-shirts, and corks. The National Veterans Art Museum showed students how to make animated GIFs. Free Spirit Media & Mikva Challenge provided a model for an awareness-raising social media campaign with their #IDreamAnEarth station. Other partners who facilitated stations at the Maker Party included The Art Institute of Chicago, Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art, Friends of the Forest Preserves, The Sweet Water Foundation, Scientists For Tomorrow, and CodeCreate.
National Veterans Art Museum
The Anti-Cruelty Society
Clubs made connections with critters:
Students interacted with the museum’s living collection which includes several Eastern Box Turtles and Corn Snakes!
Students ask about Illinois native turtle habitats.
Clubs discovered Citizen Science programs:
Students honed their squirrel identification skills by observing real specimens of fox and gray squirrels. They were very excited to download the Project Squirrel app to contribute their data!
Students observe the variation between the Grey and Fox squirrels.
In all, 375 Conservation Club Members got to take part in these events, and enjoy exclusive access to the Nature Museum's exhibits.