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General Science and Teaching

Great locations for science field trips in Chicago and Chicagoland areas

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Jurema Gorham Jurema Gorham 480 Points

Hello, I am currently in the process of planning for my middle school's field trip. I will like to take them to a new place that will allow them to experience and observe Science in a new way. Do any other teachers from Illinois know of any great locations to go visit? All suggestions wiill be greatly appreciated.

Garth Rehberg Garth Rehberg 2775 Points

Hi, Jurema, I think the Botanic Gardens is a great place for students to observe and experience organisms such as plants. For an activity, students could write down the life cycle for the organisms they observe. The Lincoln Park Zoo is also a very good place. Students could observe and list the animals they see and then classify them on their own and then classify them using a dichotomous key. The Museum of Science and Industry, the Shed Aquarium, the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Art Institute of Chicago - Museum, and the Field Museum are educational and interesting places to go. Hope that helps, Garth J. Rehberg

Garth Rehberg Garth Rehberg 2775 Points

Hi, Jurema, I think the Botanic Gardens is a great place for students to observe and experience organisms such as plants. For an activity, students could write down the life cycle for the organisms they observe. The Lincoln Park Zoo is also a very good place. Students could observe and list the animals they see and then classify them on their own and then classify them using a dichotomous key. The Museum of Science and Industry, the Shed Aquarium, the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Art Institute of Chicago - Museum, and the Field Museum are educational and interesting places to go. Hope that helps, Garth J. Rehberg

Carolyn Mohr Carolyn Mohr 88583 Points

Hi Jurema, Garth has mentioned several excellent places in the Chicagoland area. The Chicago Botanic Garden is north of the city and the museums he mentioned are just south or in the city of Chicago. If you let us know the approximate location of your school, we might think of some places that are not going to take you an hour or more to get to one way. Carolyn

Jamie Vincent Jamie Vincent 1395 Points

Volo Bog is one of my favorite places to visit. It is located in the Northern suburbs so its quite a ways north of the city.

Lance Threewitt Lance Threewitt 2375 Points

Hi Jurema, There are definitely a lot of great places to visit for science related field trips. One place that was not mentioned, is the Kohl's Children's Museum in Glenview (North suburbs). Here is a link to their website: http://www.kohlchildrensmuseum.org/ They have all kinds of great hands on exhibits for kids, some are science related and some are not. I'm not sure what kind of places you are particularly looking for or where you are located, but I was recently made aware of a Wildlife Discovery Center in Lake Forest. I was told that it is pretty good and free! Here is a link to their website: http://www.cityoflakeforest.com/cs/rec/cs_rec2d2.htm Also, I saw that someone else posted about the Volo bog and I definitely agree that this would be a great place to go for viewing nature and wildlife. Their website is: http://dnr.state.il.us/Lands/landmgt/parks/R2/VOLOBOG.HTM Lake county has all kinds of nature sites you can visit for various natural habitats. Hope this helps! Lance

Jared Kilmer Jared Kilmer 970 Points

Jurema, I agree whole heartedly with Lance's comments about the Lake Forest Wildlife Discovery Center. The staff is very friendly, knowledgeable, and their displays are amazing; I was told also, that if you give them enough notice, they can actually give classes hands on demonstrations with the animals there or accommodate any tour to a certain class’s requirements as to what part of science they would want to focus on. The only thing I would suggest though, seeing as how their space is limited, I would only bring one class at a time or a smaller class and then divide the students into two-three groups to leave enough room for observations. I'm attaching a power point presentation that I made regarding the discovery center to give you more of an idea as to what they offer. It's actually in a 5E lesson plan format, so feel free to use it as a resource. Jared

Attachments

Presentation1.pptx (2.72 Mb)

Matt Sandine Matt Sandine 665 Points

Hello Jurema, There's tons of great resources in and around the city that teach Science. All of the sites that the previous posters have mentioned are wonderful and quality field trip locations that I would highly recommend. If you're north of Chicago, check out the Lake County Forest Preserves. They have specialists who will guide your students and show them the plants native to their area. Their website is: http://www.lcfpd.org/ If you're by the Illinois/Wisconsin border, you may want to look into visiting Illinois Beach State Park. They showcase some wildlife and plants there that are specific only to that area. They give a variety of habitats and display a wide array of wildlife. When I was younger, they offered a very informational tour and hike on the land. I'm not sure if they still offer this service for educators, but a tour without a guide can easily be done as well. It may be a bit of a drive, but The Domes in Milwaukee also is a really interesting place to see plants from all over the world. There's three domes, and each one has a specific climate that harbors plants from that region. Students would love seeing the different plants and it is right off the interstate going into Wisconsin. I hope this helps. Have fun at whatever destination you choose. I'm sure your students will as well. Take care, Matt

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