Science Classroom and Science Field Trip!


Pardon the construction dust! Please be aware that a designated caregiver has to stay on site/with us until we receive the city permit for drop offs. Once we receive city approval, we will notify you that you can now drop off your child. You will have to sign that off during registration.

Free Open House Class: Monday, September 30, 2019, 1:00PM-1:50PM

Ages: 6-12. Siblings outside of this age range may be able to join for free. Contact us for the case-by-case basis determination. In the long run, even after DCFS tells us children can be dropped off, parents will have to stay with the children under age 7.

Instructor: Kathleen Soler


Description: This is our most ambitious enrichment program! Stand on the bottom of what used to be a Silurian Ocean 450 Million Years Ago! Learn all about native and invasive species in our area! Learn about the current ecology and the geographical history of Illinois and Chicago. Participate in a Great Lakes Action Day! Learn how to perform field observations and experiments! Find evidence of dinosaurs in the surrounding flora!

There are 2 components to the class. You can enroll in either or both. The classroom component will be on Monday. The field work will be on Wednesday.

The classroom component on Mondays will cover ecology, geography, and environmental science of our metro area, preparing us for fieldwork. When we return from the field, we will also be analyzing data, and reflecting on what we have found to inform our next experiments and observations. Those not participating on the Wednesday field trips will be paired with partners who can explain about the performed experiments and observations, helping the students master what they learned. Partners will share data and analyze it. The expectation will be leveled to each child’s individual strengths and abilities. The focus is on the synthesis of ideas, not on qualitative writing skills.

On Wednesdays, we will either board a school bus for a local geological or ecological adventure, or receive a classroom speaker, or perform a lab. We will be on the bus by 9 at the latest, and arriving at our destination by 10 in most cases. We will perform around 2 hours of activity, including hiking, observing, and experiments. We will break for lunch by noon, unless the majority complains of hunger earlier, have recess, and then we may fit in one more activity before heading back to the bus at about 1. We will be back by 2PM. This is a class that is deeply rooted in outdoor education.

Classroom Monday Price: 9 weeks: $120 ($100 sibling). Drop-in: $15. Rolling admission is allowed in this class.

Field trip Wednesday Price: 10 weeks, 5.5 hours a week: $350 ($300 each sibling). Drop-in: $40. Rolling admission allowed in this class. If you have more than one chaperone that would like to join the class with your child, that should be okay, first come first served, just check with us that we have capacity. We may allow younger siblings aged 5 on the trips for free with you if you supervise them and if you think that they will have the stamina for the trips.

Combined Price if enrolling in both, 19 meetings for a total of 64 hours, $450 ($400 sibling) -> that’s only $7 per hour!

Dates: This class meets twice a week, on Mondays at 1:00PM for 50 minutes and on Wednesdays at 8:30AM until 2PM, for 5.5 hours. There are no make-ups because this class does not repeat.

Monday Classroom: This class meets on Mondays at 1:00PM for 50 minutes. The curriculum is tentative and may shift.

0-Monday, September 30, 2019, 1:00PM-1:50PM-Free Open House (Forest Ecosystems)

1-Monday, October 7, 2019, 1:00PM-1:50PM Lake Ecosystems

NO CLASS on October 14, 2019

2-Monday, October 21, 2019, 1:00PM-1:50PM Ecology: Endangered vs. Invasive

3-Monday, October 28, 2019, 1:00PM-1:50PM Ecology: Succession

4-Monday, November 4, 2019, 1:00PM-1:50PM Ecology: Restoration

No Class Monday, November 11, 2019

5-Monday, November 18, 2019, 1:00PM-1:50PM Geological Heritage

6-Monday, November 25, 2019, 1:00PM-1:50PM Geological Heritage

7-Monday, December 2, 2019, 1:00PM-1:50PM Environmental Science

8-Monday, December 9, 2019, 1:00PM-1:50PM Environmental Science

9-Monday, December 16, 2019, 1:00PM-1:50PM Environmental Science

Please note, there is no class on: October 14th, 2019, and November 11th, 2019

Wednesday Field trip/lab: This class meets on Wednesdays for 5 hours and 30 minutes. There are no make-ups because this class does not repeat.

0-Wednesday, October 2, 2019, 8:30AM-2:00PM-Morton Arboretum

1-Wednesday, October 9, 2019, 8:30AM-2:00PM-Great Lakes Action Day/Lakes

2-Wednesday, October 16, 2019, 8:30AM-2:00PM-Find living evidence of dinosaurs!

3-Wednesday, October 23, 2019, 8:30AM-2:00PM tent. OpenLands Lake Ravine

4. Wednesday, October 30, 2019, 8:30AM-2:00PM Invasion/Succession

5-Wednesday, November 6, 2019, 8:30AM-2:00PM Silurian ocean 450Million BC

6-Wednesday, November 13, 2019, 8:30AM-2:00PM Ponds and Forests

7-Wednesday, November 20, 2019, 8:30AM-2:00PM Deep Tunnel (speaker)

No Class - Wednesday, November 27, 2019

8-Wednesday, December 4, 2019, 8:30AM-2:00PM Chicago River

9-Wednesday, December 11, 2019, 8:30AM-2:00PM Water Reclamation (speaker)

10-Wednesday, December 18, 2019, 8:30AM-2:00PM Environmental Remediation

Please note, there is no class on: November 27th, 2019 - Thanksgiving week

Required Supplies not provided by us, that you are responsible for:

  • Grid-lined notebook for observations.

  • Electronic device for photos, voice recording for students that prefer that to writing or that are younger.

  • On Wednesdays, please dress appropriately, for the weather, including boots, a change of clothes, rain gear, when we are in the woods, beach gear and towels when we are at the beach, as well as an extra waterproof bag to hold any dirty or wet items, packed securely in a backpack that can be carried by each attendant. Please pack an extra layer, and when it gets colder, a back-up pair of mittens or gloves and socks. We will not have time to spray sunblock or bug spray while on the trip, so please take care of this before you come. Also, we can’t provide those items or help your child apply them. You will need to pack a chocolate and nut-free lunch for each member of your party.

  • A full, spill-proof water bottle must be brought on every trip.

  • Everyone in the party going on the trip should wear closed toe shoes for any hikes.

Price Does Not Include:

  • We accept checks and prefer that form of payment. There is a $25 bounced check fee.

  • If you choose to pay with a credit card, we will have to charge you a $5-$10 credit card processing fee.

If you like this class, you might also be interested in our Experimental Archaeology, and Citizen Science classes, as well as our Experimental Outdoor Math Workshop. Read about them in the left navigation bar.

This class has 20 spaces, because we are heavily reliant on parents as chaperones. Once we gain our drop-off status with DCFS, we will still ask for at least a 1:1 chaperone for students under 7, and a 1:4 ratio for students over 7, to support their studies. If this class becomes popular, we can add more space by adding an instructor.