The Chicago Academy of Sciences and its Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum serves as an urban gateway to the world of nature and science. The mission of the Academy and its Museum is to create a positive relationship between people and nature through collaborations, education, research and collections, exhibits and public forums that foster urban connections to our region’s nature and science.
The Nature Museum’s education department continues to honor the longstanding history and traditions of The Chicago Academy of Sciences by providing science and nature education of the highest quality. By offering more than 50 unique programs at the Museum and out in the schools and communities, more than 70,000 contact hours are provided to 450 schools and 1500 teachers each year. Through outreach, on-site programming and out of school time opportunities for students and teachers throughout Chicago, educators are able to make a big impact on the community by building knowledge, skills, interest, and enthusiasm in STEM topics. Education programs are founded in a hands-on, inquiry-based approach to connecting our audiences to nature and science.
Schools and teachers are served through teacher professional development courses, Field Trip Workshops for students, resources for loan in the Teacher Leadership Center (TLC), and outreach programming where the Nature Museum comes to you. Programs and curricula are aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards, and in 2014, the Nature Museum was recognized as a high-quality provider of Teacher Professional Development by Chicago Public Schools.
In addition to school programs, out-of-school time learning opportunities are offered year-round. TEENS (Teenagers Exploring and Explaining Nature and Science) provides opportunities for Chicago high school students to practice environmental stewardship while learning valuable job skills. After school programs engage students with Museum collections and specimens and teach students what it means to be a scientist; and Winter, Summer and Spring-break Camps enhance critical thinking and problem solving skills while cultivating a love for nature.
To learn more about the education programs and opportunities the Museum offers, visit the Schools & Teachers page, or the Education Programs page, by clicking on one of the buttons below.