Engage your students in the wonder and curiosity of locally relevant, real-world learning opportunities by taking a field trip.
Add a Field Trip Workshop to focus your visit, spark wonder and curiosity in your students, and connect to your students’ classroom science learning.
A Field Trip Workshop is an authentic, hands-on learning experience that leverages unique museum resources to teach locally-relevant science and nature content. Help your students create positive personal connections with local nature by observing and exploring the Nature Museum’s collections. Choose from 14 workshops created for Pre-K through High School groups that are taught by an experienced museum educator and are correlated with the Next Generation Science Standards.
Register for one of these inquiry-based and interactive programs to enhance a field trip experience and enrich learning outside of school Titles and descriptions of available workshops are listed below. Workshops are 45 minutes and cost $160/workshop unless otherwise noted.
Jump To: Workshops by Grade | Cost & Payment | Registration Request
Pre-K & K
Nature is Sense-ational
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!
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.
NGSS: LS1, ESS3
Create a seed pocket to take back to your school! Students develop an appreciation for local nature as they learn about planting seeds throughinteractive activities that highlight how native plants grow and how they are important to animals, including humans.
Grades 1, 2 & 3
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 compare and contrast the different elements of each habitat including the plants and animals that live in each.
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.
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 will observe real seeds and do hands-on investigations to compare and contrast the ways that these seeds move.
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.
NGSS: LS1, LS2, ESS3
Get an up close look at the red worms that work at the Nature Museum! Students will observe red worm behavior and investigate environmental preferences. 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.
Exploring Butterfly Conservation
NGSS: LS1, LS2, ESS3
Observe and compare rare and endangered Midwest butterflies, including metalmarks, checker-spots, 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.
Amazing Biodiversity (90 Minutes)
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.
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 Bees
NGSS: LS1, LS2, LS4, ESS3
Examine various bee specimens from the Nature Museum’s collection! Students will analyze data to determine trends in bee populations and the impact on local ecosystems, as well as obtain information on current conservation efforts.
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 Field Trip Request Form.
Outdoor workshops (designated by 🍂) are available from May 1 through October 31. Please note that outdoor workshops will be taught rain or shine (excluding dangerous weather conditions). Please make sure that you and your students are dressed appropriately and prepared to spend 45 minutes outdoors. Please note: Indoor workshops are not available in July and August. You may only register for outdoor workshops during this time.
Cost & Payment
Each school classroom must register for its own workshop. To ensure the quality of the interactive experience, schools may not combine multiple classrooms into one workshop. Groups with workshops exceeding the maximum number of participants without prior approval will be charged for an additional workshop. Kindergarten – Grade 12 workshops have a maximum of 30 participants, and Pre-K workshops have a maximum of 20 participants.
- $160/45-minute workshop
- $185/90-minute workshop
Payment is due 30 days before the date of the visit or programs will be cancelled.
Questions? Special requests? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Exclusive Butterfly Release
Make your field trip visit unforgettable with an exclusive butterfly release. For $15 per class, each class will be able to watch as a butterfly that has just emerged from its chrysalis is released into the Judy Istock Butterfly Haven for its first flight!
Request a Field Trip
Click the button below to begin the request and registration process for your class.
After you’ve submitted a request form, we will process your request within five business days. Once we’ve booked your field trip, we will send you a confirmation via email. Your field trip is not confirmed until you’ve received this email. After five days, if you have not received an email please email email@example.com to check on the status of your request.
If you need further assistance, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.