Harness the positive effects of nature on your students’ social-emotional well being.
Partner with the Nature Museum to connect your K-3 students to nature in your neighborhood!
Teacher teams in grades K-3 are invited to apply for this grant-funded teacher professional development program focused on best practices in science instruction and connecting classroom learning with relevant and equitable place-based outdoor experiences.
Jump To: Program Highlights | Curriculum | Apply | Teacher Feedback
Quarter 1: Explore the outdoors with your students
Get started with Best Practices in Outdoor Learning PD Workshop
Get outside with a schoolyard exploration supported by a Nature Museum educator
Deepen your practice with a PD Workshop, tools, and resources to plan outdoor science experiences
Quarter 2: Teach with an NGSS aligned science curriculum
Nine-lesson curriculum focused on a local nature phenomenon
Three visits by a Nature Museum educator to support lessons with unique resources
All student materials and a field trip experience included
Explore the outdoors with your students
- Spark wonder and curiosity by observing the nature in your neighborhood
- Get outside with a Nature Museum educator supported schoolyard exploration
- Deepen your practice with tools, resources, and PD workshops to plan outdoor science learning experiences
Teach with an NGSS aligned science curriculum
- Locally focused, NGSS aligned nine-lesson curriculum focused on a relevant nature phenomenon
- Three visits by a Nature Museum educator to support lessons with unique resources
- All student materials and field trip experience included and available in Spanish
Professional Development Workshops
- September 21: Best Practices in Outdoor learning
- October 19: Planning Outdoor Science Experiences
- December 2: Science on the Go Curriculum Workshop
- Earn up to 12 PDCHs through PD workshops and Nature Museum educator modeling in your classroom
Nature Museum educator visits and PD Workshops will be in-person and follow all public health, district, and school guidelines. If local health protocols preclude in-person programming, virtual programming will be substituted
Science on the Go Curriculum by Grade
Grade K: Nature in the City
NGSS: K-ESS3-1, K-ESS2-2
Use observation, discussions, and scientific drawing to explore ecosystems on the ground, in the trees, and near buildings in the neighborhood.
Grade 1: Habitat Seekers
Explore the animals and habitats of the Midwest! Discover the different ways adult animals care for their young in wetland, prairie, and woodland habitats.
Grade 2: Making Sense of Butterflies
Investigate the ways butterflies find out about the world around them. Explore the unique ways each species responds to the information they collect to increase their chances of survival.
Grade 3: Survivor: Winter Edition
Where do Chicago’s animals go in the winter? Use hands-on activities and nonfiction text to develop a claim about animals’ structural and behavioral adaptations.
How to Apply
Teachers and their administrators must commit to full participation in all the program components listed above, and have at least three classrooms participating per school. This grant-funded opportunity is open to schools serving communities with demonstrated need.
Apply by clicking here as soon as possible, as schools will be accepted on a rolling basis. Application deadline is September 2, 2021.
Questions? Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The students were so engaged and excited. It made me so happy!
Exploring and observing the outdoors really helped my students to think like scientists. They got a chance to collect and analyze data. Their critical thinking was very apparent.
The students were excited to notice how much of what we were learning in class was around them in their own community.
My students were so excited for science, especially when we had visitors from the Nature Museum. During this stressful time, it was so helpful to have fun, interactive lessons, and support from experts in teaching science. I feel much more confident teaching science.
My students were more engaged in class because they were able to make connections through their own observation.
My students still talk about the types of birds they see that we learned about!
If we want children to flourish, to become truly empowered, let us allow them to love the earth before we ask them to save it. Perhaps this is what Thoreau had in mind when he said, ‘the more slowly trees grow at first, the sounder they are at the core, and I think the same is true of human beings’.Sobel, David. (1996). Beyond Ecophobia: Reclaiming the Heart in Nature Education. Great Barrington, MA: Orion Society.