Although your students get the opportunity daily to explore science concepts, if you’re looking for an adventure outside of the classroom, consider these seven science field trips in the Chicago area. With interactive workshops on dinosaurs, plants, animals and more, there is something for everyone – and every age.
If you’re looking for a place to expand lessons on environmental science, then plan your next science field trip at the Chicago Botanic Garden on Lake Cook Road in Glencoe, a suburb of Chicago. The expansive garden features 31 natural areas for your students to explore architecture, plants and the environment. You can opt for self-guided tours and guided field trips that focus on adaptations, shapes and structures of plants, seeds and trees. Compare plants, collect water samples or investigate under microscopes when on a two-hour field trip at the Chicago Botanic Garden that is perfect for grades K-6.
Give your students a chance to explore hands-on exhibits focused on nature, animals, insects and more with a field trip to the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum. Offering two-hour field trips perfect for grades 3-8 during the week and on the weekends, this two-hour field trip allows students to get up close and personal with insects, animals, seeds and plants during hands-on workshops. Your students can also see nature in action in the butterfly greenhouse.
Enhance your lessons on space travel and astronomy with a field trip to the Adler Planetarium. With exhibits that teach basic astronomy principles, showcase creative inventions and offer hands-on instruction with telescope and lenses, you can ensure your students will have fun while learning. The planetarium features self-guided and guided tours – and the best part is that most exhibits are free. Although the planetarium has something for everyone, field trips are recommended for grades 3-8.
Take your science lessons outdoors when planning a field trip at the Willowbrook wildlife rehabilitation center. Offering both outdoor and indoor field trips, your students can learn more about bones and feathers, as well as animal habitats. Field trips help students to identify physical features of animals such as birds, reptiles and owls. In addition, special seminars focus on the habitats of the animals that are available to view at the wildlife center. Ideal for grades K-12, this field trip typically last one to two hours.
Are your students obsessed with dinosaurs? Then, the Field Museum is the perfect choice for a field trip. Offering free tours for students who reside in Illinois, the museum staff can even create a customized trip to complement your science lessons in grades 4-8. Exhibits include lessons on evolution through dinosaur skeletons and fossils, as well as workshops on DNA research for middle school and high-school aged students.
Head to Lincoln Park to allow your students to conduct their own experiments. Kids Science Labs hosts field trips in several locations across the Chicago area, but you and your students can see the on-site facilities that are home to learn more about earth and space science, engineering, environmental science, physical science and anatomy and biology. Make bubbles, design heart pumps or explore chemical reactions at Kids Science Labs, a learning center ideal for grades K-8.
Enter a child’s sized world to offer your K-4 grade students an opportunity to discover and learn through imaginative play. Accepting field trips for up to 100 children, the Wonderworks Children’s Museum in Oak Park offers 6,400 square feet of experience zones that include an outdoor organic garden, science labs and more.
Now that you know about a few of our favorite science field trips, feel free to share your favorites in the comments. We are always looking for fun, exciting and educational opportunities to share with our readers.
Photo Credit: Diego Delso, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=23106695