School Programs In-Person

School Programs In-Person in Your Classroom

One of our highly educated, professional program leaders will travel to your school to deliver a classroom program about natural sciences and DuPage County's cultural history. Programs are designed to meet national learning standards, including Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards. 

Program reservations for the 2022 – 2023 academic year are now open. We offer programs throughout the academic year (Sept. 1 through June 2), and most are available Monday through Friday.

Returning in 2022 are assembly-style programs. These programs are delivered to groups with a minimum of 50 students from 3 or more classrooms, and a large enough space to host all students and presenters.

View the available classroom programs and descriptions below. Then, click the green button to complete and submit a form to request a school program in your classroom.

Request an In-Person School Program

Preschool

Wildlife and You

Wildlife and You

Students explore local wildlife species, where they live, why they live there, and how they survive, grow and meet their needs through interpreter guidance and the use of biofacts, animal photos, physical movement, and discussion. Students also learn ways to respectfully interact with and observe native wildlife in their own communities. One-hour interactive program for 10 – 30 students. $10 per student.

Academic year
Monday – Friday

Loan Box Links:

Owls
Illinois' Wild Mammals

Pre-Activity Sheets:

Coloring Page (PDF)
Vocabulary List (PDF)
Suggested Reading List (PDF)

Kindergarten & Grade 1 

Animals Around Us

Animals Around Us

Students are introduced to the differences between groups of animals, and spend time focusing on one of the following: mammals, birds, or, reptiles and amphibians. Students explore what makes each group unique through discussion of local species' lifestyles and looking at nature artifacts. One-hour assembly program for 50 - 120 students. $1 per student.

Academic year
Monday – Friday

Standards Explored

Common Core:

ELA/Literacy

  • SL.K.1 Speaking and Listening: Comprehension and Collaboration
  • SL.K.3 Speaking and Listening: Comprehension and Collaboration
  • SL.1.1 Speaking and Listening: Comprehension and Collaboration
  • SL.1.2 Speaking and Listening: Comprehension and Collaboration
  • SL.1.3 Speaking and Listening: Comprehension and Collaboration

NGSS:

  • K-LS1-1 From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes
  • 1-LS1-1 From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes
  • 1-LS3-1 Heredity: Inheritance and Variation of Traits

Loan Box Links:

Amphibians & Reptiles
Feathers
Illinois' Birds
Illinois' Wild Mammals

Animal Exploration Day

Animal Exploration Day

Students hands-on investigate nature artifacts to explore the unique adaptations of three different groups of vertebrates – birds, mammals, and reptiles – and how these animals are taxonomically unique from one another. One-hour interactive program for 10 – 30 students. $10 per student.

Academic year
Monday - Friday

 

Standards Explored

Common Core:

ELA/Literacy

  • SL.K.1 Speaking and Listening: Comprehension and Collaboration
  • SL.K.3 Speaking and Listening: Comprehension and Collaboration
  • SL.1.1 Speaking and Listening: Comprehension and Collaboration
  • SL.1.2 Speaking and Listening: Comprehension and Collaboration
  • SL.1.3 Speaking and Listening: Comprehension and Collaboration

NGSS:

  • K-LS1-1 From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes
  • 1-LS1-1 From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes
  • 1-LS3-1 Heredity: Inheritance and Variation of Traits

Loan Box Links:

Feathers
Illinois' Birds
Illinois' Wild Mammals

Wildlife and You

Wildlife and You

Students explore local wildlife species, where they live, why they live there, and how they survive, grow and meet their needs through interpreter guidance and the use of biofacts, animal photos, physical movement, and discussion. Students also learn ways to respectfully interact with and observe native wildlife in their own communities. One-hour interactive program for 10 – 30 students. $10 per student.

Academic year
Monday – Friday

Standards Explored
Common Core:

ELA/Literacy

  • SL.K.3 Speaking and Listening: Comprehension and Collaboration

NGSS:

  • K-ESS2.E Biogeology
  • K-ESS3.A Natural Resources
  • K-ESS3.C Human Impacts on Earth Systems
  • K-LS1.C Organization for Matter and Energy Flow in Organizations
  • 1-LS1.A Structure and Function
  • 1-LS1.B Growth and Development of Organisms
  • 1-LS1.D Information Processing
  • 1-LS3.A Inheritance of Traits
  • 1.LS3.B Variation of Traits

Loan Box Links:

Owls
Illinois' Wild Mammals

Pre-Activity Sheets:

Coloring Page (PDF)
Vocabulary List (PDF)

Grades 2 & 3

Home is Where the Habitat Is

Home is Where the Habitat Is

Students explore what makes a good habitat while investigating different local habitats and the types of wildlife that make those habitats their home. Also, students will discuss how humans share habitats with wildlife and how to protect them. One-hour assembly program for 50 - 120 students. $1 per student.

Academic year
Monday – Friday

Standards Explored

Common Core:

ELA/Literacy

  • SL.2.1 Speaking and Listening: Comprehension and Collaboration
  • SL.2.3 Speaking and Listening: Comprehension and Collaboration
  • SL.3.1 Speaking and Listening: Comprehension and Collaboration
  • SL.3.3 Speaking and Listening: Comprehension and Collaboration

NGSS:

  • 2-LS4-1 Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity
  • 3-LS3-2 Heredity: Inheritance and Variation of Traits
  • 3-LS4-2 Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity
  • 3-LS4-3 Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity

Loan Box Links:

IL Prairies
Prairie Plants

Owl Investigation

Owl Investigation

Students investigate a variety of nature artifacts to discover how owls are unique among raptors through their adaptations and specialized lifestyle, then dissect an owl pellet in the classroom. One-hour interactive program for 10 – 30 students. $10 per student.

Academic year
Monday – Friday

 

Standards Explored

Common Core:

ELA/Literacy:

  • SL.2.1 Speaking and Listening: Comprehension and Collaboration
  • SL.2.3 Speaking and Listening: Comprehension and Collaboration
  • SL.3.1 Speaking and Listening: Comprehension and Collaboration
  • SL.3.3 Speaking and Listening: Comprehension and Collaboration

NGSS:

  • 2-LS4-1 Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity
  • 3-LS3-2 Heredity: Inheritance and Variation of Traits
  • 3-LS4-2 Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity
  • 3-LS4-3 Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity

Loan Box Links:

Feathers
Owls

Wild Survival

Wild Survival

Students explore different survival strategies of local wildlife, investigate how predator-prey relationships impact wild communities and influence animal behavior. Also, students will discuss the impacts that humans have on local wildlife. One hour assembly program for 50 - 120 students. $1 per student.

Academic year
Monday – Friday

Standards Explored

Common Core:

ELA/Literacy

  • SL.2.1 Speaking and Listening: Comprehension and Collaboration
  • SL.2.3 Speaking and Listening: Comprehension and Collaboration
  • SL.3.1 Speaking and Listening: Comprehension and Collaboration
  • SL.3.3 Speaking and Listening: Comprehension and Collaboration

NGSS:

  • 2-LS4-1 Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity
  • 3-LS3-2 Heredity: Inheritance and Variation of Traits
  • 3-LS4-2 Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity
  • 3-LS4-3 Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity

Loan Box Links:

IL Wild Mammals
Owls

Grades 4 & 5

Web of Life

Web of Life

Students explore how life in nature is all about the balance between who is eating who while learning about food chains and webs. The roles of producers, consumers and decomposers will be defined with real-life local examples and students will discuss how the foods that humans eat connect to nature and where they fit in a food chain. One-hour assembly program for 50 - 120 students. $1 per student.

Academic year
Monday – Friday

Standards Explored

Common Core:

ELA/Literacy

  • SL.4.1 Speaking and Listening: Comprehension and Collaboration
  • SL.4.3 Speaking and Listening: Comprehension and Collaboration
  • SL.4.6 Language: Vocabulary Acquisition and Use
  • SL.5.1 Speaking and Listening: Comprehension and Collaboration
  • SL.5.3 Speaking and Listening: Comprehension and Collaboration

NGSS:

  • 4-LS1-1 From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes
  • 5-LS1-1 From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes
  • 5-LS2-1 Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy and Dynamics
  • 5-PS3-1 Energy in Chemical Processes and Everyday Life

Wildlife Detectives

Wildlife Detectives

Students discover how to identify wild mammals that live in DuPage County by studying skulls and bones, learning basic natural history and using techniques that unravel wildlife mysteries. One-hour interactive program for 10 – 30 students. $10 per student.

Academic year
Monday – Friday

Standards Explored
Common Core:

ELA/Literacy

  • RI.4.1 Reading Standards For Informational Text: Key Ideas and Details
  • RI.4.2 Reading Standards For Informational Text: Key Ideas and Details
  • SL.4.1 Speaking and Listening: Comprehension and Collaboration
  • SL.4.3 Speaking and Listening: Comprehension and Collaboration
  • L.4.6 Language: Vocabulary Acquisition and Use
  • RI.5.1 Reading Standards For Informational Text: Key Ideas and Details
  • RI.5.2 Reading Standards For Informational Text: Key Ideas and Details
  • SL.5.1 Speaking and Listening: Comprehension and Collaboration
  • SL.5.2 Speaking and Listening: Comprehension and Collaboration
  • SL.5.3 Speaking and Listening: Comprehension and Collaboration

NGSS:

  • 4-LS1-1 From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes
  • 4-LS1-2 From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes

Loan Box Links:

Illinois' Wild Mammals
Skulls
Tracking 

Pre-Activity Sheets:

Crossword (PDF)
Vocabulary List (PDF)
Suggested Reading List (PDF)

Winter Survival

Winter Survival

Students explore how Illinois wildlife are built to survive some of the harshest winter extremes while investigating different strategies that wildlife employ to deal with winter weather. Students may take inspiration from nature's solutions to better cope through winter. One-hour assembly program for 50 - 120 students. $1 per student.

Academic year
Monday – Friday

Standards Explored

Common Core:

ELA/Literacy

  • SL.4.1 Speaking and Listening: Comprehension and Collaboration
  • SL.4.3 Speaking and Listening: Comprehension and Collaboration
  • SL.4.6 Language: Vocabulary Acquisition and Use
  • SL.5.1 Speaking and Listening: Comprehension and Collaboration
  • SL.5.3 Speaking and Listening: Comprehension and Collaboration

NGSS:

  • 4-LS1-1 From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes

Loan Box Links

Feathers
IL Wild Mammals

Grades 6 - 8

Endangered Species Action Plan

Endangered Species Action Plan

Students examine what causes a species to become threatened or endangered and what the next steps are in protecting them by taking a closer look at locally endangered wildlife examples. Students will tackle how humans impact endangered wildlife's survival and develop a plan that could help a local wild animal. One-hour interactive program for 10 - 30 students. $10 per student.

Academic year
Monday – Friday

Standards Explored

Common Core:

ELA/Literacy

  • SL.6.1 Speaking and Listening: Comprehension and Collaboration
  • SL.7.1 Speaking and Listening: Comprehension and Collaboration
  • SL.8.1 Speaking and Listening: Comprehension and Collaboration

NGSS:

  • MS-LS2.A Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems
  • MS-LS2.C Ecosystem Dynamics, Functioning and Resilience
  • MS-LS4.D Biodiversity and Humans
  • MS-ESS3.C Human Impacts on Earth Systems
  • MT-ETS1.B Developing Possible Solutions

Vertebrate Ecology

Vertebrate Ecology

Students explore the world of local wildlife and the anatomical differences between vertebrate groups. Students get an up-close look at different nature artifacts to help them to identify the diverse adaptations and survival strategies that contribute to animals' success. One-hour interactive program for 10 - 30 students. $10 per student.

Academic year
Monday – Friday

Standards Explored

Common Core:

ELA/Literacy

  • SL.6.1 Speaking and Listening: Comprehension and Collaboration
  • SL.7.1 Speaking and Listening: Comprehension and Collaboration
  • SL.8.1 Speaking and Listening: Comprehension and Collaboration

NGSS:

  • MS-LS1.A Structure and Function
  • MS-LS1.B Growth and Development of Organisms
  • MS-LS2.A Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems
  • MS-LS2.B Cycle of Matter and Energy Transfer in Ecosystems
  • MS-LS2.C Ecosystem Dynamics, Functioning, and Resilience
  • MS-LS4.D Biodiversity and Humans

Grades 9 - 12

Comparing Terrestrial Vertebrates

Comparing Terrestrial Vertebrates

Students explore the world of local wildlife and the anatomical differences between vertebrate groups. Students get an up-close look at different nature artifacts to help them to identify the diverse adaptations and survival strategies that contribute to animals' success. One-hour interactive program for 10 - 30 students. $10 per student.

Academic year
Monday – Friday

Standards Explored

Common Core:

ELA/Literacy

  • SL.9-10.1 Speaking and Listening: Comprehension and Collaboration
  • SL.11-12.1 Speaking and Listening: Comprehension and Collaboration

NGSS:

  • HS-LS1.A Structure and Function
  • HS-LS1-B Growth and Development of Organisms
  • HS-LS2.A Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems
  • HS-LS2.B Cycle of Matter and Energy Transfer in Ecosystems
  • HS-LS2-6 Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
  • HS-LS2-7 Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
  • HS-LS2-8 Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
  • HS-LS4.D Biodiversity and Humans

Saving Illinois' Endangered Blanding's Turtle

Saving Illinois' Endangered Blanding's Turtle

Students are introduced to the Illinois state-endangered Blanding's Turtle, the challenges the species faces, and how humans impact its survival. Students discover human's capacity to do good as they learn about the species recovery efforts that the Forest Preserve District is taking. One-hour program for 10 - 30 students. $5 per student.

Academic year
Monday – Friday

Standards Explored

Common Core:

ELA/Literacy

  • SL.9-10.1 Speaking and Listening: Comprehension and Collaboration
  • SL.11-12.1 Speaking and Listening: Comprehension and Collaboration

NGSS:

  • HS-LS2.A Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems
  • HS-LS2-7 Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
  • HS-LS2-8 Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
  • HS-LS4.D Biodiversity and Humans

Program Extensions

Blanding's Turtle Recovery PBL
Adopt a Blanding's Turtle

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