Broaden your horizons—teacher workshops, program previews, in-service training and other adult education opportunities are available for a variety of subjects. These unique learning opportunities address both Illinois State Learning Standards and Teacher Performance Standards. Check our calendar for upcoming programs.

Field Trips

Teachers know the value of a good excursion. School field trips give students the opportunity for authentic experiences—getting children out of the classroom and into the world to learn, discover and apply what they know. We bring both nature and history alive year-round with award winning programs and facilities. Our professional educators work hard to make every field trip a rich experience. Spaces fill up fast! Learn more »


Grants are available to help defray the cost of our programs. Our Gateways Grant program helps to defray the cost of these programs for Lake County public schools with limited financial resources, providing a program fee waiver and partial bus transportation reimbursement. In addition, numerous outside organizations provide grants that can be applied to our programs. Learn more »

Lake Education Assistance Program

This Illinois Environmental Protection Agency program provides funding of up to $500 for school and other nonprofit organization participation in lake or watershed related educational field trips, equipment and activities. Learn more »

Target Field Trip Grants

Each year, Target awards 5,000 grants of up to $800 each for field trips. Learn more »

Illinois Biodiversity Field Trip Grants

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources awards grants yearly to schools to assist students in visiting natural resources sites to learn about nature and conservation. Learn more »

Educator Loan Boxes

Check out an educator loan box and bring a fresh, interactive science lesson to the classroom. Each loan box comes complete with hands-on group learning activities, educational items and reference materials. Illinois Science Standards are supported, making it easy to incorporate them into an educator’s curriculum. Four different themes are available: birds, mammals, insects and ecosystems. One more theme, plants/trees, will become available in 2019. Learn more »

With a two-week loan period, teachers and students have ample time to explore and repeat activities in each loan box. Activities are geared toward K–5 classrooms, but some items may be helpful to older classrooms. Loan boxes are available to classroom teachers and nonformal educators.


Supported Illinois Science Standards: K-LS1-1, K-ESS2-2, K-ESS3-1, K-ESS3-3, 1-LS1-1, 1-LS3-1, 2-LS4-1, 3-LS4-3, and 4-LS1-1

Rental fee: $20 residents/$40 nonresidents

Damage deposit: $25

Late return fee: $10/day

Call 847-968-3321 to book. Pick-up and return are available at Ryerson Woods in Riverwoods, or at our General Offices in Libertyville.

Science Explorers in Nature

Science Explorers in Nature inspires middle school students from underserved communities to embrace science and advanced education opportunities. Each year, 36 students participate in this free four-week program. Students conduct hands-on scientific experiments, explore Lake County’s biodiversity and participate in team learning activities. Learn more »

Leave No Child Inside

This Chicago Wilderness initiative aims to connect kids with nature and the outdoors. Learn more »

Fort Sheridan | Middle School Curriculum

Fort Sheridan's rich military history and unique natural resources provide an ideal backdrop for studying topics relevant in today's social studies, science and language arts classrooms. You can download lesson plans and supporting photo cards below, or request a complete educator's kit, available for free to instructors of middle school-level students. Call 847-968-3321 or email us for details.

Teacher Professional Development

Our educators offer a Teacher Open House in the fall and trainings throughout the year. Learn about programs and educational resources for your class, and take part in teacher training sessions with our education staff. Up to two Teaching Training Hours available. Check our calendar for open house date or subscribe to our educator email list for updates.

Documents and Forms

Follow the links below to download release and grant forms, and pre and post program activities. 

Waiver/Release Forms

Environmental Education Resources

Museum Education Resource