The Science Explorers in Nature program combines STEM learning with outdoor exploration. It is run through the Lake County Forest Preserves and helps students learn about nature in Lake County and potential science careers.  It is led by a certified science teacher and an Environmental Educator from the Lake County Forest Preserves. These highly qualified educators teach inquiry-based, STEM activities that support Illinois Learning Standards.





Who can participate and what is the cost?

Any current 6–8th grader from the Beach Lake, Gavin, North Chicago, Round Lake, Waukegan, or Zion School Districts can participate. The program is free, this includes the program itself, bussing, lunch, snacks and program materials.

What are the dates and times?

The program runs Monday–Friday from 9 am–3 pm, June 15–July 10, 2020 (no attendance on July 3). Busses pick-up & drop-off students from local middle schools from School Districts in Beach Park, Diamond Lake, Fox Lake, Gavin, North Chicago, Round Lake, Waukegan, and Zion.

What is the topic?

We rotate subjects every three years so students never repeat the same topic. This yearwill focus on Engineering in Nature through interactive activities, field trips to various preserves, and a collaborative science research project.

What kind of activities will students do?

Each day has different activities but can include: engineering builds, field trips to local forest preserves, talking to scientist and nature study. We also include team building activities to help the students develop teamwork skills, which helps them as they create theircollaborative science research project.

Where is it located?

Although our main teaching site is at the Greenbelt Forest Preserve in North Chicago, we also go off-site on 3 field trips to forest preserves all over Lake County. We have access to a building on-site and spend time both inside and outside every day, unless weather prohibits us from doing so.

How do students apply?

To apply for Science Explorers in Nature, you must submit:

  • Completed application/agreement form signed by the student and parent or guardian.
  • Completed student questionnaire form, filled out by the student.
  • Completed recommendation form, preferably from a science teacher or community leader (pastor, youth group leader, etc.) who knows you well and is not related to you.
  • Provide a copy of the student’s most recent report card.

Submit all application components to:

Lake County Forest Preserves
SEN Forms
1899 W. Winchester Road
Libertyville, IL 60048

Or email to:

Applications must be postmarked or received by Friday, April 17, 2020 and decision letters will go out by May 1, 2020.

What if I have questions?

Contact the program coordinator, April Vaos, at 847-968-3368 or with any questions.

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