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Lake County Forest Preserves | Preservation, Restoration, Education and Recreation


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Science Explorers in Nature



Science Explorers in Nature is a free summer science enrichment program designed for Lake County youth from underserved communities who are currently in grades 6–8. Students spend one month exploring the natural world and learning about potential careers in the sciences.

Students from selected schools may enroll in the four-week session that takes place at Greenbelt Cultural Center in North Chicago Monday–Friday, 9 am–3 pm. A school bus route with stops at participating schools provides transportation starting as early as 7:30 am to bring students to the Center by 9 am. Students are provided with all materials they need to participate, including free snacks and lunch every day of the program.


What do students do?

  • Explore outside taking part in hands-on science activities
  • Discover local forest preserves to learn about natural areas including prairies, woods, and wetlands
  • Talk to a variety of scientists and field experts
  • Conduct their own scientific research project and prepare a presentation for the parent open house

Who can participate?

Eligible students currently in grades 6–8 in a Lake County school. Priority is given to students from select schools and to returning students. Students and parents must commit to all four weeks of the program and agree to provide their own transportation to one of our designated middle school bus stops in Zion, Beach Park, North Chicago, Waukegan, Round Lake, Diamond Lake/Mundelein, Fox Lake or Ingleside, or to the Greenbelt Cultural Center. There is no supervision at these school bus stops.

How do students apply?

To apply to 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 by email to or by mail to:

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

Who do I contact with questions?

Contact April Vaos at 847-968-3368 or with any questions.




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