Local STEM Resources for Teachers
We are fortunate to work in a county which abounds with organizations that can provide professional learning, knowledgeable staff, items that can be borrowed for classroom use, speakers, and field trip sites. We list some of those organizations here, mostly in alpha order.
If you have another local resource you like, please send their contact information along with a brief statement about what they provide, to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our STEM Squad has classroom activity supplies that you can borrow, at no cost! We will deliver them to you, and pick them up. Click to see our STEM Trunks.
Check out this link for Educator Workshops, TIDE courses, Professional Networks, and other events of interest to educators.
Our own “neighborhood” US Department of Energy Lab offers K-12 programming, such as the Middle School Science Bowl and the Rube Goldberg Competition, as well as workshops and summer institutes for teachers. You’ll find a calendar of activities, the NEWTON Ask a Scientist link, and field trip info among much more at their site.
Located in Naperville on the McDonald Farm, their mission is to preserve open space and natural lands, protect rivers and watersheds, and promote stewardship of our environment in DuPage, Kane, Kendall, and Will Counties. Take a look at their education programming.
They also house The Green Earth Harvest, which began as an organic food co-op or CSA (Community Sponsored Agriculture), and has now grown to offer educational programming, in addition to their delicious and nutritious organic fruits and vegetables.
The Farm Bureau hosts Agriculture in the Classroom, a statewide program to promote awareness of the importance of agriculture to all of us. They schedule classroom visits, publish a host of magazines for classroom use, and more. Call them at: 630.668.8161 or check out this link for their resources for educators.
If you are looking to integrate an authentic topic into your STEM study, check out this County group. Your exploration into water quality, weather, engineering, ecology, environmental protection, or geography could connect with storm water management. You can access DuPage County data that could be useful for math lessons, too. And you would be educating your students in being aware and responsible citizens all the while. There are many external links to check out as well.
You probably know of Fermilab as a world famous particle physics laboratory, right next door in Batavia. Did you know that they offer professional development for teachers, as well as field trips, study units, special classes, and research participation for your students? They also house an extensive STEM and NGSS resource center for teachers. Drop in during the week or schedule a Saturday appointment.
You can sign up for their Science Next Door community newsletter.
DuPage County’s Forest Preserve District offers places to go and things to do for you and your students. A wealth of information can be found at their website, or subscribe to their newsletter which features monthly updates on resources for classrooms, professional development workshops they present, as well as courses and field experiences for educators.
They house Illinois Department of Natural Resources’ Resource Trunks as well as their own. Call 630.206.9586 to borrow them for 2 weeks.
With headquarters in Springfield, they’re not exactly local, but they will send you posters, trading cards, they offer field trip grants, and more.
Close to DuPage County, their teaching resources “STEM a la Carte” and “Snack Boxes,” provide STEM focused lessons and activities categorized by grade level. You can also contact an e-learning specialist at the site. Check out their Professional Development opportunities.
Housing over 10,000 specimens, this is a small and wonderful natural history museum located on the second floor of the Birck Hall of Science at Benedictine University in Lisle. They have Discovery Boxes to loan as well as the IDNR Resource Trunks. Museum educators offer free tours and will customize activities for your group. Call 630.829.6569 or get more info online.
Founded in 1922 in Lisle, visitors will find trees, shrubs, and other plants from around the world beautifully displayed. The Arboretum maintains living collections, greenhouses, research laboratories, and a thriving education department. Take a look at their programs for teachers and students. They also lend out IDNR Resource Trunks.
SCARCE is an acronym for School and Community Assistance for Recycling and Composting Education. Their mission is to inspire people, through education, to preserve & care for the Earth’s natural resources, while working to build sustainable communities. In addition to education programming, they offer used books and myriad supplies for teachers. Located in Addison, you can contact them at 630. 545.9710 or check out their website.
Look through the variety of resources for K-5 science and social studies classrooms within the Schools Online section of their website. Topics include gardening, trees, weather, nutrition, Asian cultures, and more. Curriculum supplements, such as Dr. Arbor Talks Trees, are comprised of webpages with facts, activities, teachers’ guides, web links, glossaries, and YouTube links.