Contact Us

Susan Gasper
Extension Educator, S.T.E.M.
University of Illinois Extension
9415 South Western Avenue, Suite 201
Chicago, IL 60643
Phone: 773-233-2900
FAX: 773-233-9183
smgasper@illinois.edu

Nancy Kreith
Extension Educator, Horticulture
University of Illinois Extension
4747 Lincoln Mall Drive
Suite 601
Matteson, IL 60443
Phone: 708-679-6889
FAX: 708-679-6855
kreith@illinois.edu

Valerie Kehoe
Program Coordinator, Horticulture
University of Illinois Extension
9415 South Western Avenue, Suite 201
Chicago, IL 60643
Phone: 773-233-2900
FAX: 773-233-9183
vkehoe@illinois.edu

Inquiry Adventures Youth Nature Field Trips

Inquiry Adventures Youth Nature Field Trips

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During an Inquiry Adventures field trip, small groups of 5 to 8 youth investigate various aspects of Cook County's natural areas under the guidance of Extension staff and trained Master Naturalist or Master Gardener volunteers. The youth choose their own topic to investigate based on their observations of the nature site. Pre-trip sessions will be conducted to assess children's knowledge and familiarize them with proper forest etiquette. Popular topics include tree surveys, insect counts, pond dips, studies of decaying logs, and plant surveys - but the possibilities are ENDLESS.

Please note that a single trip can accommodate a maximum of 40 youth. The Inquiry Adventures format is geared toward students in grades 5 and up. The Inquiry Adventures program is available to schools and youth organizations in Cook County.

Summer Inquiry Adventures for Youth Organizations

The Inquiry Adventures program is available to day camps, park districts and other organizations that offer programming to youth during the summer. The program format includes:

  • A 1-2 hour orientation session at your site.
  • A 4-5 hour field trip to a nearby Forest Preserves of Cook County site.

Inquiry Adventures for Schools in Session

The Inquiry Adventures program is a great way for students to engage with the practices of science and engineering that are outlined in the Next Generation Science Standards. Teachers that are interested in having their class participate in Inquiry Adventures are strongly encouraged to attend a teacher training session (see http://web.extension.illinois.edu/cook/summerenrichment/). In order to ensure that students get the most out of their experience, the program format for schools includes:

  • A 1-class period introductory session at your school.
  • A 4-5 hour field trip to a nearby Forest Preserves of Cook County site.

To Request a Trip

Please send an email to cook.inquiry.adventures@gmail.com with Field Trip Request as the subject line.  Please give us as much information as possible with respect to dates, days of the week and times; ages and number of youth; potential locations if you have any in mind; and whether or not you will ask for transportation reimbursement.