In-school programs

School program requests for the 2023-2024 school year are closed. The Forest Preserve District will begin accepting requests for the 2024-2025 school year on Aug. 4. Virtual programs, in-school programs and field trips will be available Sept. 4 through June 6, 2025.

In-school programs are available for Will County schools to assist you in your teaching. These programs are STEM strong and aligned with Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards. If you have questions pertaining to these standards as they relate to school programs, please contact Four Rivers Environmental Education Center, Isle a la Cache Museum or Plum Creek Nature Center. All programs are presented by our team of professional and knowledgeable naturalists. 

Requests are time stamped and queued in the order they are received. Please note that submission of a request form does not guarantee a reservation. Request forms are processed in a first-come, first-served order.

In-school programs are available Will County schools. The fee is $40 for the first program per day and $10 for the second and third programs held on the same day. Payment is due 10 working days from the issuance of the program permit packet unless other arrangements are made.

Getting Ready for Winter

Grades: K-3
Time: 1 hour
Your students will discover the changes that take place in nature from fall to winter and learn how animals adapt to these changes. Through this program, students will understand the methods and adaptations animals use to survive winter.

Illinois Mammals

Grades: 4-6
Time: 1 hour
In this program, students learn about mammals and their amazing life histories. Discussion includes classification, habitats and food preferences. Students explore local mammal species firsthand by investigating real fur and bone samples.

Jolliet & Marquette: Quest for the Mississippi

Grades: 3-6
Time: 1 hour
This program revisits the travels of Father Jacques Marquette and Louis Jolliet in their expedition down the Mississippi River. Students examine what these two men needed to survive their 2,500-mile voyage and use critical problem-solving skills to learn how their travels and discoveries led to the fur trade era in the Illinois region.

Junior Winter Bird Feeder Challenge

Grades: 3-5
Time: 1 hour each visit
Your students become citizen scientists in this award-winning three-program series. During the first visit, (November-December) students are introduced to local winter birds and the skills needed to observe and record birds. The second visit (January-February) includes a fun, hands-on activity where students discover bird adaptations. In the final visit (March), students apply all they have learned to create a bird species all their own. The final presentation includes discussions of observations and a certificate of participation for each student.  Register your class by submitting a completed program reservation form for the first visit in November. The $120 fee includes three programs, a bird feeder and birdseed. The second and third visits are scheduled once the first visit is secured.

Native American Uses of Nature

Grades: 5-6
Time: 1 hour
Students learn about the Native American tribes that lived in this region before European settlers arrived and the roles that men, women and children played in their family, in work life and in the community. By learning how the Native tribes used raw materials to make tools, build shelters and find food, students gain an understanding of the impact they had on the natural environment.

When Two Worlds Meet

Grades: 3-4
Time: 1 hour
Students will take a hands-on look at the Great Lakes fur trade. They will discuss the value of beaver pelts to the French and trade goods to the Native Americans. They will also explore how these two cultures used different tools and materials to address similar needs.

Whoose Bones?

Grades: 4-6
Time: 1 hour
Turn your classroom into a forensic lab for dissecting and reconstructing the mystery of owl pellets. Students will reveal a food chain and predator-prey relationships right on their desks. 

Here to help

Contact any of the District’s education facilities with questions or for assistance.

Four Rivers Environmental Education Center, Channahon

Isle a la Cache Museum, Romeoville

Plum Creek Nature Center, Crete Township near Beecher