Students Gain Experience with Nature and Science at Field Exploration Event

Nearly 100 girls from three South Side high schools explored native habitats and performed chemistry tests to assess water quality at Flatfoot Lake in Beaubien Woods this month. 

Chicago River Schools Network 

The field exploration event was a collaboration of the Chicago River Schools Network (CRSN) and Girls 4 Science, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping girls overcome barriers to success in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).

The CRSN and Girls 4 Science have partnered together over the last 12 years to help girls in the Chicago area gain experience with nature and science. 

“We are so proud of our collaboration with Friends of the Chicago River,” said Jackie Lomax, executive director of Girls 4 Science. “Everything about our work with Friends is inclusive and creates opportunities for the students to immerse themselves in real-world STEM activities related to water chemistry.”

In addition to water quality testing, students donned hip waders and used nets in the water to conduct a study of macroinvertebrates; they also participated in a habitat scavenger hunt to use their observation skills in nature.

“The great work of Girls 4 Science pairs well with the curriculum of the Chicago River Schools Network to introduce biology, chemistry, and environmental stewardship through on-the-ground work in the river system,” said Friends’ Ecology Outreach Manager Mark Hauser who leads the CRSN.    

CRSN resources include lesson plans and activities centered on the Chicago-Calumet River system, and learn more about the Chicago River from Mark Hauser on our “Chicago River Talks” series on our YouTube channel.

You can also view a video of the event filmed by Kana Hutchens for her Connecting the Dots Project. Kana is a student at Walter Payton High School in Chicago.