Student Congress

The Congress brings students together to share knowledge and celebrate each other's efforts to improve the Chicago River.

Thank you to all the students, teachers, schools, and organizations who attended the 2020 Chicago River Student Congress

This year's event was attended by 351 students and 24 teachers from 36 total schools, including Von Steuben, Lane Tech, Curie, Northside, Hawthorne Academy, Chicago City Day School, Nobel Elementary, Waters Elementary, Loyola Academy, Walt Disney Magnet, Solorio Academy, Drummond Middle School, Budlong Elementary, and many more.

Speakers included Congressman Mike Quigley (IL-5), Alderman Samantha Nugent (39th Ward), and MWRD Commissioners Josina Morita, Cameron Davis and Frank Avila. Thank you for all your support of our students.

We also garnered support from the Forest Preserves of Cook County, the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District, EarthEcho International, Xylem Watermark, the North River Commission, Loyola University, the Fifth House Ensemble, R.E.A.C.H. (Refugee Education and Adventure Challenge). Live reptiles were provided by Jim Galeno's Reptile Road Show.

The 2020 Chicago River Student Congress was held on:
February 29, 2020, at Von Steuben Metro Science Center,
5039 North Kimball Avenue, Chicago, IL 60625

Thank you Von Stueben and principal Jennifer Sutton for hosting the 2020 Congress. We will be returning next year.

This year's theme was "Taking Charge on Climate Change"

Learn the facts about climate change
See the effects of climate change in Illinois
Examine images of the effects of climate change
Take the climate change quiz

If you'd like to have your students teach a workshop, or just attend the next Student Congress in February 2021, please contact our education staff.

Workshops and exhibits should highlight your experiences with the river in some way. We all play a vital role to safeguard the health of the river’s ecosystems for plants, animals, and people. Other topics may also be accepted, but we prefer they fit our theme. 

Thank you to all who participated in the 2020 Chicago River Student Congress. This "conference for kids" allows students come together to celebrate the Chicago River. Students share their knowledge, experiences and enthusiasm with their peers. Students attend informative workshops and view displays created by other students and by professionals from local colleges, non-profits and government agencies.

Students from Gage Park High School take a bow after putting on a skit about water quality

“It was definitely an eye-opener for me. It was great to see students' hard work on display, and I can't wait for my students to represent themselves at next year's Student Congress.”

Efunyemi Vertus, Young Women’s Leadership Charter School