2012 Chicago Wilderness Congress

BYNC, New Trier H.S. and Glencoe School District gave a spectacular presentation of the SCN program at the Chicago Wilderness 8th Biennial Congress held at UIC in November 2012. It received rave reviews! "I thought the session was very valuable," said an attendee in The Columbia Chronicle. Presenters of the SCN model and practice were:

Daniel Kielson, BYNC, dkielson@backyardnaturecenter.org

Robyn Ward, New Trier High School, wardr@newtrier.k12.il.us

Catherine Wang, Glencoe School District #35, wangc@glencoeschools.org

Neil Couturier, Glencoe School District #35, couturin@glencoeschools.org

Kiim Dwan-Collins, Glencoe School District #35, dwank@glencoeschools.org


Watch the video below to hear the panelists answer questions from audience members during the Question & Answer session! 

Click to view photos of select sessions and speakers from the 2012 Congress

BackYard Nature Center (BYNC) was notified by the Chicago Wilderness Planning Committee in June of 2012 that the "Science Curricula in Nature: The Model and the Practice," presentation proposal had been selected for a 75-minute session at the 8th Biennial Congress of the Chicago Wilderness, held at the University of Illinois at Chicago. The selection process was highly selective with over 70 proposals submitted.

The Science Curricula in Nature (SCN) program focuses on the educational relationship between a school’s science curricula and the natural ecosystem in its “backyard.” It is the collaboration of ecologists working with science teachers to develop lesson plans that enhance the learning experience for students by using the local forest preserves as classroom laboratories.

Part 1 of Congress Presentation presented the SCN Program as a replicable model, a sequential set of steps necessary to develop and implement the Program. Part 2 described the SCN Program undertaken by the New Trier High School (NTHS) Science Department; during the 2011-12 academic year, 550 biology and geoscience students went into the “field” to augment their science laboratory experience. Part 3 described the Program from a different perspective -- 170 seventh grade Glencoe Middle School students spent a full classroom day in the woods that included both an academic theme and one of stewardship.