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Visit Conservation World during the Illinois State Fair
Be sure to visit Conservation World during the Illinois State Fair in Springfield. The theme for 2015 is “Habitat Helpers!” You can learn what to do to benefit wildlife species, and you can start by growing plants to provide food for native pollinators. The first 5,700 families to visit the Illinois Department of Natural Resources’ (IDNR) Division of Education’s tent will receive a packet of seeds from native plants that are beneficial to pollinator insects. Conservation World will be open daily from 10:00 a.m. through 7:00 p.m., August 14-23, 2015. http://www.agr.state.il.us/isf/maps/
Coming Soon: Interactive, Searchable Lessons Index
The IDNR Division of Education will be adding a section to the Web site that will easily allow educators to search for lessons to support the curriculum. You’ll be able to search by topic, learning standard (Common Core, Next Generation Science Standard, Illinois Early Learning and Development), grade level, subject area or any combination of these items. You can quickly determine if an IDNR lesson will meet your teaching needs by reading the description and clicking on the link to the lesson. All lessons were developed with learning standards as their foundation. Start using these Illinois-specific lessons soon! The link to the Web page will be posted at http://dnr.state.il.us/education/ when the page is ready for use.
Apex Predators in Illinois is the newest video podcast available from the IDNR Division of Education. You can access it and all of the other educational video podcasts at http://dnr.state.il.us/education/podcasts.htm or through YouTube. The Habitat Helpers! and Habitats are Homes video podcasts will be added soon.
IDNR Division of Education Webinars
Upcoming Webinars from the IDNR Division of Education include Why Should I Use an Illinois Wild Mammals Resources Trunk? on July 28, 2015, and Habitat Helpers! on August 25, 2015. Both Webinars will be held from 3:30 p.m. through 4:30 p.m. For the July 28 Webinar, we’ll discuss the contents of the Illinois Wild Mammals resources trunk, how they relate to Next Generation Science Standards and lessons developed to use with the trunk contents. We’ll also look at the new interactive learning standards page on the IDNR Division of Education’s Web site. On August 25, we’ll explain how you can help wildlife through positive actions to enhance habitat. The Illinois Schoolyard Habitat Action Grant as a funding source for such projects will also be discussed. Login information for both Webinars will be posted at http://dnr.state.il.us/education on the morning of the Webinar.
Kids for Conservation® for August: Habitat Helpers!
The IDNR Division of Education’s Kids for Conservation® program is requesting information monthly from Illinois youth (younger than age 18). We will feature photos, stories/poems/artwork and a map with locations highlighted about the monthly topic. All submissions must be the products of Illinois youth. Visit http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/outreach/kidsconservation/Pages/default.aspx for details. Kids for Conservation® is great for schools, youth groups and families to participate in. The August topic is Habitat Helpers! Send us photos of what you have been doing to provide habitat for wildlife (please don’t include people in the photos), the county where you took this action and stories about wildlife you have seen in this habitat, and we’ll post them on our Web page. The September topic is Mourning Doves.
IDNR Division of Education Grant Applications
The IDNR Division of Education offers two grant programs: the Illinois Biodiversity Field Trip Grant; and the Schoolyard Habitat Action Grant. Application forms and instructions for both programs are posted at http://dnr.illinois.gov/education/CLASSRM/grants.htm. Why wait until the deadline? Start working on your applications now! Video podcasts are available on this Web site, too, to provide tips for completing the application form and to help answer questions you may have. All funding for these grants is donated. We thank the Independence Tube Corporation of Bedford Park, Daniel F. and Ada L. Rice Foundation of Skokie, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Partners for Fish and Wildlife program and the Illinois Conservation Foundation for their continued support.
IDNR’s Resources Trunks and Packs: Make Your Reservation Now!
Resources trunks and packs for loan from the IDNR are wonderful for use to support teaching lessons, with scout troops, with 4-H groups and for other educational activities. The topics include: amphibians and reptiles; aquatics; birds; fossils; state symbols; insects/spiders; invasive species; mammals; Native Americans; prairies; and trees. The Field Trip Pack is designed for exploring nature with young children. Let the IDNR’s resources trunks and packs provide you with the teaching tools that you need. Our Standards Web page (http://dnr.state.il.us/education/standards.htm) includes lessons based on the trunks and the Next Generation Science Standards as well. The trunks and packs are available at lending locations statewide. Visit http://dnr.state.il.us/education/CLASSRM/teach.htm for links to all of the resources trunks and packs. Several lending locations have recently been added or updated, so be sure to check the list for changes in your area.
Upcoming ENTICE Professional Development Schedule
Register now for upcoming ENTICE (Environment and Nature Training Institute for Conservation Education) workshops from the IDNR. ENTICE workshops offer training on Illinois-specific topics and supply you with the tools needed to implement the topic into your curriculum immediately. Participants learn from resources professionals, take part in activities and spend time outdoors (where appropriate). Professional Development Hours are available at all ENTICE workshops. Listed below are the workshops scheduled through February 27, 2016. For workshop details and to register, visit https://www.enticeworkshops.com.
Monarch Mania!, Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe, August 29, 2015 Registration will close at 8:00 a.m. on August 20, 2015, or sooner if the maximum registration number is reached before then.
Introducing Early Childhood Students to Nature, Dickson Mounds Museum, Lewistown, September 12, 2015
Illinois Biodiversity 101, Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, Chicago, September 12, 2015
Schoolyard Wildlife Habitat Development, Online, September 14-27, 2015
Introducing Early Childhood Students to Nature, Kendall County Forest Preserve District, Yorkville, September 19, 2015
Tree Homes, The Morton Arboretum, Lisle, September 19, 2015
Illinois Butterflies and Moths, Mayslake Peabody Estate, Oak Brook, September 25, 2015
Illinois Prairies, Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe, October 17, 2015
Introducing Early Childhood Students to the Nature of Fall, U.S. Forest Service Office, Harrisburg, October 24, 2015
Winter Wildlife on the Prairie, Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie, Wilmington, November 14, 2015
Illinois Prairies 101, Online, January 11-24, 2016.
Illinois Aquatics 101, Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, Chicago, February 13, 2016
Wildlife Basics for Early Childhood Educators, Trailside Museum of Natural History, River Forest, February 27, 2016
Central Illinois Educators: Fishing and Aquatic Ecology Programs Now Available from the IDNR
Educators, if you teach in any of the following counties, the IDNR can help you bring hands-on aquatic education to your students. These programs work to develop positive attitudes towards natural resources, conservation and fishing in young people. Lessons align with the state and national learning standards and are adapted to all grade levels. For more information or to schedule a program, contact Van Grissom at 217-720-3501 or email@example.com.
Adams, Brown, Cass, Champaign, Christian, Clark, Coles, Cumberland, De Witt, Douglas, Edgar, Ford, Hancock, Iroquois, Livingston, Logan, Macon, Mason, McLean, Menard, Morgan, Moultrie, Piatt, Sangamon, Schuyler, Scott, Shelby, Vermillion
Summer Programs from Dickson Mounds Museum
For more information, contact Dickson Mounds Museum in Lewistown at 309-547-3721 or visit http://www.museum.state.il.us/events/. All events are free of charge unless a fee is indicated in the descriptions below. Donations are always appreciated.
Adults and their tots will have fun exploring, discovering and learning on the first Thursday of the month from 9:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. in the Museum’s Discovery Center. Spend quality time with your tot while each of you makes new friends. A different topic and craft will be featured each month. Registration is not required and admission is free. Participants will enjoy light refreshments. This program series is sponsored by Better Banks of Astoria, Bistro 101, Cass Communications, Davis Buick GMC, Davis Ford, Havana National Bank, MidAmerica National Bank and Vaughn’s Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning. Topics are as follows: August-4-H’s Animal Friends.
Project Squirrel Mobile Phone App
With the Project Squirrel mobile phone app, your students can easily become involved in citizen science activities that can be incorporated into lessons to support the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). The app is free and both Apple and Android versions are available. Go to iTunes or the Google Play Store and download the app today. All citizens can take part in the data collection. You can learn more about Project Squirrel at http://www.projectsquirrel.org/. The Project Squirrel mobile phone app is sponsored by the Chicago Academy of Science’s Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, the IDNR, the University of Illinois at Chicago and Motorola. Correlations to Next Generation Science Standards are available at http://dnr.state.il.us/education/standards.htm.
Dickson Mounds Museum Offers Workshops for Teachers
Educators! Gather together and schedule a workshop at Dickson Mounds Museum in Lewistown, Illinois. Workshops may be a half- or full-day experience and include a behind-the-scenes look at the museum, facility tours and hands-on activities, including archaeological work, nature observation, hiking, canoeing and biological laboratory work. See what kinds of opportunities Dickson Mounds and its Emiquon partners, The Nature Conservancy, University of Illinois at Springfield Therkildsen Field Station at Emiquon and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have to offer youth and adults. A minimum of six teachers is required per workshop. Dickson Mounds Museum, a branch of the Illinois State Museum and a National Historic Site, is one of the major on-site archaeological museums in the United States. It offers a unique opportunity to explore the world of the American Indian in an awe inspiring journey through 12,000 years of human experience in the Illinois River Valley. Dickson Mounds Museum's workshops provide Professional Development Hours. Workshops may be tailored upon request. Contact Curator of Education Christa Christensen by phone at 309-547-3721 or firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule your workshop or for more information. Also, visit http://www.museum.state.il.us/events/ for current program and event listings.
Do you need Illinois-specific, scientifically based resources to support your lessons? Then visit the IDNR Publications Order Form at http://dnr.state.il.us/teachkids. You’ll find activity books, posters and many other publications available to download and/or order. Many of the publications have a Spanish-language version, too.
IDNR Division of Education List Server
Educators throughout Illinois can obtain instant notification about new products, scheduled workshops and many other events and items from the IDNR through the IDNR Division of Education's electronic list server. By participating in the list server, you will receive email messages when new educational materials are available from the IDNR. You'll also be made aware of upcoming workshops and special opportunities. To join the list, send an email to email@example.com. You do not need to write any text in the message or the subject line. You may leave the list at any time by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. You do not need to write any text in the message or the subject line. There is no charge to participate. Messages are usually titled "Items of Possible Interest" in the subject line.
We’re on Facebook!
Visit our Facebook page to find the latest updates about the materials and programs of the IDNR Education Section. You’ll also find images from ENTICE workshops! Search for “Illinois Department of Natural Resources Division of Education.”
Illinois Trapper Education Online Course
The IDNR offers an online course for those interested in learning to trap. People who are required to complete a course before purchasing a trapping license have two choices. They can take a full-day course in the classroom or complete half of the requirement online and half in the classroom, where they learn hands-on skills such as setting traps and preparing pelts for sale.
Courses are free. The IDNR encourages all trappers, regardless of age, to take a course. First-time trappers under 18 years of age must complete a course and pass a written exam before they are allowed to purchase a trapping license. Those under 16 years of age must also have written permission from a parent or guardian before purchasing a license.
Illinois Trapper Education Online (http://trappered.com) covers topics such as trapping equipment, laws and ethics through online film clips, reading materials, quizzes, photos and illustrations. Students can exit the course and resume work where they left off at any time. The course is accessible using a basic dial-up connection, although high speed connections work best.
At the end of the Internet course, students must successfully complete the final exam online and download a printable document of completion. Students must present the document when attending the four-hour training session with instructors. To locate an instructor-taught course, visit http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/safety/Pages/default.aspx or call 1-800-832-2599. The Ameritech Relay for the deaf and hearing impaired is 1-800-526-0844.
Wild Illinois History Leads Students on a Journey to Learn About History and Wildlife Conservation
The IDNR is offering a "virtual" trip for late-elementary schoolteachers, students and their parents. With a few mouse clicks, students can journey back to the earliest days of the Illinois Territory when voyageurs and Native Americans hunted the prairies, forests and rivers. Wild Illinois History helps students in grades three through five focus on early French exploration, along with river and settlement geography. Students can learn how wildlife helped Native Americans and early settlers survive. They also can see how wildlife is a part of our lives today. A fictional French trapper in the 18th century Illinois Territory leads students on the trip. Brief story-telling slideshows are mixed with fun, interactive activities. For teachers, Wild Illinois History offers lesson plans, activities, photos, posters and correlations to Illinois Learning Standards. Try it out at http://www.wildillinois.org/. For more information, contact Bob Bluett, IDNR Wildlife Diversity Coordinator at 217-782-7580 or email@example.com.