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For the Young or Young at Heart

Day 1 - Science and Art

Situated on 1,500 beautiful, wooded acres and surrounded by the Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve, Argonne National Laboratory is one of the nation's leading federally funded research and development centers. Argonne National Laboratory, one of the U.S. Department of Energy's oldest and largest national laboratories for science and engineering research, employs roughly 3,200 employees, including about 1,000 scientists and engineers, three-quarters of whom hold doctoral degrees. Argonne welcomes all members of the public age 16 or older to take guided tours of our scientific and engineering facilities and grounds. Tours last about two and a half hours. For children under 16, Argonne offers a range of hands-on learning activities suitable for K-12 field trips and scout outings. A popular stop on Argonne tours is the Advanced Photon Source (APS), which produces the most brilliant X-ray beams in the Western Hemisphere. More than 3,500 scientists and engineers from all over the world conduct research at the APS. See page 2 for the Learning Lab Activities (on-site activities for visiting school classes and organizational groups).

It's a small leap from science to art. After lunch visit the internationally known Nathan Manilow Sculpture Park and Lotton Art Glass.


  • Encounter major works by masters of contemporary sculpture at the Nathan Manilow Sculpture Park. Established 30 years ago, the park has grown into a major collection of 27 works that is set within the wild prairie swales of the Governors State University campus. Events and programs which build an appreciation and understanding of contemporary sculpture and highlight the surrounding landscape are scheduled year 'round. Tours of the park are presented free of charge by dedicated docents and offer the opportunity for groups to encounter the work in a relaxed atmosphere. Whether you are connecting to us from around the corner or around the world, you are invited to visit the park, feel the wind in your hair and the sun in your face and experience the nature of sculpture.


  • Your group will be welcomed at the Lotton Art Glass, the studios of Charles Lotton and his son Daniel. The studio artists are Jerry Heer and Scott Bayless. Their business began in 1970 with prayers and dreams when Charles began in his backyard teaching himself the art of glassblowing. Today you can find Charles experimenting with some of the most breathtaking colors in the world. The chemistry of Charles is unique to Lotton Glass. They are one of the very few studios in the world to start with sand. Each artist has found his own style or niche you might say that produces some of the finest glass made in the world today. Few could foresee that Charles' works today would permanently grace hundreds of museum collections. His honored collectors have followed him through 40 years of glassmaking, watching the incredible progression of design in his work. Last year, 2010, marked Charles' 40th year in glass.

    Rent out Frankfort Bowl, cater in dinner and let your group bowl the evening away. Situated in the historic district of Frankfort, this 1947 bowling alley offers six lanes of bowling fun and three championship pool tables. Whole facility rentals are available. Please note: the bowling alley is on the second floor and is not handicap accessible.

    Day 2 - Teams

    Let them design a teambuilding program for your group! Irons Oaks Environmental Learning Center offers a wide range of custom designed programs. Their teambuilding programs, the Teams Challenge Course, High Ropes Course, Climbing Tower and Power Pole, can be combined with one another or a wide variety of other programs. Inspire teamwork with a Service-Learning experience. Let Irons Oaks customize a service-learning project, which combines the experiential elements of learning effective teambuilding skills, along with a hands-on learning project. Or create a truly multidisciplinary Environmental Program with their Teams Challenge Course and High Elements. This program combines cooperative games, or teams challenges with their interactive educational programming. Other Irons Oaks programs include habitat hikes, pond field days, Illinois biodiversity, bird-watching, the caring classroom and much more! Irons Oaks can also provide road shows: enjoy the benefits of the Teams Challenge Course in the comfort and convenience of your group's hotel.

    After learning how to be a "team", it's off to a "team" sporting event. Take them to SeatGeek Stadium, where your group can watch the Chicago Fire chase the MLS Cup or a take short drive to Guaranteed Rate Field to cheer on the Chicago White Sox!


  • The Chicago Fire is an American professional soccer club based in the Chicago suburb of Bridgeview, Illinois. The team competes in Major League Soccer (MLS), the top soccer league in the United States and Canada. The organization is named for the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, and was founded on October 8, 1997; the event's 126th anniversary. In their first league season in 1998, the Fire won the MLS Cup as well as the U.S. Open Cup (the "double"). They have also won U.S. Open Cups in 2000, 2003, and 2006; in addition to the 2003 MLS Supporters' Shield. The Fire maintains an extensive development system, consisting of the Chicago Fire Premier (Premier Development League and Super-20 League teams), the Chicago Fire NPSL team, the Chicago Fire Development Academy, and the Chicago Fire Juniors youth organization. They also operate the Chicago Fire Foundation, the team's community-based charitable division. Toyota Park is the Fire's home stadium.


  • The Chicago White Sox is a Major League Baseball team based in Chicago. The White Sox play in the American League's Central Division. Since 1991, the White Sox have played in New Comiskey Park to later change to US Cellular Field to what is now Guaranteed Rate Field. The White Sox last won the World Series in 2005 when they played the Houston Astros and swept them in four games. One of the American League's eight charter franchises, the Chicago team was established as a major league baseball club in 1900. The club was originally called the Chicago White Stockings, and was soon shortened to Chicago White Sox, because it was believed to have been because the paper would shorten it to Sox in the headlines.

    Argonne National Lab - Learning Lab Activities (on-site activities for visiting school classes & organizational groups)

    4th- 8th grades

  • Calculator Based Learning (CBL's) - Experiments involve temperature probe, light probe, conductivity probe and various other probes for students to collect and interpret data.


  • Energy Bike/Energy Efficient Lighting - Use "pedal power" on the Energy Bike to generate enough electricity to power a set of light bulbs or a hair dryer.


  • Forensics - Become a crime scene investigator. Analyze evidence to solve "The Case of the Missing Microscope." Analyze fingerprints, shoe and tire prints, hair samples, powders and security logs to identify the culprit.


  • Introduction to Chemistry - "Vitamin C Testing"-Students use a laboratory technique called "titration" to test various fruit drinks and beverages for relative vitamin C content.


  • Microscopy - Hands-on lessons, uses, illumination techniques and history of the microscope. Observe specimen slides. If time allow: preparation of slides.


  • Physical Science Activities - Various activities to introduce physical science terms and concepts.


  • Scientific Method - Using hand-on physical science activities and real world science, students learn how experiments are designed based on the scientific method as used by scientists at Argonne National Laboratory.


  • Science of Toys - Discover how toys are designed around science concepts and principles. Investigate how these laws and principles are part of the students' everyday life.


  • Sound Energy - Experiments and demonstrations of sound and sound energy. How we make and hear sound, how fast sound travels, scientists of sound, sound vocabulary.


  • Spectrophotometers - Use advanced equipment to compare the relationship between light/color, how it is absorbed/transmitted and how color is determined.


  • Superconductivity - An exciting demonstration where students observe magnetic levitation using liquid nitrogen. See how materials behave under cold temperatures.


  • X-ray Fluorescence - A nondestructive technique that determines the elemental composition of solid objects.

    High School

  • Advanced Spectrophotometers - Determine the concentration of an unknown solution through its transmittance and determine its molarity.


  • Calculator Based Learning (CBL's) - Measuring: pH, phase changes, endothermic/exothermic reactions, chemical reactions, Boyle's Law, Beer's Law and various other probes for students to collect and interpret data.


  • Electrophoresis - Use gel electrophoresis to separate food coloring based on charge and molecular weight.


  • Introduction to DNA Spooling DNA - acquired from a fruit solution.


  • Superconductivity - An exciting demonstration where students observe magnetic levitation using liquid nitrogen. See how materials behave under cold temperatures.


  • X-ray Fluorescence - A nondestructive technique that determines the elemental composition of solid objects (e.g. jewelry) and artifacts. ** Please note: Itinerary may be modified to meet your group’s specific needs. Locations and selections are subject to availability. Please contact Tobie at Tobie@VisitChicagoSouthland.com or 708-895-8200 to obtain current pricing and confirmation of dates and locations.


Argonne National Laboratory


Nathan Manilow Sculpture Park


Lotton Art Glass


Irons Oaks Environmental Learning Center


Chicago Fire


Chicago White Sox

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