Youth Conservation Action

Photo: Kirk Anne Taylor

The Field Museum's Youth Conservation Action programs translate science into action for students and educators in the Chicago region. Students participate in a consecutive ladder of conservation education programs, linking and building skills and knowledge grade level upon grade level. The Field Museum's Youth Conservation Action programs have grown out of its successful  Calumet Environmental Education Program (CEEP).  Conservation education programs, Mighty Acorns (grades 4-6), Earth Force (grades 7-8), and Calumet Is My Back Yard (grades 9-12), engage young people in scientific, hands-on learning about biodiversity and conservation, resulting in action projects in their own community.

CEEP gets students more excited and motivated... In the past it was, 'open your science books to page... ' now students and I are excited to learn more and explore.

Rosalee, 3rd Grade CEEP Teacher

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Mighty Acorns helps students develop a personal connection to natural areas in their community. Mighty Acorns students visit a local natural area three times a year, participating in exploration of biodiversity, educational activities that illustrate basic ecological concepts, and stewardship activities, such as removing invasive species and spreading native seeds.


Earth Force students develop the skills needed to create long-term solutions to environmental issues in their community. Using a six-step problem-solving curriculum, students choose a local environmental issue — such as toxic cleaning solutions in schools or air pollution — and implement a conservation-action project to address it.

CIMBY builds scientific and leadership skills for high school students. CIMBY students participate in a variety of difference activties throughout the school year, from ecological restoration at an adopted natural area to classroom activities and leadership training workshops that help students to take action to protect local natural areas.

The CEEP Newsletter features recent news, upcoming events, and resources for educators!

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To learn more about our conservation work click here.