It was a Smash!

We danced the night away at our first-ever GCE Halloween Dance. HUGE shout-out to Lina Nicklin, parent of Simas and member of the parent association for organizing a spooky night of fun. The members of student council and the dance committee were masters at transforming the school into a ghoulish crime scene. The students wowed with their creative costumes. We had an angel and a devil, Steven Universe and Connie, Agnes from Despicable Me, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a zombie school girl, a deer and a cheetah, and many others. It was such a treat to spend a Saturday night dancing and eating lots of candy with our GCE family.

Field Experience

Feeling Climate Change @ The Lincoln Park Conservatory

In the final unit of the Water class, the Freshman have been investigating the guiding question, How can you utilize water to predict the weather?. In pursuit of an answer, students have been studying precipitation, cloud formation, greenhouse gasses, and climate change. As a part of this investigation, students visited the Lincoln Park Conservatory which houses thousands of plants that thrive in different climates. Students walked through the Palm House, the Fern Room, the Orchid Room, and the Showroom, all of which were set at different temperatures to best mimic the plants’ natural habitats. The Freshman took this opportunity to measure temperatures and humidity levels, and experienced in an immediate way, how climate change feels.


The Freshman walked through the halls of the Lincoln Park Conservatory, experienced climate change, and measured and collected data on temperature.


Students were guided through the halls by a docent who offered insight on why different plants thrive in certain temperatures and how climate change is effecting plants and animals in their natural habitats.

Field Experience

Examining Photojournalism @ The Gage Gallery

In the final unit of the Journalism course, the Seniors have been investigating the guiding question, How does photojournalism help you see the world?. As a part of this investigation, students have been examining the works of famous photojournalists to better understand the elements of an effective photograph. The Seniors visited the Gage Gallery at Roosevelt University to view the exhibit, Steve Schapiro: Civil Rights Era Contact Sheets which showcases a collection of enlarged proof sheets from Steve Schapiro’s work during the civil rights era of the 1960s. Steve Schapiro is an American photographer known for his work documenting key moments of the civil rights movement. The exhibit of mostly unpublished photographs provided the students with a unique behind-the-scenes look at photojournalism.


The purpose of this Field Experience is to investigate the guiding question, What’s the meaning of life… in 1000 words and 1 photo?. The students examined the photographs in the exhibit, Steve Schapiro: Civil Rights Era Contact Sheet and talked to Mike Ensdorf, the gallery director and photography professor at Roosevelt University to better understand the role of photojournalists in educating the public.


The students will examine the photographs and gather inspiration for their own photograph.

Photo Gallery

Rapid Prototyping with James Dyson Foundation

In preparation for their next Action Project, the Juniors in the Design & Engineering class worked with Emily Shuki from the James Dyson Foundation to learn some basic prototyping skills using cardboard, X-Acto knives, markers, and rulers. The students were challenged to create a prototype of an original design that addresses faults in any existing invention. Amongst the designs was a truck that automatically refills potholes, a more efficient CTA train car, and a lap desk suited for bumpy car rides.

Photo Gallery

Let’s Scavenge!

Our perseverance, creativity, physical agility, and collaboration skills were put to the test at this year’s first Community Day. We were presented with a totally epic scavenger hunt that challenged us to act, sing, solve riddles, find and pet a dog, make a trick shot, form a human pyramid, and talk to people in our neighborhood. The results are hilarious and heart-warming.

Field Experiences: We Experience the World

On Wednesday, October 17th, we invited field experience partners to join us for breakfast so we can say thank you for being a partner in education. It meant so much to us to open up our space, for a change, and to share our hopes for the field experience program. The work we do to impart the importance of real-world learning is brought to life with the partneships we cultivate and foster with organizations, companies, and individuals dedicated to providing purposeful and relevant edcuation to students.

Field Experience

Fluttering through Evolution @ the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum

Hello, I’m a Sophmore at GCE Lab School. Recently, our class traveled to the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, founded in 1857 by the Chicago Academy of Sciences. Visiting the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum was riveting; I left with a whole new perspective and new ideas. I now have a better idea of how taxidermy works and what it can do to advance science. I also better understand how evolution works within species to adapt to its surroundings.

We, the Sophomores, in the Population class, have been studying how and why evolution happens. Specifically, we have been looking at evolution through natural selection. We have been observing different animals since our first unit, in which we chose an animal, observed it at the Lincoln Park Zoo, and learned about its taxonomy. For this unit, we were allowed to keep the same animal or branch out to another, but either way, we are to create a hypothetical situation that forces our animals to evolve. We went to the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum to explore how conservation leads to new discoveries at the Beecher Lab, see first hand the variations between the species at the museum, and how butterflies adapt to new surroundings. To learn more about taxidermy and how it helps science we spoke to Annamarie, a taxidermist at the museum!

Field Experience

Studying Motion and Design at On the Route Bikes

Juniors in the Design & Engineering class talked to a bike expert at On The Route Bicycles to learn about the mechanics of bikes and the purposes that different types of bikes serve. On The Route Bicycles is owned by a GCE parent and she strives to run the best bike shop and to do the best repairs in Chicago. In the second unit of this STEAM course, students have been pursuing the guiding question, How do wheels make the world spin?. In their pursuit of an answer, students have been studying the concepts of weight, speed, acceleration, velocity, and mass and their effects on simple machines such as the wheel, the axle, and the pulley.


The purpose of this Field Experience is to investigate the guiding question, How do bicycles impact lives?. The students talked to experts to investigate the evolution of bikes and how they are put together so that they can then design a bike that suits a person’s specific needs.


The students talked to bike shop owner and bike expert, Joanne about the parts that make up a bike, their purpose, and the choices designers make when choosing to use certain parts over others.

LGBT History Month

October is National LGBT History Month. The month is dedicated to observing lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender history and gay rights history. Maeve, class of 2019 started the Pride Club at GCE two years ago with the goal of creating a safe space for LGBTQA students. They have been doing a lot to educate the community about gender identities and queer history. Pride Club stepped up to the soapbox on National Coming Out Day to talk about how to support friends and family members who are coming out. 

Photo Gallery

Chili Conditions

The Freshmen closed out our first rotation of community lunch with a recipe they’ve come to master– chili. This cohort successfully cooked and served chili to the guests at the Lincoln Park Community Shelter as a part of their SDGs & You course and felt confident to recreate the delicious feast. Every member of the community was thoroughly full and impressed by the Freshman’s effort. 

Can’t Go Wrong with Queso

The Juniors embraced the simplicity and versatility of tortillas and cheese to make over 100 quesadillas for community lunch! It was definitely a feat. In addition to the abundance of ooey-gooey quesadillas, the lunch was served with homemade guacamole and salsa AND a brownie bar. We’re loving community lunch as a way for each cohort to show off their creativity and cooking skills. It’s also been a great exercise in accountability, collaboration, and empathy.

Independently Motivated

Citlalli and Veronica, class of 2019 stepped up to the soapbox to facilitate a discussion on what it means to be independently motivated. Genesis, class of 2020 responded thoughtfully by saying, “[Independently motivated means] wanting to do your best not because of the grade, but because you want to push yourself”. Independently motivated is a competency outlined in our Portrait of a GCE Graduate. Independently motivated graduates understand how to set goals, take risks, and motivate themselves to achieve mastery.

Can You Sell a Drum Set?

Rhetoric student, Ayana was challenged to demonstrate her understanding of rhetorical devices in a creative way. She rose to the challenge with a humorous and layered video ad for Ludwig Drums. 

Your purpose in this creative test is to use your knowledge of rhetoric (elements of the situation; appeals; devices) to “re-create” ad copy for your chosen vintage instrument. You are free to use any medium you like: print, audio, video, text, music, animation, etc. Once you have finished your ad, submit it with a paragraph explaining why you made the choices you did regarding the rhetorical situation, appeals, and devices.

Brent Mix, Rhetoric Teacher