Thank you Cider Provider, Violet Crime, and Thom Perry!

Truly ecstatic to kick off our GCE Tiny Concert Music Series where we host musicians and bands at our Lincoln Park Campus. Huge thanks to Jed and the guys from Cider Provider, Violet Crime, and Thom Perry – Andersonville folk-artist, street performer and chef, crooning traditional folk tunes accompanied with his own banjo playing. Also, thanks to Jet at Busk & Barrel Records.

If you’re interested in playing a small intimate show, email [email protected]

Field Experience

Urban Farming at Patchwork Farms

The Freshmen in the Food class have been pursuing the guiding question, what does a balanced ecosystem look like?. In the first External investigation of this STEAM course, students are investigating the types of organisms and the interactions between those organisms that are necessary in order to sustain a healthy ecosystem. As a part of this investigation, students are studying the importance of companion plants especially when sustaining a farm in a limited amount of space. To gain more insight into how farmers make the most of their space, the students visited Chicago Patchwork Farms, an urban farm in Humboldt Park. At the farm, the students learned more about the make-up of soil, worked with their hands, and even met a couple of cute farm dogs.


The purpose of this Field Experience is for the students to see an urban farm and to learn about what it takes to sustain one.


The students will tour the space, ask questions, and do some actual work to learn firsthand about farming.

It’s Yearbook Time!

The 2016-2017 GCE Yearbook has just been sent off to the presses and we can’t wait to share them with our community. We made a lot of memories this year and our yearbook is a great way to celebrate each student’s contributions. We are proud to provide every GCE student with a yearbook at no cost. We believe that each student has earned a yearbook to share with their families.

Please consider making a donation to our Yearbook Fund. Your contribution helps to put a yearbook in every student’s hands.

Photo Gallery

It’s All About the Truss

During the first Unit of the Urban Planning course, Juniors investigated the elements necessary to build a strong bridge. The engineers studied examples of bridges in order to understand the concepts of weight and force, tension and compression, and trusses. Equipped with their newfound knowledge, lots of glue, and 60 popsicle sticks, they set out to build a strong, functioning bridge. After days of hard work, the bridges were put to the test with a set of weights. We were blown away by the results.

Photo Gallery

What Happens in Vegas…

We wrapped up Elective term with a trip to Las Vegas! Well, actually, Vegas came to us. The members of the GCE Student Council planned a Vegas-themed community day complete with their version of the Little White Wedding Chapel, an Elvis impersonator, casino games, and tons of ways to spend and lose “money”. It was an afternoon full of love, laughter, and good, old-fashioned competition.

Field Experience

Seeing the World through a Pinhole @ Latin School

Juniors in the Light, Sound, and Time class made pinhole cameras to better understand how our eyes react to light. To test out their homemade cameras, students visited the darkroom at Latin School. Photography teacher, Betty Lark Ross has hosted us three years in a row and we are so fortunate to learn from her. Another successful year investigating light in the darkroom.


The purpose of this FE is to take what we learned about how cameras work, and to see it in action.


We will be talking to an expert about how cameras work, and seeing a darkroom in person.

GCE Featured on tastytrade’s Bootstrapping in America

Huge thanks to the guys at tastytrade!

tastytrade is a real financial network, producing 8.5 hours of live programming every weekday, Monday – Friday. Follow along as our experts navigate the markets, provide actionable trading insights, and teach you how to trade. With over 50 original segments, and over 20 personalities, we’ll help you take your trading to the next level, whether you are new to trading or a seasoned veteran.

Featured Scholars: Genesis, Maddie, and Manny

A little over a year ago, nearly fifty friends and family came together to honor the life of a beloved mother, wife, philanthropist, and educator by donating to the Carolyn McLaughlin Memorial Fund (CMMF). This fund made it possible for three of our students to access GCE Lab School’s world-class education through scholarships for tuition, field experiences, and technology. Gratitude to all of our CMMF donors for making this possible!

The Carolyn McLaughlin Memorial Fund is part of UrbanX Learning’s (formerly GCE Foundation) initiative to support students with world-class, project-based education.

Your donations help continue support while providing opportunities to additional students.

Chicago Area Educators Reflect on GCE’s Model

Through a partnership with UrbanX Learning, GCE Lab School implemented our curriculum at five schools across Chicago as a part of our Summer Institute. In running this program, our professional development team hoped to provide educators with the tools to genuinely take on the task of implementing more inquiry- and project-based instruction in their classes and to create student-centered, dynamic, and purpose-driven courses. Across the board, we observed educators create a shared sense of ownership in their classrooms as students engaged in discussions and hands-on activities with each other. We look forward to future collaborations with many more schools, educators, and students.

Special thanks to our signature program sponsor:




Project-based learning at City Farm in Chicago Field Experience

Sustainability @ City Farm


In unit 3 of the MDGs & You course, students are studying Millennium Development Goals 6, 7, and 8. On their trip to City Farm, students focused on MDG 7 which strives to ensure environmental sustainability.


Students learn about City Farm‘s efforts to use vacant lots for their farming, composting, and recycling programs. They also volunteered as farmers for the day to contribute towards City Farm’s environmental efforts.

Field Experience

Investigative Reporting @ Invisible Institute


The Invisible Institute is a journalistic organization operating on the city’s south side that seeks to not only report news, but also to inspire dialogue. In this sense, it is firmly rooted in the democratic function of journalism, and focuses on investigative reporting that seeks to affect real change in the social and political spheres of Chicago, especially in the areas of police misconduct and corruption. Mr. Kalven has been an expert in the field for decades, and has most recently been producing video testimonies by Chicago youth who’ve experienced racist police tactics as a regular part of life.


Students will take notes and ask questions during the site visit with Mr. Kalven. Prior to the FE, students will have explored the Invisible Institute’s website and a recent article on the killing of a young black male by police in Chicago, and responded to a set of questions about both. This information will contextualize the experience for students and catalyze questions and discussion during the visit.