Field Experiences

GCE is unique for the way we use our amazing city as a classroom. We’re proud of the way we help students to explore all Chicago has to offer.

The Field Experience (FE) Program exposes students to real-world environments where they explore their interests, apply what they’ve learned in the classroom, and expand their knowledge through firsthand interactions of local and global consequence.

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Fluttering through Evolution @ the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum

By Gimena / October 15, 2018
December 5, 2020 @ 8:21 am CST

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…

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Studying Motion and Design at On the Route Bikes

By Adam Cohen-Leadholm / October 15, 2018
December 5, 2020 @ 8:21 am CST

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…

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Physics in the Garden at Home Depot

By Adam Cohen-Leadholm / September 30, 2018
December 5, 2020 @ 8:21 am CST

Juniors in the Design & Engineering class talked to experts from the gardening department at Home Depot to investigate the physics of gardening tools. In the first unit of this STEAM course, students have been pursuing the guiding question, what lies at the heart of our fundamental drive to create tools?. In their pursuit of…

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Experiencing Visual Rhetoric at the Living Memorial in Marquette Park

By Brent Mix / September 30, 2018
December 5, 2020 @ 8:21 am CST

Juniors in the Rhetoric class met with Alia Bilal from Inner-City Muslim Action Network (IMAN) at the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Living Memorial in Marquette Park. Students have been pursuing the guiding question, how do voices work to unite people, divide opinion, and transcend conflict? In the third unit of this Humanities course, students…

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The Design Process @ Beyond Design

By Adam Cohen-Leadholm / September 30, 2018
December 5, 2020 @ 8:21 am CST

Juniors in the Design & Engineering class met with Michael Prince, the president of Beyond Design. In this STEAM course, students are investigating what it means to be a designer. Through this investigation, students have learned that being a designer is far more than conceptualizing and designing a new product. Being a designer requires empathy,…

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Forced From Home in Daley Plaza

By Sharon Holmes / September 30, 2018
December 5, 2020 @ 8:21 am CST

The Sophomore Stories class and Senior Journalism class visited Forced From Home, an interactive exhibition presented by Doctors Without Borders to educate the public about the refugee crisis. GCE students engaged with stories and materials gathered from refugee camps, sea rescue missions, and emergency medical projects around the world to get closer to the real experiences of…

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Mastering Rhetoric with Troy LaRaviere

By Brent Mix / September 25, 2018
December 5, 2020 @ 8:21 am CST

I first became interested in the work and activism of Troy LaRaviere from hearing and reading news reports (mostly on WBEZ and the Reader) about his refusal to implement educational policies mandated by the mayor and his surrogates in Chicago Public Schools. I found myself swayed by many of the arguments he put forth through…

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Attending to Human Needs @ Lincoln Park Community Shelter

By Brent Mix / September 20, 2018
December 5, 2020 @ 8:21 am CST

Unit I of SDGs & You is entitled Access, and it asks students to investigate the first, second, and fourth Sustainable Development Goals: No Poverty, No Hunger, and Quality Education (respectively). The students’ trip to Lincoln Park Community Shelter to prepare, serve, and eat a meal with the residents there gave them some first-hand experience…

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Carrying Water @ The Chicago River

By Hiu To / September 13, 2018
December 5, 2020 @ 8:21 am CST

Freshmen in the Water class visited the Chicago River to collect water. In the first unit of this STEAM course, students have been pursuing the guiding question, why is water so common yet so rare? . In their pursuit of an answer, students have been learning about the abundance of water found in living organisms…

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Endurance Bootcamp with Sensei Lavin

By Hiu To / May 22, 2018
December 5, 2020 @ 8:21 am CST

The Seniors in the Endurance class have been pursuing the guiding question, how much are you willing to endure to change the world?. In the first unit of this Humanities course, students are investigating endurance as demonstrated by well-known visionaries. Through this investigation, students will find inspiration to set goals and identify a mission for…

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Investigating Organics at Uncommon Ground

By Gimena / May 21, 2018
December 5, 2020 @ 8:21 am CST

Hello, I’m a Freshman at GCE Lab School. Recently, our class traveled to Uncommon Ground at their Devon St. location to see the first certified organic brewery in Illinois, and the first certified organic rooftop farm in the U.S.! Visiting Uncommon Ground was a unique and enlightening adventure; I personally had never seen an actual…

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Urban Farming at Patchwork Farms

By admin / May 10, 2018
December 5, 2020 @ 8:21 am CST

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…

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Urban Foraging with Odd Produce

By Hiu To / May 7, 2018
December 5, 2020 @ 8:21 am CST

Freshmen in the Food For Thought class have been investigating the guiding question, How are food systems shaped and how do they shape the world?. As a part of this investigation, the students have been studying the Agricultural Revolution which led the class to the question, What would it be like to return to humanity’s…

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From Bean to Cup @ Metropolis Coffee Company

By Hiu To / May 1, 2018
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December 5, 2020 @ 8:21 am CST

Freshmen in the Food For Thought class went to Metropolis Coffee Company’s roastery to learn about the life of the Coffee plant. Students were welcomed into the state-of-the art roastery where they got a behind-the-scenes look at each step of the process. Metropolis is dedicated to serving a stellar cup of coffee, but what’s even…

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The Walls As Canvas

By Hiu To / April 26, 2018
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December 5, 2020 @ 8:21 am CST

This Spring term, the students in Art are planning and installing an orginal mural inside the school. Before the muralists begin work on the walls, they must understand why and how murals are created. As a part of this investigation, students vistied muralist, Jeff Zimmermann at his studio in Humboldt Park. Jeff talked about the…

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The Power of Silence

By Hiu To / February 11, 2018
December 5, 2020 @ 8:21 am CST

The Seniors in the Equality class are investigating the guiding question, “How do we investigate in/equality?”. This guiding question will be pursued through two units: History and Herstory. In pursuit of the unit one guiding question, “What is the history of the fight for Equality?”, the students observed and participated in a slient vigil held…

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Examining Our Truth @ Poetry Foundation

By Hiu To / December 6, 2017
December 5, 2020 @ 8:21 am CST

Students in the Poetic Justice course visited the Poetry Foundation to investigate the guiding question, “What story is yours to tell?”. In the first unit of this Humanities Elective course, students have been studying, analyzing, and critiquing political poetry from a range of poets discussing local and global issues. In addition to looking at the poets’…

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Machines vs Humans @ mHUB

By Hiu To / December 6, 2017
December 5, 2020 @ 8:21 am CST

Students in the Rapid Prototyping course visited mHUB to investigate the vast possibilities of rapid prototyping. mHUB is Chicago’s innovation center for physical product development and manufacturing. The students have been investigating the guiding question, What can machines do that hands can’t?. In the first unit of this course, students have been investigating the line, and concepts…

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Art as a Weapon @ Gage Gallery

By Hiu To / November 17, 2017
December 5, 2020 @ 8:21 am CST

Students in the Poetic Justice course visited Gage Gallery to view the Nowhere People: The Children exhibit. The students drew inspiration from the photographs in the exhibit to write an ekphrastic poem and a persona poem. In this Humanities Elective course, students have been pursuing the guiding question, How may poetry be a tool for political…

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Design with Empathy @ Working Bikes

By Hiu To / October 18, 2017
December 5, 2020 @ 8:21 am CST

Juniors in the Design & Engineering class talked to bike expert, Andrew at Working Bikes in Pilsen to learn about the mechanics of bikes and the purposes that different types of bikes serve. In the second unit of this STEAM course, students have been pursuing the guiding question, how are bikes designed and engineered to solve…

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