We coordinate a variety of educational programming on-site and throughout Chicago.

Join us at The Plant and learn to grow your own mushrooms, or sign up for an aquaponics workshop at Rebuilding Exchange.

We’re always happy to host school field trips or even visit classrooms to teach students about the science and social value behind our work.

public workshops


A series of five workshops that introduce various aspects of designing, building and maintaining aquaponics systems.


An introduction to growing your own mushrooms. Includes a tour of our mushroom lab and autoclave.

See the current schedule and reserve your space

speaking engagements

Invite a Plant Chicago expert to speak for your event, organization or university class. Speakers ask for an honorarium of $100.

To coordinate a guest speaker, contact us.

k–12 programming

Teach your students about sustainability and food production, with plenty of hands-on activities and fun lessons built in.

Contact us to arrange a field trip to The Plant or to have Plant Chicago staff visit your classroom.

Classroom Visits (One class period)

A Plant Chicago educator will introduce your class to closed loop systems, using a small aquaponic system and algae bioreactor to demonstrate concepts like waste reuse. An excellent primer for a tour of The Plant.

Tours (1 hour)

We can tailor our tour to highlight different aspects of food production, energy conservation and material reuse. Students can see closed loop systems in action, including an aquaponics farm, mushroom lab, compost gardens and more.

Closed Loop Labs (1–1.5 hours)

Labs take place at The Plant and are best combined with a tour. Students develop a deeper understanding of closed loop systems through supervised, interactive projects. Workshops are aligned with Next Generation Science Standards. Current hands-on labs include:

Materials Reuse: Students engage in a rapid engineering design challenge to build a planter out of discarded plastic bottles. Participants can take planters back to their classrooms.

Closed Loop Systems: Students take a closer look at Plant Chicago’s research projects, including aquaponics, algae bio-reaction and mushrooms.

Mycology: Students learn more about the role of fungi in closed loop systems. Each class prepares a mushroom block to grow in their classroom.