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 build your own an aquaponics system.

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. We’ve hosted school groups from all over the country!

Plant Chicago is partnering with four local Chicago Public Schools on the south west side to provide science education programming over the course of the entire school year (Chavez, Hamline, Hedges, and Sawyer Elementary).


“Thank you so much again!! The kids were super excited and full of energy, which was wonderful to see. Thank you so much for this opportunity!”
– Teacher at Sawyer Elementary




Students participated in our programs in 2016

public workshops


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

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.

4th – 12th grade 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.

Unfortunately, we are unable to accommodate Group Tours and Closed Loop Labs for groups younger than 4th grade at this time. We expect to be able to offer programs for younger audiences in School Year 2017-18.

Visiting groups must wear closed toed shoes and casual clothing.

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. Closed Loop Labs are a flat rate of $150, we can accommodate up to 30 students per lab. Current hands-on labs include:

1.) Aquaponics: Delve deeper into the science behind aquaponics and learn more about the nitrogen system! Students build their own self-watering planter out of reclaimed materials.

2.) Native Pollinators: Learn about the importance of native pollinators for our food system! Students will build their own native pollinator habitat for solitary bees made out of reclaimed materials.

3.) Vermicomposting: Students will get the chance to build a worm bin for their classroom. Learn more about producers, decomposers and consumers with this interactive worm workshop.

4). Water Chemistry: Using the aquaponics farms as a field site, students use the scientific method test the water to determine the “health” of the water.


Schedule a Closed Loop Lab!