Outdoor, Experiential Learning Center
“Look what I found!”
Picture an outdoor world of enchantment and wonder, where children can take ownership of scientific discovery through hands-on exploration, delight in experimentation and learn through their curiosity and creativity.
This exciting and educational playground awaits, with the much anticipated opening of the JCC Garoon Gateway to Science outdoor learning center at the JCC Elaine Frank Apachi Day Camp on the grounds of the Lake County Jewish Community Campus. This innovative new JCC facility was made possible through the inspiration and generosity of Philip Garoon and his family.
In this state-of-the-art, outdoor learning environment, children ages 4-14 are encouraged to explore basic physical and natural science principles in a way that challenges learning, curiosity and creativity. The hands-on exhibits are designed to be both fun and demonstrative. JCC believes children learn best through processes that peak their own curiousity and compel them toward discovery (informal, experiential education).
Beginning this summer, JCC Day Camps and Children’s Programming will benefit from this unrivaled opportunity to experience the fundamentals of science through play and exploration. Future plans include providing access for pre-arranged local school groups.
A private ribbon cutting ceremony in late May will inaugurate the opening of the JCC Garoon Gateway to Science.
JCC's Innovative Approach to Hands-on Learning
As an innovative provider of children’s education and services, JCC Chicago continues to excel in contemporary education by bringing this world-class facility to Lake County. This landmark facility, the only Jewish outdoor science park in North America, will allow JCC to utilize their expertise in informal education and extend the benefit of the unique JCC experiential learning approach to all Gateway visitors. JCC has developed curricula to maximize each child’s experience in the Gateway.
“This project is in the mainstream of a world-wide movement toward experiential, outdoor, informal science education,” said Martin Levine, General Director of JCC Chicago. “The basic premise is that children can have fun and do serious learning at the same time.”
The JCC Garoon Gateway to Science was designed with the guidance of two of the world’s leading experts in the field of experimental science education, Dr. Moshe Rishpon, director of the Clore Garden of Science at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel (the world’s first outdoor science museum) and Dr. Alan Friedman, founding director of the New York Hall of Science (New York City's largest hands-on science and technology center).