Class Trip Packages
To those who have never been there, Chicago typically evokes thoughts of the Betsy the cow, the Chicago fire of 1871, Al Capone, Blues music, and Wrigley Field. Chicago offers a textbook case of how adversity can create opportunity and necessity can inspire ingenuity, because it was the Chicago fire that inspired modern architecture, especially skyscrapers. Chicago student tours can be designed as a lesson about architecture and engineering, perhaps inspiring a few future architects and serving as a real world example of how math classes can lead to myriad careers. In 1856, a surge in population growth wrought a problem with sewage for the city that was built on low lying land, and so the first sewage system in the US was constructed, and at the same time they achieved the remarkable feat of elevating every building in the city by 4-5 feet using equipment conceptually similar to a car jack. Also, to prevent sewage from flowing out into their fresh water source in Lake Michigan, the city managed to reverse the flow of the Chicago River by tunneling two miles out into the lake. A little over 10 years later, the great fire required the city to be rebuilt, offering architects a chance to put their ingenuity to work. The Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio was the famed architect’s private residence and studio from 1889 to 1909, and is available for tours. Also, Oak Park features a neighborhood of homes such as the Oscar B. Balch House with a flat roof. The Krause Music Store is an interesting landmark with a terra cotta style (Latin for baked earth), designed by Louis Sullivan, also one of the most famous architects in US history. Chicago also features the world’s largest indoor aquarium, the Shedd Aquarium, the Field Museum of Natural History where one can see the largest T. Rex and descend into an Egyptian tomb, the Adler Planetarium and Astronomy Museum, and the Art Institute of Chicago. Navy Pier, a landmark since 1916, can offer a break from educational endeavors for a few hours. Navy Pier has a Ferris wheel, the “Transporter FX” ride with various themes, the Wave Swinger ride, The Cirque Shanghai show, and the Smith Museum of Stained Glass Windows.