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  1. Gold Mine Model

    Examine these tiny replications of a typical western gold mine and you'll discover the complicated processes and machinery used to harvest this valuable metal. Learn More
  2. Fossils From Rocks Near Chicago

    Unearth the life forms that lived in Chicago millions of years ago. Limestone forms the underlayer of the earth around Chicago, and contains an amazing array of fossils like corals, crinoids and trilobites, among others. Learn More
  3. How Shears Are Made

    Explore the basic process used to create these everyday objects. Samples of the procedure exhibit each step of scissor production, from the heating of a slender bar of tough low carbon steel to polishing the nickel-plated blades on a cotton-padded machine. Learn More
  4. Iron Ores

    The process of extracting iron from ore is more complicated than you may think, the correct ore must be found, ideally free of excess substances. A small sampling of various iron ores and oxides are found here, displaying the rarity of such materials. Learn More
  5. Rocks and Minerals

    Rocks and minerals are the solid substances that make up Earth. Just like all matter on Earth, rocks and minerals are part of a constantly changing system that cycles through changes, in this case, the rock cycle. In this experience box students will observe samples of rocks and minerals to investigate physical and chemical properties, explore how these substances change over time and analyze the way humans do and can use rocks and minerals. Learn More
  6. Origin of Coal

    Discover the incredibly time consuming process nature uses to create coal. Closely linked to fossilization, the various stages of coal production are displayed in samples here. Learn More
  7. Pebbles, How Shaped by Erosion

    Investigate the long, complicated process of rock erosion that produces pebbles, and eventually, sand and soil. You will also get a glimpse of different geological patterns through diagrams and rock samples. Learn More
  8. Aluminum Production

    Explore the most versatile of all metals, aluminum can come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and can also be extruded, forged, and cast in molds. Aluminum is also often alloyed with other metals. Learn More
  9. Common Metal Ores of Illinois

    Unearth the valuable metals we know as ores. Usually found concentrated in deposits, these examples illustrate some of the common ores found in Illinois. Learn More
  10. Prairie Life

    A prairie is a unique ecological system that supports diverse plants and animals that depend upon each other for survival. Take a nature walk around your school to predict what plants' root systems look like underground and compare them with the prairie plant specimens in this box. Examine prairie mammals and birds up close to connect their physical characteristics with the prairie ecosystem. A few items in some of these boxes are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and may only be borrowed by educational institutions that are open to the general public and are non-profit (such as a public or charter school), but may not be borrowed by private individuals or institutions without a special permit. If you have any questions about whether you or your institution qualify to borrow this box without a permit, please contact us. Learn More

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