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August 2021 Update:
We are currently loaning Discovery Boxes on a limited basis for exhibit only. Nature centers, museums, or similar organizations can now request specimens for display purposes to supplement exhibits and educational displays, preferably inside cases. Visitor data is requested at the end of the loan.
Please email JuricaSuchyMuseum@ben.edu to request a loan.
Bring Part of the Jurica-Suchy Nature Museum Right Into Your Classroom!
The Discovery Box program is a free loan program of educational kits about various natural history topics, including animals and their habitats, human cultures, renewable energy, and more. Each kit is aligned with the Illinois Learning Standards and includes background information, suggested classroom activities, and a variety of specimens for students to touch and examine. Many boxes also include a DVD and select books, both fiction and nonfiction, to further engage students.
The Jurica-Suchy Nature Museum is also a loan site for the popular Illinois Department of Natural Resources Trunks, a loan box program through the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.
Discovery Boxes may be checked out for a period of two weeks. With over 40 different Discovery Boxes to choose from, we are sure to have the perfect educational kit for your needs. These kits are perfect for classroom use, and are also available for nature centers, scout groups, nature clubs, child care centers, home school, historical societies, or other groups seeking to learn more about our world’s natural and cultural diversity.
Contact the Museum Education Coordinator by calling 630-829-6546, or e-mail JuricaSuchyMuseum@ben.edu for more information. Reserve your box today!
Insects - Box contents list
1. Book- Buzzing a hive: Teacher’s guide
2. Book- Butterflies and Moths
3. Book- Scorpions, Scholastic
4. Book- Crickwing
5. Book- Butterflies: A First Discovery Book
6. Book- Hornets’ Nest
7. Book- Ants
8. Book- Insects Guide
9.Book- Ant Homes: Under the Ground
10. Book- Silkmoths of Illinois
11. Book- Ladybugs
12. Poster- Insect
13. DVD- Insect
14. VHS- Insect
16. Specimen- Insect Collection (Carolina)
17. Specimen- Corn Earworm Moth (Heliathis Zea)
18. Specimen- Stick Bugs (Phasmidae Megaphasma dentricus)
19. Specimen- Jewel Beetle (Buprestidae Chrysochroa bicolar)
20. Specimen- Insect Leg Adaptation Set
21. Specimen- Beneficial Insects
22. Specimen- Longhorn Beetle (Coleoptera Cerambycidae)
23. Specimen- Major Insect Orders
24. Activity Book- Science Models-honeybees (Grades K-6)
Spiders - Students can look closely at a black widow, garden spider, tarantula and other specimens as they learn about spiders. Books and activities for learning about these arthropods are also included.
The World of Fish - This box contains information about the anatomy and physiology of fish. Information about the reintroduction of the smallmouth bass to the DuPage River is included. Specimens include a fish skeleton and a dissected fish in acrylic.
Frogs and Toads - Learn about common Illinois amphibian species. This box also includes salamanders and newts. Specimens include frog and toad development, and a Mudpuppy skeleton, all encased in acrylic for close examination.
Snakes - Does a snake feel slimy when you pick it up? What do snakes do in winter? How do snakes eat? These are some of the questions that can be answered through the use of the included specimens, books, and the Eyewitness video: “Snakes”.
Turtles - Learn about turtles with this discovery box. How do they breathe? Where do they go in the winter? What do they feel like? Specimens are included for students to study turtle development, shells, and skeletons. Read the story “Minn of the Mississippi” and learn about the travels of a turtle down the Mississippi River. Illinois specimens are highlighted and An Atlas of Biodiversity is included along with other valuable Illinois information.
All About Birds - This popular box features the hands-on activities developed by Louise Huffman for a workshop for elementary school teachers given in February, 1996. Her creative activities are supplemented with background information about common backyard birds, migration, and nests. This box includes specimens of mounted birds, nests and feathers.
Birds of Prey - Raptor adaptations and the problems they encounter in their position at the top of the food chain are discussed through posters, activity sheets, videos and specimens, including a hawk, an owl, and the smaller vireo.
Great Horned Owl - This box contains an owl, owl skull, owl feathers, and background information. There are posters, activities for class use and suggested topics for discussion. This is one of our most popular boxes. Reserve it today!
Snowy Owl - Includes contains an owl, owl skull, owl feathers, and background information. There are posters, activities for class use and suggested topics for discussion. Also includes a lemming and information about the Arctic Tundra.
Bats - Learn about bats and their importance to an ecosystem. Specimens of a brown bat, a Mexican silver hair bat, and a bat skeleton encased in plastic are included for study. Bat Conservation International curriculum materials are included.
Wolves - Information about wolves and their reintroduction and re-colonization in National Parks provide a background for student discussions about the problems involved in such a project. There are also literary lesson plans for “Julie of the Wolves” and “The True Story of the Three Little Pigs”. A wolf skull is included for students to study. Information about other large mammal predators is included.
These small carrying cases contain a variety of specimens mounted in clear plastic to help students to explore a particular topic of the natural world.
Development of these boxes was made possible by grants from the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the Helen V. Brach Foundation, the DuPage Community Foundation and the Illinois Clean Energy Foundation.
***Discovery Boxes should be reserved at least one week prior to your program. Boxes are checked out for a period of 14 days. Boxes are free of charge if returned intact and undamaged. Any lost or significantly damaged boxes may incur up to a $50 replacement fee per box. Reservations are on a first come, first serve basis only.***
Boxes may be reserved at any time by contacting Museum Education Coordinator, by emailing JuricaSuchyMuseum@ben.edu or calling (630) 829-6546.
©Jurica-Suchy Nature Museum at Benedictine University, Lisle, IL
"They were easy to use and great for the kids. Just the ability to be able to touch and explore the plants and mammals was so exciting!"
- 3rd grade teacher
"We used the skin and skeleton on our "Discovery" table. The children used magnifying glasses to look at them."
- Local preschool teacher
"The children enjoyed seeing real life owls. We sketched the owls!"
- Kindergarten teacher
"Students enjoyed seeing and feeling the skins"
- Local home school alliance educator
Looking for educational posters for your classroom or education space?! We have many extra nature posters! Please ask about our FREE posters and you can pick them up with your Discovery Box loan. Call (630) 829-6546 for information.