Can’t come to the dunes? Dunes Learning Center educators will bring the dunes to you!

More than 5000 thousand students each year participate in one of Dunes Learning Center’s overnight programs at our Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore campus, but thousands more experience field-based, hands-on learning with Dunes Learning Center Dunes To You educators at schools and natural sites throughout the Calumet Region. Single day and progressive curriculum are available for students of all ages and abilities. Prices vary by program. Contact Dunes To You Coordinator Amber Horbovetz at 219-395-9555 to discuss the endless possibilities.


Customized Curricula
Provide your students with an unforgettable education adventure! From civic engagement to standards-based environmental literacy programs that support STEM learning and classroom goals, Dunes To You educators will work with you to plan a learning experience that meets the unique needs and challenges of your students! Contact Dunes To You Coordinator Amber Horbovetz at 219-395-9555 for more information.

Read about Dunes To You at Clark Middle School in our blog >
To bring the dunes to your school, request a program >


Mighty Acorns
Trail beneath their feet, the texture of the natural world between their fingers, no electronics in sight—this is the unique way Mighty Acorns engages students in stewardship, science and learning. This STEM-based conservation curriculum for 3rd through 5th grade students incorporates classroom and field components; transforming learning into an individualized adventure. participating teachers tell us that they have noticed improvements in academic performance and testing, sense of well-being, physical fitness, teamwork and leadership initiative.

“Over the last four years, Portage Township Schools ISTEP+ Science scores have increased in both grades four and five. We believe that this can be correlated with the establishment of the Mighty Acorns program.” Dr. Debra J. Dudek, Portage Township Schools

Mighty Acorns is a three-year curriculum that encourages learning through stewardship, restoration and exploration of an adopted natural area. Seasonal study trips allow students to see firsthand how their work impacts and improves the environment. Lessons are continued in the summer when Mighty Acorns from Chicago and Northwest Indiana convene at our Mighty Acorns Nature Camp.

Participating teachers benefit from highly-rated professional development training. The Mighty Acorns program is proven effective, serving nearly 11,000 Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana students during the 2015/16 school year. The Northwest Indiana Mighty Acorns Partnership, a collaboration of Dunes Learning Center, Shirley Heinze Land Trust and The Field Museum, boasts approximately 2700 students in 6 Indiana communities; making it the largest program provider in the Chicagoland region.

To bring Mighty Acorns programming to your classroom, or for more information, please contact Dunes To You Coordinator, Amber Horbovetz.

Read about Mighty Acorns in our blog >
Watch a short video about Mighty Acorns >

Programming made possible to schools at no cost through funding to the Northwest Indiana Mighty Acorns Partnership by ArcelorMittal, BP, Dr. Scholl Foundation, Enbridge, Kainz Family Foundation, Legacy Foundation, Porter County Community Foundation, and contributions from parents and individuals. Funding for this program was provided in part by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Lake Michigan Coastal Program. 

Major funding for the Northwest Indiana Mighty Acorns Partnership provided by ArcelorMittal.


Earth Force
“A nation where young people from all walks of life are actively making positive change to the environment at their schools, in their neighborhoods, and in partnership with their communities,” is the vision that drives Earth Force, an advocacy-based middle school program. Earth Force provides 5th through 8th graders an opportunity to work together to design and implement a project that explores root causes and addresses an issue that they care about in their school or community.  Projects are youth-driven and vary from group to group.  Past projects have included native plant and learning gardens, a bee colony, and an informational video to encourage steps to mitigate climate change.  Contact Dunes To You coordinator, Amber Horbovetz to bring Earth Force to your classroom.

Read about Earth Force in our blog >
Dunes To You educators deliver the Earth Force curriculum to Northwest Indiana schools and families free of charge, thanks in part to funding by ArcelorMittal


Calumet Is My Backyard (CIMBY)
CIMBY engages high school students in STEM-based learning and hands-on stewardship in their communities through Alliance for the Great Lakes' Great Lakes In My World curriculum. Students participate in once-in-a-lifetime experiences, such as exploring local waterways in a 24’ canoe and presenting their work at an environmental leadership summit, where they network their peers as well as experts in the environmental field. Teachers benefit from professional development where they learn to effectively deliver the place-based Great Lakes In My World curriculum which fosters an understanding of the natural history and environmental issues in the Calumet region. Contact Dunes To You coordinator, Amber Horbovetz to bring CIMBY to your classroom.

Dunes To You educators deliver the Great Lakes In My World curriculum to Northwest Indiana schools and families free of charge, thanks in part to funding by ArcelorMittall