Our Previous Trips
Our trips started with a few students who shared similar dreams. These students wanted a chance to explore life outside of their communities and to be inspired. To show them that the world is full of endless possibilities, A Bigger World (ABW) began planning trips focused on immersion opportunities inspired by the students' individual passions.
With each trip, we learn more about ourselves, our students, and our potential to positively impact our communities. ABW would like to give teachers and mentors the opportunity to encourage their students to dream bigger, with the notion that every child deserves a chance to explore their big world of possibilities.
The Fab Five
Five Manitowoc middle school students with a passion for fashion spent a weekend immersed in the life of a fashion designer. The girls toured a fashion school, learning the curriculum of fashion students, working intimately with members in the field by visiting design studios, tasting Chicago cuisine, enjoying a shopping spree, and expanding their understanding of fashion by taking an architectural boat tour, seeing how the unique styles of many historical architects have influenced the design of Chicago’s finest buildings over time.
Biology and Environmental Education Exlporers
Eagle Scholars readiness program students ventured to the Trinity River Audubon Center (TRAC) for a day expanding their understanding of environmental education, biology, and the positive impact of human awareness on environmental issues. They toured the “green” standard building, collected pond water samples in search of various invertebrates, planted seed balls necessary in reconstructing prairie root systems, kayaked the Trinity River, exposing the multitude of trash deposits along the waterway, and were instilled with a general awareness of the breadth of impact humans can have on the environment.
Manitowoc students with a flare for food journeyed to Milwaukee for a taste of the culinary arts. The students explored the Public Market, observing and practicing knife skills with the culinary director, tested their taste buds with wheat grass shots, and learned the operational basics of the restaurant world through interviews with the owner and head chef of Industri Café. The students also discovered the relevance of aquaponics at Sweet Water indoor farm, enjoyed sweet treats while learning the artistry of coffee at Stone Creek Coffee Roasters, and concluded the day with a delicious dinner following an exposé of the ins and outs of the hospitality industry at Iron Horse Hotel.
Equipped with DSLR cameras, students were paired with Art Institute photography scholars and explored the city in search of the colors, forms, shapes, and textures encompassing professional picture taking. Working intimately with their mentors, the students experienced a day learning to view their world through the creative and inspired lens of photography.
Two fashion inspired students were taken on the trip of a lifetime to The Camp Couture, a multi-day design camp created by the Project Runway season 12 runner up Alexandria von Bromsson in San Mateo, California. The girls experienced their first plane and train rides, toured Golden Gate Park, Stanford University, and the Bay Area ocean front, all while learning up-cycled and budget friendly fashion techniques, and engaging daily in the creation process of their own signature pieces from design to production.
Kids from Youth Umbrella Organization (Y.O.U) spent a day exploring various sustainability and environmental agencies in the greater Chicago area, visiting the Austin Community Gardens, determining how goats and chickens contribute to sustainable gardening. Additionally, the Y.O.U kids traveled to Growing Power aquaponics, learning various critters’ roles in food production, and concluded the day at Bengston’s large pumpkin farm watching pig races, navigating a corn maze, and tip toeing through a haunted house.
Crime Scene Investigators
Students with an aptitude for crime solving traveled to the University of Texas at Dallas to uncover the career opportunities in fields pertaining to Crime Scene Investigation, including forensic science, criminology, and criminal justice. Students engaged in the artistry of fingerprinting, learning the variations in all prints, and tried their hand at dusting and lifting fingerprints from different surfaces as they related to crime scene investigation.
Eagle Scholars readiness program students spent a day reimagining their understanding of careers by learning about various opportunities in the fields of Paleontology, Environmental Science, Architecture, and Engineering. The students toured Groundwork Dallas, wherein they learned the various careers comprising the Trinity River Project. They hiked through the Trinity forest, exposing the factors contributing to pollution as well as the career and volunteer opportunities involved in clean up. Additionally, they toured Southern Methodist University’s Paleontology department, interacting with researchers and fossils alike, discovered the pathways to architecture careers in their community, and built their own solar cars with an engineering student from University of Texas at Dallas.
College Campuses Crew
The college aspiring high school Eagle Scholars of Dallas, Texas spent a weekend touring both University of Texas and University of Texas San Antonio campuses, interacting with college students, staying in dormitories, and previewing their future experiences in true “college visit” fashion. They were able to ask their potential peers questions about navigating all facets of university life; like managing tuition, discovering scholarship opportunities, participating in clubs, and juggling both academic and social life. Additionally, they toured the River Walk in San Antonio, and reflected on their experience on Mount Bonnell, during which gratitude was expressed for the opportunity to discern the differences in the campus cultures that would best contribute to their overall success after high school.
Middle school students from Manitowoc, Wisconsin worked with Laura Baron, a dynamic speaker from Los Angeles, California, uncovering the importance of connectivity in community and the power of being a positive peer. The students engaged in group exercises, learned the significance of supporting those in need, as well as the negative consequences of bullying.
Students from the Youth Umbrella Organization (Y.O.U) visited the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, immersing themselves in the Anne Collier exhibit, learning the various ways in which artists and photographers express points of view, and expanding their understanding of how people appreciate art. After their time at the museum, the students constructed their own art pieces inspired by their visit, uncovering the true diversity of individual creativity and expression.
Gage Park High School Seniors traveled to Dayton Ohio, gaining exposure to the plethora of careers available emphasizing passion for math and science. The students toured the University of Dayton, assimilating campus life and the accessibility to the University’s engineering programs. They explored a functional lab, pushing the limits of creativity by making prosthetic legs for a dog from basic materials and worked with professionals from Cornerstone Research Group (CRG), uncovering the career paths along the many facets of science and technology. The students were exposed to a polymer used in space and travel, created ice cream with liquid nitrogen, and toured the Air Force museum, learning the opportunities that relate to aviation.
Students spent the day exploring the Museum of Science and Industry, cultivating their passion for science and technology through interactive learning and play. The students tried their hand at laser cutting and observed the impressive art of three dimensional printing. By engaging with the exhibits and passionate staff, the students discovered the plethora of careers available in science and industry.
Sky High Opportunity
Students from Curt’s Cafe in Evanston, Illinois spent a day exploring the various businesses in the greater Chicago area that welcome the employment of at risk youth, all with the intention of uncovering the vast amount of opportunities available to them, despite their early exposure to challenging life experiences. The students visited Bow Truss Coffee Roaster, discovering the differing facets comprising the coffee industry; Rowan Ward Designs, observing the artistry of furniture design, creation, and repurposing; and 312 Aquaponics Indoor farm, pining over a living wall and learning the tricks urban farming entails. The students enjoyed lunch at Inspiration Kitchens, listened to an ex-gang member’s success story, jumped until exhaustion at Sky High Sports, and finished with some of Chicago’s finest slices at Lou Malnatis pizza.
The Pros at IPRO
Students immersed themselves into campus life at Illinois Institute of Technology by intimately interacting with undergraduate and graduate students alike, wherein they were exposed to a wide variety of degrees offered at IIT and the possible careers to which they could lead. The students attended a pseudo job-fair through the University’s Interprofessional Projects Program (IPRO), discerning the magnitude of possibilities deriving from people’s channeled interests and passions.
The Fab Six
Modeled after the success of our inaugural trip, six fashion lovers from Manitowoc, Wisconsin joined us for a weekend of fashion industry immersion in Chicago. The students toured Columbia College’s fashion program and participated in a fashion class with Chicago based designer Anna Hovet, during which the students were encouraged to ask the professional their industry related questions. Additionally, they went behind the scenes at Trunk Club, a professional styling service, visited the Shedd Aquarium, and shopped their way along the iconic Magnificent Mile.
We met Adams Friendship students from the Technology Education Manufacturing Academy (TEMA) in Door County, Wisconsin for a day at the Leadership Center to kick off the start of our three year partnership with the sophomore students. We engaged in fun and challenging team building activities, pushing our bodies and minds to find strength in community. Since our Door County trip, the TEMA students met us in Chicago to attend the Ten80 Innovators event at the University of Illinois Chicago, a conference emphasizing the bounty of opportunities in the STEM fields. The students visited the Bean, traveled up to the Willis Tower SkyDeck, and met their online mentor from the Khan Academy Pixar Program in person for the first time.
Fun at the Field
Seventh grade students from the Horizon Science Academy visited Chicago’s Field Museum to present their projects on biodiversity. The students’ projects were based on their research of regional endangered species and their respective habitats. From their research, the students created supportive arguments about the importance of preserving biodiversity, and were then evaluated by actual Field Museum scientists upon completion. The students were able to express their ingenuity and creativity, and experience a realistic depiction of presentation and critique in the sciences field. The students finished their incredible day visiting the exciting Jurassic World exhibit at the museum.
Eagle Scholars Chicago Takeover
Recent high school graduates, the Texas Eagles Scholars from the College Readiness program visited us in Chicago for a takeover week. The students, many of which had never seen such a different part of the country, planned their trip to Chicago which included highlights such as touring Millennium Park, visiting the Museum of Science and Industry, viewing the Chicago skyline from Willis Tower, and watching fireworks at Navy Pier.
MSOE Explore Camp
We sponsored two students to attend the Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE) Explore Camp, where the students spent a week working intimately with the school’s Professors, engaging in engineering related activities, and uncovering the ins and outs of the many opportunities encompassed in the field of Engineering.
Students participated in a diesel and transportation condensed course at Mid-State Technical College. In the course, they worked hands on with diesel trucks, learned about what encompasses the transportation industry, and about shop safety and truck maintenance. They worked with a teacher, obtaining the material from a full nine week course, all in the span of two intensive weeks.
Dutch Soccer Week
The Adams-Friendship soccer team traveled to Middleton, Wisconsin for a week long Dutch Soccer School, a renowned program that teaches players the technical and tactical skills that model the Holland style of play in fun and effective ways. In only their third season with a soccer program, the Adams-Friendship players learned a lot, and elevated their game to new heights!
Anna Hovet Fashion Fun
We sponsored a fashion-passionate student from Manitowoc Middle School to participate in a three day intensive fashion course with the renowned Chicago designer Anna Hovet. Over the course of her three days, our student gained incredible insight into the world of fashion design and creation, and worked hands on to create garments from the drawing stage to completion.
We sponsored a group of Eagle Scholars to embark on a five-day wilderness trek in Salida, Colorado. On the trip, the students backpacked in the Mount Shavano wilderness area, camped, whitewater rafted, and engaged in the character building that comes from pushing your body and mind in the great outdoors.