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The Powering Lives Community Center is ComEd’s newest, state-of-the-art, STEM Education Center. Conveniently located for all of Chicagoland, learners of all ages can experience this brand new exhibit. Our Energy, Our Future is an interactive educational experience with easy-to-use displays and education programs that allow everyone to learn about the many elements of energy and the path to clean energy. This center also demonstrates the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion in our workforce and the communities we serve, while focusing on our commitment to STEM and development of future energy professionals.

Key Concepts

  • How energy is generated and delivered
  • The impact of Smart Grid technology
  • Renewable energy sources including The Power of Solar
  • Safety with electricity
  • Communities of the future….and more!

Initiatives

The lessons, discussions, and activities throughout this experience support a STEM-based curriculum by emphasizing key concepts in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.

Policies

The ComEd Powering Lives Community Center experience is recommended for a single group of 7-50 students at any given time with a recommendation of 1 chaperone per every 8 students to ensure both safety and equal student participation opportunities.

Multiple groups/classes that exceed 50 students in total are not allowed on-site at the same time with the exception of exchanging students on/off buses. There are NO facilities for groups/classes to eat lunches on site.

⚑ What do I do if my group size is larger than 50 students?

The PLCC is a large facility.  However, large groups are asked to divide into sub groups stagger their walking entrance to prevent bottlenecks (e.g.  If the total group is 50 students, then Group A of 25 students enters while Group B of 25 students waits 5 minutes on the bus and then enters).

PARKING POLICY
• Download PDF of PLCC Bus Parking Instructions

  • Please have your group’s bus drop students off at the PLCC front doors on California Ave
  • Bus drivers will need to be aware that they are not allowed to park on California Ave
  • Upon unloading, please have the bus drive around the block and pull up to the gated entrance further North on California Ave as shown on the map
  • At that point, the driver will be directed by the security guard to the overflow lot where they should remain with the bus for the duration of the field trip
  • Please be sure that chaperones have the bus driver’s cell phone number before departing the bus. Chaperones will need to call the bus driver upon field trip completion and inform them that they can proceed to the front doors for pickup

Please bring field trip permissions slips to the Smart Energy Hub the day of your field trip (available in the Resources Tab above). This is not required if you have a blanket field trip permission slip or policy for your group on file with your own organization.

If you need to cancel or reschedule, please contact FieldTripFactory.Org at least 24 hours before your scheduled arrival – please do not attempt to contact the facility directly.

Scout Groups: Receive a patch for each scout participating in this event – ask your Field Trip Leader!

Need special assistance with a large group or a short notice booking (less than 2 weeks)? Please contact FieldTripFactory.Org directly to discuss options.

The Smart Energy Hubs are open all days of the week.

Documents

About the Sponsor

As northern Illinois’ local utility and energy delivery company with more than a century of experience, our commitment to customer service, security, and satisfaction is guided by the progress of the past and the promise of the future. Driving an industry that is entrepreneurial in nature, we have always remained focused on benefiting the people, environment, and economies of the communities we serve. We continue to enhance our services and the workforce that helps us generate smart ideas. Visit www.ComEd.com/Education

Average Rating:  5
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The 6th Graders from Michael Collins Elementary School had a very fun time at our field trip to ComEd. We really liked all of the interactive screens to learn about energy, which kept everybody involved in learning about our energy. We also loved the questions and then the giveaways of the headphones. We wish there could have been even more questions, so people that did not get to a station could learn about it. Another cool thing was that we got straws to help us lower our carbon footprints, and why this is so important. We wish that we could have learned more about how ComEd has grown and started. Also, we wanted to know more about why we need to stop using fossil fuels. Overall, everything was really fun and cool and everyone had fun at ComEd. All the kids loved the game aspect of the field trip and the tour guides did a really good job of keeping everybody engaged. They also had some funny jokes to make people feel like you can still ask them questions, not just listen to them and feel like the tour guides are above them. The field trip was super fun and everyone loved it. Even if they expected it to be boring, they realized it was a very fun experience. What a great field trip, thanks!

Brittany | 05/13/2024
Michael Collins Elementary School
The ComEd Powering Lives Community Center – Chicago
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Everything was incredible! From the setting up of our trip, to the hospitality we received while on the tour. Loved that the space was our own for our assigned time- made it extremely sensory friendly for our group of students with disabilities. The space was interactive, informative and the activities varied throughout the space to help keep the students engaged. We will definitely be visiting the other location and returning in the future!

Genevieve | 03/21/2024
Thornton Fractional North High Scool
The ComEd Powering Lives Community Center – Chicago
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Our guide Sergio did an amazing job engaging my 7th graders. The facility was clean and made studetn supervision very easy. There are places to sit and interactive labs for every learner. The students especially enjoyed learning and being rewarded for their attentiveness. The wireless headphones put a smile on my students’ faces. Lastly, Sergio was able to answer their questions and really connected where we live to what we are learning.

LeQuita | 02/20/2024
Dunne Stem academy
The ComEd Powering Lives Community Center – Chicago
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The facility is very clean and modern, it is filled with very interesting and some interactive exhibits. The staff are also very attentive, helpful, and flexible. Sergio and Amy did a wonderful job leading my large group of 33 high schoolers through the tour and activities. Michael from Field Trip Factory was also an amazing help in scheduling and figuring out logistics for this trip.

Eduardo | 11/17/2022
Central States Ser, Jobs for Progress
The ComEd Powering Lives Community Center – Chicago

ComEd Smart Energy Hubs

What do I do if my group size is larger than 32 students or I have multiple groups/classes?

Option 1 – Break into smaller groups of 5-32 students and book each group separately.

These multiple groups can either come on the same day (using staggered arrival/departure times) or on separate dates depending on your transportation options. However, no more than 1 group can be at/inside the facility at any given time with the exception of exchanging students on/off buses.

If your transportation budget is limited and your organization is within a reasonable distance to/from the ComEd facility, consider staggering your groups with start times at least 2 hours apart to utilize the same bus.

Example: [9am] Group 1 is dropped off at ComEd and the same bus then returns to school/org to pick up Group 2. [10:30-11am] Group 2 is dropped off at ComEd and the same bus reloads with Group 1 to return to school/org. [12:30-1pm] The same empty bus arrives back at ComEd again to pick up Group 2 to return to school/org.

Option 2 – Consider the ComEd Powering Lives Community Center as an alternative.

The experience is comparable to the Smart Energy Hub’s content and is recommended for Grades 6+. Howevever, groups as young as 4th grade have had good experiences at the PLCC. The interactive content does require reading that may be challenging (in general) for groups younger than 6th grade. For more information to see if this experience may be an alternative for your group, please visit:
https://FieldTripFactory.Org/ComEd-PLCC

If neither of those first two options fit your group(s), you likely need to think about an alternative experience.

If your large group size is very close to 32 students (and we mean close, like 33, 34-ish) – then go ahead and select the Field Trip Type = Large Group > 32 Students during the booking process. We’ll contact you and let you know if the request can be met. However, this means some students will have to wait and rotate with other students at various experiences at the Smart Energy Hub.

ComEd Powering Lives Community Center

What do I do if my group size is larger than 50 students or I have multiple groups/classes?

Option 1 – Break into smaller groups of 7-50 students and book each group separately.

These multiple groups can either come on the same day (using staggered arrival/departure times) or on separate dates depending on your transportation options. 

The PLCC is a large facility.  However, large groups are asked to divide into sub groups stagger their walking entrance to prevent bottlenecks (e.g.  If the total group is 50 students, then Group A of 25 students enters while Group B of 25 students waits 5 minutes on the bus and then enters).

If your transportation budget is limited and your organization is within a reasonable distance to/from the ComEd facility, consider staggering your groups with start times at least 2 hours apart to utilize the same bus.

Example: [9am] Group 1 is dropped off at ComEd and the same bus then returns to school/org to pick up Group 2. [10:30-11am] Group 2 is dropped off at ComEd and the same bus reloads with Group 1 to return to school/org. [12:30-1pm] The same empty bus arrives back at ComEd again to pick up Group 2 to return to school/org.

If these scenarios do not fit your group(s), you likely need to think about an alternative experience.

If your large group size is very close to 50 students (and we mean close, like 51, 52, 53-ish) – then go ahead and select the Field Trip Type = Large Group > 50 Students during the booking process. We’ll contact you and let you know if the request can be met.

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