School Programs and Professional Development Trainings
The Hitchcock Center for the Environment serves western Massachusetts as one of the most influential sources of environmental education, shaping the attitudes, beliefs and values of 5,400 children and teachers in over 45 elementary and middle schools each year. Please follow the links below or call us for more information. Download our School Programs Brochure (2MB). Learn about the importance of getting children outside.
Alignment with the Massachusetts Science & Technology/Engineering Framework
All programs are aligned with both the current and the revised Massachusetts Science and Technology/Engineering Framework. In Massachusetts there is a strong focus on students mastering the practices of Science and Engineering. Our programs include one or more of these practices:
- Asking Questions and Defining Problems
- Developing and Using Models
- Planning and Carrying out Investigations
- Analyzing and Interpreting Data
- Using Mathematics and Computational Thinking
- Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions
- Engaging in Arguments from Evidence
- Obtaining, Evaluating and Communicating Information
Field Trips & Classroom Programs
We welcome classrooms to visit the beautiful 20-acre Larch Hill Conservation Area and neighboring 120-acre Bramble Hill Farm through a variety of hands-on, inquiry-based field trips. We can also visit your classroom with live exhibits and a wide range of standards-based environmental and science activities. For a more in-depth ecological program, consider a three-season or three-part series, which can be tailored to your curriculum. Discounts are given for series and multiple programs. Coordinating activities with other classes in your school may reduce travel fees. Learn more about our field trips and classroom programs.
Schoolyard Habitat Program
The Hitchcock Center partners with schools and districts to develop and implement long-term initiatives. We can work with your school or classroom to design a fun, rewarding and educational learning project using the local environment and community as a dynamic teaching resource. Learn more about our Schoolyard Habitat Program.
Nature is all around your school! A Hitchcock Center educator/ naturalist will work with you and your class to investigate the natural world in your own schoolyard. This long-term program, is designed to support and enrich your curriculum, giving students opportunities to learn about habitats, life cycles, and animal adaptations through live exhibits, outdoor field trips on school grounds, and exciting hands-on investigations. Learn more about our Naturalist-in-Residence Program.
We provide tailor-designed teacher development trainings that focus on strengthening content knowledge and teaching methods in Earth, life, and physical sciences, as well as environmental education. Learn more about our Professional Development Programs.
Peg McDaniel Resource Center
The Hitchcock Center is a member of the Western Massachusetts Regional Library System and maintains an extensive curriculum resource and lending library for teachers.
Curriculum Development & Alignment
Our Educators offer science curriculum development and standards alignment based on successful models we have developed in several local districts. Learn more about our curriculum offerings.