Hitchcock Center Offerings During COVID-19
Children and Family Resources
Fall 2020 Children, Youth and Family Programs (in-person and virtual)
Our fall programs are a little different than what we typically offer, as we continue to find flexible and adaptive new ways to meet the needs of children and families during this pandemic. Registration is available here.
Our emphasis is on providing inquiry-based environmental and outdoor education programs for small groups, typically made up of no more than 10–12 individuals. Our programs, as always, are focused on learning from nature, but we are placing a heightened focus on meeting the need children have for unstructured time with their peers. It is essential to children’s social-emotional development and general sense of well-being to be able to play and be free outside with each other!
Saturday Family Science
Saturday Science returns this fall with a new series of interactive science themes. While there will be activities to serve different ages, this series focuses on younger learners from ages 5-8. Space is limited and each session fills quickly. Visit our Fall 2020 Children, Youth and Family Programs page to learn more about this and other Family and Learning Pod Programs.
Take it Outdoors Bingo!
This fun activity is for citizen scientists of all ages. Document your investigations with a drawing or a photograph and submit them for a prize.
Hitchcock’s Animal Care Manager, Patrick O’Roark, is creating videos as he cares for our animal ambassadors, including Emi (our painted turtle), Cob (our corn snake), Terra and Ivy (our box turtles), Spotty (our spotted salamander), and five different kinds of invertebrates. Check our YouTube channel or Follow us on Facebook.
- Cob Finishes Fasting, July 8, 2020
- Terra and Ivy Go Outside, June 26, 2020
- Cob the Corn Snake’s Spring Fasting, May 5, 2020
- Weigh Day, April 23, 2020
- Emi Eats, March 30, 2020
- Snake Discovery, Aemelia Thomspon, May 5, 2020
Virtual School Field Trips
Connect your classroom to Hitchcock Center field trips with nature-based educators, Helen Ann Sephton and Aemelia Thompson. These live-stream virtual field trips use school-approved Google Meets to offer interactive, inquiry-based learning opportunities for school classrooms grades 2-6.
- Mountains and Valleys, Grades 4 & 6
- Insect Investigations, Grades K-4
- Life in a Pond, Grades K-5
- Amazing Animal Adaptations, Grades K-4
Early Childhood Activities
Colleen Kelley, Director of Education has compiled some wonder-FULL resources she has found online and some that she has been using to teach children for many years. Explore these resources to help strengthen your Early Childhood teaching toolkit.
Our environmental educators are supporting 73 teachers in 10 schools, providing them with outdoor video instruction, classroom activities, and other teaching resources to help students continue their study of science and nature. You can find these by visiting our YouTube channel.
- Tree Identification in Spring, Aemelia Thompson, April 4, 2020
- Signs of Spring, Aemelia Thompson, April 4, 2020
- Planting Starts 101, Aemelia Thompson, April 7, 2020
- Germination, Aemelia Thompson, April 7, 2020
- Dissecting Daffodils, Aemelia Thompson, April 7, 2020
Using the Outdoors to Teach STEM During the COVID-19 Pandemic: An In-Person Standards-Based Professional Development Workshop for Teachers Grades K-4
Are you looking for creative and innovative ways to transition back to teaching at school? What new techniques will you need to have in your toolkit to create a supportive structure for your class? This in-person teacher institute will model the latest COVID-19 health and safety guidelines while extending the classroom to the outdoors. Learn more…
Fall Birding with Scott Surner
Good news! In spite of all that isn’t safe right now watching birds outdoors is still to be enjoyed. Join Scott Surner for outdoor birding this fall. Registration opens Monday, August 10 at 9am. Learn more…
Sunday Birding with Scott
We will be sharing local birding expert Scott Surner’s listings of bird sightings and challenges, along with photographic highlights, on our blog. Check the blog feed on our website or follow us on Facebook.
- Reflecting on Spring Birding Class 2020, July 5, 2020
- The Rush of Warblers, June 7, 2020
- Consider a Bird Bath, May 2, 2020
- Enticing Non-seed Eaters, April 19, 2020
- Start a Yard List, April 12, 2020
Every two weeks, the Hitchcock Center publishes a column, “Earth Matters: Notes on the Nature of the Valley,” in The Daily Hampshire Gazette. Writers include Hitchcock staff and board members, former board members, presenters in our Community Programs series, and friends of the Center. Look for the column at the end of Section C of the weekend Gazette or on our website.
- Nature blossoms in our retreat, Christine Hatch, August 8, 2020
- Welcoming fresh faces to the outdoors, Kari Blood, July 24, 2020
- The secret of the well-equipped naturalist, David Spector, July 11, 2020
- ‘Murder hornet’ hysteria takes toll on beneficial bees, Joshua Rose, June 27, 2020
- How pigeons found their niche along side us David Spector, May 9, 2020
- Will we heed viral lesson from ‘broken’ tulips? Lawrence J. Winship, April 25, 2020
- Earthworms aren’t the soil heroes you imagine John Stinton, April 21, 2020
In Bloom Discoveries
Take a Hike
We will be sharing our favorite off-the-beaten-path hikes on our blog and Facebook each week. As we look for ways to remain active and seek solace in nature, we hope these posts will bring you pleasure. Check the blog feed on our homepage or follow us on Facebook.