Professional Development

We offer standard and custom-designed professional development trainings to help prepare educators for the revised Massachusetts Science and Technology/Engineering Framework. Focus is on strengthening content knowledge and teaching methods in earth, life, and physical sciences, while incorporating the best practices of environmental education in your classroom. See listing below for upcoming and ongoing professional development offerings.

Free online curriculum units

Hitchcock Center education staff have developed the following comprehensive curriculum units to teach environmental concepts to young people:
The Pond Ecosystem – Grade 3
Energy is Electrifying!! – Grade 4
Hydroshphere, Water and How We Use It – Grade 5

From Fear to Confidence: Protecting Against Tickborne Illnesses

Monday, April 9, 9am-3pm
at Hitchcock Center for the Environment

Register here
Download a flyer (PDF)

As Environmental Educators and Outdoor Leaders we want to encourage people to be outside. It is imperative that we are well informed and able to communicate professionally with staff, visitors and program participants of all ages. Join us as we learn, network, and hone our communication skills and messages—together! Let’s move from fear to confidence. What up to date information do we need to know? How do we best answer visitor’s questions? What resources can we direct people to? How can we try to prevent tickborne illnesses and educate our visitors and participants about best practices?

Join the Valley Environmental Education Collaborative for an informative, engaging and practical professional development opportunity focusing on: Ticks and Tick Life Histories Tickborne Illnesses What to Do if You are Bitten Resources Prevention Strategies Communication & Education Strategies Presenters include staff from regional environmental organizations and UMass Amherst’s Laboratory of Medical Zoology’s Tick Report. This program is co-sponsored by Mass Audubon, DCR Massachusetts, and FirstLight Power Resources.


The following trainings are designed to assist teachers in implementing curriculum units that have been  developed by Hitchcock Center educators and can be custom-designed to meet your school’s professional development needs, whether it be a two, six or 10+ hour training. These units are aligned with the national NGSS (Next Generation Science Standards) and are environment-based. They aim to make learning relevant to students’ lives and to prepare them to be critical thinkers and 21st century problem solvers. Workshops can be held at your school site or at the Hitchcock Center.

Program Fees Effective July 1, 2015
Professional Development Training: $200 per hour + travel fee
Consulting Fee: $120 per hour + travel fee

Registration and Questions
For more information on trainings, please contact Helen Ann Sephton, School Programs Coordinator via email or 413-256-6006.

Implementing New Science Units in Your School
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Hitchcock Center for the Environment