Learning Ahead: July 20th-24th, 2015

Weekday community-based educational opportunities can be found throughout the four counties of Western MA all week long!

This week we are featuring 13 community-based educational opportunities that can be selected to support the interests and education of self-directed teens, homeschoolers and life-long learners:

Check our list of Weekly Suggested Events for our comprehensive list, including ongoing learning and play opportunities for younger children and intergenerational community events.

Learning Ahead is sponsored in part by:

North Star: Self-Directed Learning for Teens

Berkshire County

Wednesday, July 22. 10am-12pm — FLORAL ARRANGING
Would you like to create gorgeous floral arrangements to adorn your home and share with friends and family? The Native Floral Arranging Workshop offered by Project Native through Berkshire Community College will teach you how to do just that! Learn how to collect, condition, and arrange specimens in a variety of containers. Bring 2-3 containers, pruners, scissors, a hat, sunscreen, gloves, water bottle, and closed-toe shoes. Rain or shine! Registration requested. 413-274-3433. 342 North Plain Road, Housatonic, MA. ($$) — See our post, Community-Based Learning at Native Plant Nursery & Wildlife Sanctuary in Berkshires.

Thursday, July 23. 2:30pm — HISTORY/ARCHITECTURE
The Norman Rockwell Museum‘s 36 acres are dotted with many interesting historical buildings. Tour the property and explore the structures and their stories with a knowledgeable guide from the museum. Appropriate for older students and adults. 413-298-4100. 9 Route 183, Stockbridge, MA. ($)

Thursday, July 23. 5:30pm — LECTURE/CHILDREN’S BOOKS
“You Must Be Kidding” is a program at the Norman Rockwell Museum that takes participants on an historical tour through the history of the relationship between children’s books and cartoonists. Author and book historian Leonard Marcus will lead the session. 413-298-4100. 9 Route 183, Stockbridge, MA. ($)

Friday, July 24. 5pm-10:15pm — NATIVE FAUNA & NATURALIST SKILLS
Project Native launches its Weekend with Wildlife with a fabulous series of evening events. From 5pm-8pm, visitors may tour the butterfly house, learn ways to attract native pollinators to their gardens, and enjoy tasty hors d’oeuvres. At 9pm, go exploring on the farm with environmental education interns who will teach about night vision, constellations, nocturnal wildlife, and how to night hike! Raindate Saturday, July 25. 413-274-3433. 342 North Plain Road, Housatonic, MA. (DONATIONS) See our post, Community-Based Learning at Native Plant Nursery & Wildlife Sanctuary in Berkshires.

Franklin County

Monday, July 20. 12pm-4:30pm — HISTORY/FIBER ARTS
Did you know that silk played an important role in Deerfield’s history? Visit Historic Deerfield‘s Silken Threads and Shimmering Cloth presentations to learn all about the silk industry. Check out the live silkworm exhibit, reel silk from a cocoon, and try painting on silk fabric! Many examples of silken cloths and embroideries will be on display throughout the museum as well. This hands-on learning opportunity will be available daily through August 13, 2015. 413-775-7127. 84B Old Main Street, Deerfield, MA. ($)

Tuesday, July 21. 4pm — UPCYCLING
Plastic bags + heat from an iron + a little bit of instruction = cool, functional, upcycled wallet! Bring your own plastic bags and wrappers, or use some from the ample supply that will be provided at this upcycling workshop, compliments of the Whately Library. Lou Leelyn of Lou’s Upcycles will lead the session, which is appropriate for ages 8 and up. Pre-registration required. 413-665-2170. 202 Chestnut Plain Road, Whately, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, July 22. 9am — YOGA
Teens and adults are invited to the Spear Memorial Library for a yoga class taught by Jeannette Stockton, a certified yoga teacher who summers in Shutesbury. Please bring a yoga mat. 413-259-1213. 10 Cooleyville Road, Shutesbury, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, July 22. 10am — NATIVE FAUNA
Bobolinks are declining in numbers nationwide, but they can be found in relative abundance at the Bullitt Reservation, a Trustees of Reservations property. The beautiful Baltimore checkerspot butterfly should be flitting across the fields here as well! Bring your binoculars for a fun morning of wildlife viewing. 413-584-6353. 332 Bullitt Road, Ashfield, MA. (< $)

Wednesday, July 22. 6pm-8:30pm — COMMUNITY SERVICE
Water chestnut is an invasive plant that is choking up local waterways and wreaking havoc on native plants and animals. Join folks from the Connecticut River Watershed Council to get out and remove these plants! There are many plants to pull out, but they come out easily. Many hands make light work! Anyone interested in this type of work is invited to contact the Council for additional dates and locations throughout the summer. Registration requested. 800-859-2960. Barton Cove, Gill, MA. (FREE)

Friday, July 24. 8pm — OUTDOOR THEATRE
Double Edge Theatre presents a preview of Once a Blue Moon, an indoor/outdoor traveling spectacle in which audience members will traverse hills, pastures, riverbanks, and gardens as they follow performers through a magical realism tale. Previews run through July 26; performances run July 29-August 23. Rain or shine. 413-628-0277. 948 Conway Road, Ashfield, MA. ($)

Hampshire County

Wednesday, July 22. 2pm-3pm — BEEKEEPING
Bees are an essential part of local ecosystems but some of their populations continue to decline. If you would like like to to learn more about bees or have considered backyard beekeeping, check out this event at the Williston Memorial Library! 413-527-1031. 9 Park Street, Easthampton, MA. (FREE

Hampden County

Tuesday, July 21. 5:30pm-7pm — STEM
Create fun and interesting games and animations using Scratch and pen tools at this workshop by Holyoke Codes. Knowledgeable volunteers will be on site to support participants as they learn how to use the tools. Registration required. Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center, 100 Bigelow Street, Holyoke, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, July 23. 5:30pm-7pm — STEM
Drop in to a Holyoke Codes Lab Night any Thursday in July to try out LEGO Mindstorms EV3 robotics kits, Scratch projects, learn a programming language, and much more! These unstructured sessions allow participants to meet one another, collaborate, ask questions of experienced volunteers, and explore a variety of coding-related activities. All ages welcome. Registration requested. Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center, 100 Bigelow Street, Holyoke, MA. (FREE)

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