Learning Ahead: January 11th-17th, 2016

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

This week we are featuring 11 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.

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Berkshire County

Monday, January 11, 1:30pm and 7pm
Heiress Peggy Guggenheim was a central figure in the Modern Art movement, and her personal life was as colorful as the works she collected. Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict (Not Rated, 2015) examines her personal life, including family tragedy and relationships with the likes of Samuel Beckett, Max Ernst, and Jackson Pollock, and her relentless drive to create one of the world’s greatest collections of modern art. Showing at the Little Cinema at the Berkshire Museum. Visit Hilltown Families’ new Visual Arts Bulletin Board to gather and share information about local exhibits and calls for art. 413-443-7171. 39 South Street (Route 7), Pittsfield, MA. (<$ Members, $ Non-members)

Monday, January 11, 6pm

Come make your voice heard and share what you would like to find at the Lee Library, as part of the Teen Advisory Board. New members are always welcome. Participation could count towards NHS and Jr. NHS requirements at Lee Middle and High School. 413-243-0385. 100 Main Street, Lee, MA. (FREE)

Friday, January 15, 3pm-4pm

LEGOs aren’t just for kids — they can be used to create sophisticated projects using robotics. Challenge your creative and collaborative skills by building and programming a robot with your friends at Teen LEGO Robotics at the Lee Library. 413-243-0385. 100 Main Street, Lee, MA. (FREE)

Friday, January 15, 4pm and 7pm

Although jobs in the technology industry are growing faster than colleges can produce computer science graduates, the proportion of tech positions held by women has declined, from roughly one-third to one-quarter, over the last 25 years. African-Americans and Hispanics are also underrepresented in the field. Code: Debugging the Gender Gap (Not rated, 2015), showing at the Berkshire Museum, examines how cultural mindsets, stereotypes, and other factors brought about this imbalance and endeavors to inspire change. 413-443-7171. 39 South Street (Route 7), Pittsfield, MA. (<$ Members, $ Non-members)

Franklin County

Wednesday, January 13, 4pm-5pm

Tweens and young teens who have stories to tell can practice and get tips from author and teacher Nell Wright on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month during the school year at the Greenfield Public Library. Come sharpen your writing skills and get feedback on your work. Limited to eight participants; pre-registration required. For ages 10-14. 413-772-1544. 402 Main Street, Greenfield, MA. (FREE)

Hampshire County

Monday, January 11, 7pm

Nerd Nite Noho presents two talks at The Deuce at the World War II Club. First up: The mention of a medieval meal might conjure up plates of bland, brown mush and turkey legs served at a huge banquet table, but the reality was much different. In “What’s for Dinner in Medieval London?” Rebecca Slitt, former professor of medieval history, will discuss the incredible diversity of cuisine in the Middle Ages. Next: Artist and middle school teacher Aaron Jensen will explain a technique for measuring a civilization’s level of technological development. In “Type 1 or Bust! The Kardashev Scale and Civilizations of the Future,” he’ll give examples from real life and science fiction and hypothesize about what a Type 1 civilization would look like. Drinks and food for purchase. 50 Conz Street, Northampton, MA. (<$)

Tuesday, January 12, 10am-4pm

The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art hosts the exhibition Magic, Color, Flair: The World of Mary Blair through February 21. Known for her vibrant color palette, Mary Blair dominated art and design at The Walt Disney Company and set the artistic tone for classic animated films including Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland, and Peter Pan. 413-658-1105. 125 West Bay Road, Amherst, MA. ($)

Thursday, January 14, 6:30pm-8pm
Bone broth is made by boiling the bones, cartilage, tendons, and ligaments of animals to create a gelatin-rich stock that purportedly supports bone, joint, and digestive health. Learn more at Bone Broth 101, a workshop led by local Nutritional Therapist Craig Fear, at River Valley Co-op. Recipes and homemade samples will be available. You can read about the health claims of bone broth, and which are supported by science, here. Pre-registration required. 413-584-2665. 330 North King Street, Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, January 14, 7pm

In Cracking the Codes — The System of Racial Inequality, showing at the Jones Library, director Shakti Butler asks us to examine and talk about the causes and consequences of ingrained inequity in our society. The film features stories from racial justice leaders and others of many different racial backgrounds. The screening will be followed by a facilitated discussion. Online Racial Equity Learning Modules are available for those who wish to transform inspiration into action. 413-259-3223. Woodbury Room, 43 Amity Street, Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Hampden County

Wednesday, January 13, 5:30pm-7:30pm

Lab Night at Holyoke Codes is the time to try something new, share what you’ve created, or get help with a project that’s got you stumped. Play with LEGO Mindstorms EV3 or WeDo robotics kits; work on a Scratch project with some friends; get some help learning HTML, Javascript, or another programming language; learn how to create your own Minecraft mods; or write mobile apps for Android with App Inventor. Appropriate for all ages. Registration requested. 100 Bigelow Street, Holyoke, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, January 23, 2pm-4pm

Refine your robotic wrestler and see if you can guide it to victory at the second session of the “SumoBots” workshop at Holyoke Codes. Based on the Japanese sport of Sumo wrestling, SumoBots are small robots that attempt to push each other out of a raised ring. This is the second of a two-part workshop. The first session meets Wednesday, 1/20, 5:30pm-7:30pm. You do not have to attend both sessions. For ages 9 and up. Registration requested. 100 Bigelow Street, Holyoke, MA. (FREE)

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