Homesteading & STEM for All Ages in the Hilltowns

S.T.E.M. and Homesteading for All Ages
2016 H.A.Y. Conference

There are many reasons to want to get involved in the homesteading movement, a trend towards self-reliance in daily living. It can be empowering to learn how to produce your own food, clothing, or other products you use on a daily basis. You might be motivated because you want to know where these things come from while wanting to cut down on your environmental impact. Plus, growing your own food, making or swapping clothing, building your own furniture, can be fun! And there’s so much learning that can happen in the process, expanding your knowledge and skills.

Homesteading is multi-faceted and can cover topics such as horticulture, agriculture, textiles, cooking, and carpentry. In learning about these subjects you can also be engaging a host of personal skills such as patience, mindfulness, dexterity, and even chemistry and other S.T.E.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) skills.

If you want to become more self-reliant, you can take small steps, learning the skills you are most drawn to. Homesteading is about lifestyle changes which begin in the home, therefore, it can be more fun and more effective in the long run to get your family members involved as well. The Hawlemont Elementary HAY Conference on April 30, 2016, (8:30am-3:30pm) allows you to attend one session, or an entire day of sessions, covering a myriad of agricultural and horticultural topics. This conference offers some workshops for children, and many for adults and educators. Sessions provide hands-on examples, covering concepts like worm composting, seed starting, or wind turbines in the classroom. Other sessions focus on activities for home like cheese making, gardening, beekeeping and maple sugaring.

A few special break outs involve S.T.E.M. learning. In the Clipmobile Challenge, students will learn concepts like friction and efficient engineering. In the Mechatronics workshop, participants will learn about sensors and build circuits.

The HAY Conference is a wonderful introduction to many topics for homesteading, as well as the exploration of career paths for teens and adults. Teachers and homeschooling parents will gain ideas for engaging lesson plans. For families, this event can spark discussions and lifestyle changes toward a more self-reliant future. Please register online and indicate which sessions you wish to attend. A list of all sessions and workshops can be found at the Hawlemont Elementary School Facebook page. Call 413-339-8316 for more information. Charlemont, MA. ($ – $$$)

Proceeds to benefit the Hawlemont Agricultural Program.

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