Learn Local. Play Local.: Plastic Bottles to Electric Cars. Mushrooms to Engineers.

Community-Based Education Highlights
for Western Massachusetts

Bird WalkBird BandingBird FestivalFamily FestivalParents’ Night OutDivinityArchitectureLocal HistoryLabor HistorySilk HistoryWomen’s SuffrageRosie RevereGirls GardeningPlant SaleSoil ScienceElectric CarsNatural HistoryPhenologyMycologyBotanyForest BathingWild FlowersVolunteeringTown Clean-UpLGBTQNAACPADHDSTEMFood SecurityLiterature in TranslationPicture Book ArtComicsMuseum AdventuresThe ClarkWoodstockDouble Edge TheatreBasket WeavingTie-DyeTextilesStar WarsHarry Potter

These are just a few of the community-based learning highlights we featured this week in our eNewsletter for the week, May 4-10, 2019. Click through, peruse our list, and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play! ♥ Want to have our highlights and spotlights  delivered to your inbox every Thursday? Click here to subscribe!

Interest: PLASTICS

SELF-DIRECTED LEARNING: “We’ve all been told that we should recycle plastic bottles and containers. But what actually happens to the plastic if we just throw it away? Emma Bryce traces the life cycles of three different plastic bottles, shedding light on the dangers these disposables present to our world.” – TED-Ed

View full lesson: What really happens to the plastic you throw away – Emma Bryce

CBEdu Event: Art Exhibit – Plastic Entanglements: Ecology, Aesthetics, Materials. The story of plastic is as complex as the polymer chains that make up its unique material properties. Plastic Entanglements brings together sixty works by thirty contemporary artists to explore the environmental, aesthetic, and technological entanglements of our ongoing love affair with this paradoxical, infinitely malleable substance. Both miraculous and malignant, ephemeral yet relentlessly present, plastic infiltrates our global networks, our planet, and even our bodies. Smith College Museum of Art. 413-585-2760. 20 Elm Street at Bedford Terrace. Northampton, MA.

Native-Species: BIRDS

CBEdu Event: BIRD FESTIVAL – Saturday, May 4, 9am-2pm. Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary is kicking off a week of intergenerational birding activities with a Bird Festival! Individual adults and families can take guided walks of the grounds and learn about bird banding through demonstrations. “Bird banding” refers to the process of catching birds, marking them with an identifying band, and setting them free again. The data gathered from this process can assist in ornithological and biological research and can be part of tracking reproductive success and population rates. All day during the festival, you can learn how to engage in citizen science and get involved helping Neighborhood Nest Watch to band birds. Visit the Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary webpage for a full schedule of activities. 413-584-3009. 127 Combs Road. Easthampton, MA. (FREE)

CITIZEN SCIENCE: BIRD BANDING – Sunday, May 5, 1-2 pm. M.A.P.S. Bird Banding Station. Join Ashley Green in learning about a M.A.P.S. Bird Banding Station in Warwick, MA. Get to know which birds are caught at the station and what demographic information is collected. Also, learn how that information can be useful in the conservation of birds and their habitats. Great Falls Discovery Center. 413-863-3221. 2 Avenue A, Turners Falls, MA.


CBEdu EVENT: PICTURE BOOK ART/EXHIBIT – Saturday, May 4, 10am-5pm. The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art celebrates the golden anniversary of William Steig’s seminal book Sylvester and the Magic Pebble. Steig’s famous fable tells of Sylvester Duncan, a donkey who discovers a magic pebble and accidentally turns himself into a rock. With humor and pathos, Steig illustrates an emotional tale of discovery, loss, and reunion. Above all, it is a story about the love of family. William Steig’s Sylvester and the Magic Pebble: A Golden Anniversary is on view from May 4 to December 1 in The Carle’s Central Gallery. Pick up a copy of the book and add it to your evening story time with your kids!  The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. 413-559-6300. 125 W Bay Rd, Amherst, MA.

SELF-INITIATED ACTIVITY: Listen to the story of Sylvester and the Magic Pebble narrated in Mandarin and Spanish too!


CBEdu EVENT: ELECTRIC VEHICLES – Thursday May 9, 7-8:30pm. Get the Buzz on the Latest Electric Vehicles. Curious about electric vehicle (EVs)s? How they work, how far they can go on a charge? An increasing number of electric vehicles on the market are competitively priced and can go over 100 miles on a charge. This workshop will start with a brief ride around the parking lot in a plug-in hybrid Chevy Volt for anyone who arrives around 6:45pm. Participants will learn about EVs and plug-in hybrid EVs available, their features and range, big incentives that bring down their purchase price, charging an EV and matching the right EV and charger with your driving habits and needs. You’ll also learn about pairing solar power for your home with the charging demands of your car, and when to charge for the lowest carbon impact. Hitchcock Center for the Environment. 413-256-6006, 845 West St, Amherst, MA.


SELF-DIRECTED LEARNING: “You’ve heard of Engineers, I’m sure. But, what are Engineers? Well, it turns out that they’re all kinds of people doing all kinds of neat work! Want to be one? Well, join Sabrina in this episode of Crash Course Kids where she talks about what they do and why they do it!” – Crash Course

CBEdu EVENT: STORY HOUR – Wednesday, May 8, 4:30-5:30pm. Reading of Rosie Revere, Engineer and engineering a Twig Raft Boat. Gades K-2nd. Register here. East Longmeadow Public Library. 413-525-5432. 60 Center Square, East Longmeadow, MA.


CBEdu EVENT: MYCOLOGY/FOOD SECURITY – Sunday, May 5, 11am-12:30pm. Paul Lagreze of New England Wild Edibles will be offering a hands-on workshop to grow gourmet mushrooms for the Grow Food Northampton Organic Community Garden Giving Garden. Paul will demonstrate mushroom growing techniques on logs and wood chips. Working in pairs, participants will learn and practice step-by-step inoculation of shiitake mushrooms on logs, preparing a mushroom log for themselves and Giving Garden. This event is free and open to the public. Donations are welcome. Grow Food Northampton Organic Community Garden. 413-320-4799. 140 Meadow Street. Florence, MA.

SELF-INITIATED ACTIVITY: “Mushrooms are neither plant nor animal. So what’s the best way to cook them? Dan explains the science behind cooking this delicious fungus in this episode of What’s Eating Dan?.” – America’s Test Kitchen

Interest: 1919

CBEdu EVENT: LOCAL HISTORY – Monday, May 6, 6-9pm. The theme of the Pioneer Valley History Network‘s Spring Gathering & Annual Meeting is “1919.” Presentations will include: Women’s Suffrage in the North Quabbin, Baseball’s Black Sox Scandal: Shoeless Joe Jackson, Buck Weaver, Arnold Rothstein, and a Nation Shocked,1919 Ice Famine, and the Calvin Coolidge’s Governorship and the Boston Police Strike. All are welcomed. RSVP: bmckee427@gmail.com. Deerfield Teachers’ Center. Memorial St. (Behind Memorial Hall Museum at Historic Deerfield) Deerfield, MA.


RESOURCE: PODCAST – “It’s the English class you didn’t know you missed and the meaningful conversations you didn’t know you craved.Join Vanessa Zoltan and Casper ter Kuile as they bring thought, reflection and laughter to Harry Potter; not just as novels, but as instructive and inspirational texts that will teach us about our own lives. Relive the magic chapter by chapter as they explore themes such as commitment, revenge and forgiveness. This podcast [Harry Potter and the Sacred Text] creates time in your week to think about life’s big questions. Because reading fiction doesn’t just help us escape the world, it helps us live in it.” – Harry Potter and the Sacred Text

CBEdu EVENT: LITERATURE IN TRANSLATION/DIVINITY – Wednesday, May 8, 7-9pm. Harry Potter and the Sacred Text. Harvard Divinity graduates Vanessa Zoltan and Casper ter Kuile deep dive into a chapter of Harry Potter, tell stories from their own lives, and try-out a medieval religious reading practice or two with this modern-day classic. Come and enjoy a night of music, spiritual engagement, great storytelling and hanging out with two of your favorite podcasters and meet some amazing fellow-Harry Potter fans! St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. 485 Appleton St. Holyoke, MA.

Learn Local. Play Local. is supported in part by a grant from the Agawam, Buckland, Deerfield, Gill, Hadley, New Salem, Plainfield, Shelburne Southampton, Tolland, and Westhampton Cultural Councils, local agencies that are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

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