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Being accessible to everyone, everywhere, at all times, the sky is the ultimate community-based educational resource! And astronomical events can be a catalyst for learning, like the upcoming transit of Mercury. This is an astronomical phenomenon in which Mercury comes between Earth and the Sun, and can be seen as a tiny black dot moving across the sun. Learn more about this phenomenon at community events this month!

The University of Washington’s Sing About Science and Math Project offers an online database of over 7,000 songs that cover an immense variety of topics in technology, biology, environmental science, physics, chemistry, math, engineering, and medicine…

Science & Education Episode with Danny Weinkauf of They Might Be Giants LISTEN TO PODCAST:   Danny Weinkauf guest DJs this week, demonstrating though song examples and commentary his love of science and education, and how it has influenced his favorite songs and personal writing style. − www.dannyweinkauf.com Saturday from 9-10am & Sunday from 7-8am September 23rd & 24th, 2017 WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio Northampton, MA Featured video:   “I am a… Read More

Engaging for scientists of all ages and specialties, SciShow’s videos spotlight everything from outer space to the mysteriously fantastic smell of old books. Families can use SciShow’s videos to spark curiosity, support studies of specific topics, or to solidify preexisting knowledge – without contributing to excessive screen time.

Some of the best science learning happens when experiments turn into a big mess – and summer is the best time to do such activities, since they can be done outside. Our list of messy outdoor science covers everything from physics to compost, explosions to egg frying, and natural dye to water filters.

Why does popcorn pop? Corn contains water, which turns to steam, creating pressure inside the hard outer shell and eventually exploding. This is an example of a commonplace chemical reaction. Another common chemical reaction is oxidation. Tarnished silver, rust on a bicycle, and discoloration in spoiled meats are all results of oxidation. Taking a closer and more analytical look at everyday chemical reactions can be interesting, but not nearly as interesting as the more elaborate and engaging demonstrations!

Crisp fall days are a great time for outdoor hands-on science! Using fall-harvested crops and the natural phenomena of autumn as inspiration, families can explore everything from weather prediction to animal tracks. These engaging outdoor science projects can be enjoyed by scientists of all ages, and require few materials – the learning inspired by each project will come naturally thanks to participants’ curiosity and ability to observe! Learn what color leaves different trees produce in the autumn and learn to read your landscape.

One of summer’s best gifts is sunshine, and the long hours of daylight are perfect for sun-based science explorations. Experiments calling for the creation of sun dials, solar ovens, water stills, and other scientific tools can lead participants towards learning about UV radiation, the relationship between light and heat, and many other light-based scientific concepts.

Intergenerational collaborations can provide young students with hands-on lessons in the basic science of physics and principles of design at the 5th Great Holyoke Brick Race happening on Saturday, June 4th!

Being accessible to everyone, everywhere, at all times, the sky is the ultimate community-based educational resource! And astronomical events can be a catalyst for learning, like the upcoming transit of Mercury. This is an astronomical phenomenon in which Mercury comes between Earth and the Sun, and can be seen as a tiny black dot moving across the sun. Learn more about this phenomenon at community events this month!

Elms College is throwing a Bioblitz this Saturday at Chicopee Memorial State Park. Teachers, students, parents and friends of all ages are invited to team up with scientists to identify as many of the park’s living creatures as possible in a single day. This is a wonderful opportunity to meet people working in scientific fields and ask them questions about science in general or about their careers specifically. Participation can get community members interested in the biodiversity of their local lands, and as a result make them more invested in conservation efforts. Documenting of local species can give scientists clues for further research. You never know what you’re going to find until you look! Register online.

From monster eggs and flying ghosts to osmosis and convection, Halloween themes can inspire some fantastic (and icky) seasonally themed hands-on science activities. Using easy-to-find materials, families can explore scientific concepts in the spirit of the season!

Using the best that the outdoors have to offer during fall, families can engage in easy and exciting hands-on science experiments. Requiring few materials and relying heavily on the power of observation, these experiments offer opportunities for informal science learning!

Milham Planetarium at Williams College is an incredible high-tech resource for Western Mass. Astronomy students in the area always seem to want to open up the planets for the rest of us. All through the Fall they will host free shows for the general public. There is something scientifically hypnotic about a planet show, and it can be a great “hook” for kids who are interested in the stars. Read on & reserve your spot in what will be a very popular show series.

Learning can be difficult, sometimes leaving youngsters feeling stress and frustration when challenged. However, by learning about neuroscience and metacognition, young learners can learn to see challenge as a necessary step in the learning process!

Public art is designed to make us think. Whether it’s about local history, traffic safety, or our cultural heritage, public artwork sends a message. Children have the opportunity to create public artwork to send a message about climate change by participating in UMass Lowell’s Cool Science contest! Young artists can learn about climate science and art with a purpose by creating entries, and winners might get to see their art made public.

Volunteer for river conservation by participating in the Westfield River Committee’s Watershed Blitz! River-loving, conservation-minded families can volunteer alongside experts in order to spot and identify the many plant and animal species that reside on the river’s banks – working together to gather useful information about the local environment. Held in celebration of the committee’s 20th year of preservation work, the event not only supports future preservation, but promotes community participation in the process!

Support STEM learning & interests at home with this list of recommended science books! Blending images and stories with scientific language, these books will plant seeds and enrich self-directed learning and interests in the field of science for children of all ages.

Experiment with chain reactions this winter when your family is cooped up inside on a snowy day! Dominoes, popsicle sticks and Rube Goldberg Machines are three easy ways kids can learn about the concepts of chain reactions while have much fun constructing and setting them off!

With chilly temperatures and icicles, we’re having the perfect winter for some great snow studies this year! The white coating that covers our landscape here in New England not only offers opportunities for winter sports, but it is also a great creative medium that can support science studies too! The chemistry behind snowflakes and frost are just waiting to be discovered…

The University of Washington’s Sing About Science and Math Project offers an online database of over 7,000 songs that cover an immense variety of topics in technology, biology, environmental science, physics, chemistry, math, engineering, and medicine…

Add some science to these hot summer days with STEMBite, a YouTube channel that offers snack-size videos focused on topics in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) and the things in our everyday lives that they are related to…

Science in the Parks in Pittsfield A Remedy to Summer Slide Public parks are accessible green spaces families can visit in the summer months to both observe and explore nature. Whether they be well-manicured or allowed to grow wild and free, our local parks offer a lot to learn and explore in terms of ecology, natural & local history, and creative free play. Science educator Lisa Provencher is holding a Science in… Read More

After 17 Years, Cicadas Scheduled to Emerge from the Earth Along the Eastern Seaboard. Will They Be Emerging Here in Western MA? This year, for the first time since 1996, a Magicicada brood will emerge from the ground all across the eastern United States.  This special species – unlike other cicadas – emerges every 17 years with the entire species growing and developing at the same time,  creating synchronized cycles of growth,… Read More

Laura Ingalls Wilder to the Beatles. Vernal Pools to Boreal Forests. Legally Blonde to Anything Goes… These are just a few of the learning highlights we’re featuring this week! Get out into your community and learn while you play! And be sure to check our list of supporting book titles to supplement the learning on the different topics highlighted each week. Purchase them for your family library, or check them out from… Read More

Beekeeping to Bird Houses. Latino Folktales to Ukrainian Pysanky. Bread to Sushi… These are just a few of the learning highlights we’re featuring this week! Get out into your community and learn while you play! Sustainability ♦ Nature Science/Animal Studies ♦ Culinary Arts ♦ Musical/Theater ♦ Parent Workshops ♦ Art ♦ Culinary Studies Easter Sunday in next weekend, March 31st, but egg hunts are happening this weekend and next!  Check out our post, Easter Events in Western MA for… Read More

Project BudBurst Citizen Scientist Opportunity for Families & Students Students can learn so much by following the seasonal patterns of plants found here in New England. Each plant’s cycle is different, and varies depending on factors like location and weather patterns.  Tracking a plant through its seasonal changes can help us to better understand the subtle changes that take place in our environment, and says a lot about where we live. This… Read More

Annie to Oklahoma. St. Patrick’s Day to Spring Equinox. Jane Yolen to Georges Méliès… These are just a few of the learning highlights we’re featuring this week! Get out into your community and learn while you play! Literature ♦ History ♦ Nature/Animal Studies ♦ Parent Workshops/Support Groups ♦ Sustainability ♦ Spring Musicals ♦ Film ♦ St. Patrick’s Day And be sure to check our list of supporting book & DVD titles to supplement… Read More

Shaker Song to Gospel Music. Sojourner Truth to George Washington. Arctic Wolves to Mountain Lions… These are just a few of the learning highlights we’re featuring this week! Get out into your community and learn while you play! History | Culinary History | Animals | STEM | Culture | Music & Dance Studies | Film | Sports | Creative Free Play | Fairy Tales

Studies of outer space can be mysterious and intriguing to young minds and there are many resources to support a students interest in the study of space, both online and in Western MA. In Western MA Planetariums and Online Resources for Space Studies we featured several online resources and seven resources right here in Western MA…

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