Programs for Schools at Wachusett Meadow
Wachusett Meadow Wildlife Sanctuary offers nature-based programs for students at any level from preschool to adult. Programs are aligned with the Massachusetts Department of Education frameworks.
Our Education staff is committed to creating engaging and interactive programs that are age/audience appropriate. Both student instruction and professional development options are available. Whether you choose to visit the sanctuary or have us come to your school, we will work with you to plan a curriculum that meets your needs.
Through guided explorations, Wachusett Meadow’s 1,000-plus acres of woods, wetlands, and fields are a dynamic setting for students to inquire, investigate, classify, think critically, and draw conclusions. Programs include activities such as using tools, gathering data, and making meaningful observations. Programs will be geared toward the requested curriculum, with connections to seasonal natural history and local wildlife.
Wachusett Meadow staff will visit your class to provide students with a broader understanding of the natural world. Programs may include interactive discussions, narrated photo presentations, specimen study, and educational activities. We can also explore the schoolyard/school property in order to discover and connect students to their local environment. Many of our school program curriculums can be taught as either a classroom presentation or as an outdoor exploration. We emphasize inquiry-based skills.
Our homeschool programs are designed to encourage children to connect and interact with the environment through investigation and science-based learning--and with each other through group-building and games. We offer both single session topics and comprehensive topics covered in a program series. Most programs include indoor activities as well as time outdoors exploring the sanctuary. Participants receive handouts or “home projects” to help further their learning and to share with their families.
Nature Adventures for Young Folks is a two-term enrichment program (with many enrollment options) for 3.5–6 year olds. We encourage young children to enjoy and explore the outdoors by emphasizing curiosity, listening and observation skills, and an understanding and appreciation of the natural world. The programs are a mix of hands-on activities, experiments, nature walks, songs, stories, demonstrations, and open play. Preschool Story Hour is a flexible option for parents to enjoy a story, craft, and a walk with their child age 2.5–6 years old. These programs cover a wide variety of nature themes and families may register for individual sessions.
Wachusett Meadow provides professional development opportunities for teachers in natural history and related sciences. All workshops are designed for active participation and practical application in the classroom. Teachers can attend workshops offered on a variety of topics or our education staff can design a workshop to meet your specific needs. Workshops can be held at the sanctuary or at your school. We are a DOE-approved PDP provider.
Wachusett Meadow offers guided hikes designed to support classroom curriculums for many fields of study, such as biology, ecology, environmental science, and ornithology. Additionally, internships and opportunities for individuals or small student groups to assist the sanctuary’s ecological management program are available.