Programs for Schools at Wachusett Meadow
Through field studies and classroom explorations, Mass Audubon school programs provide hands-on, inquiry-based experiences with science content and practices.
Our educators enhance students’ scientific understanding of species and habitats; ecological concepts such as food webs, cycles, systems, adaptation, and evolution; climate change; and interrelationships between people and nature.
About Wachusett Meadow
A former farmstead, Wachusett Meadow offers spectacular scenery and supports abundant wildlife throughout woodlands, wetlands, and meadows. Historic buildings and barns are still in use for educational programming and a small flock of resident sheep graze and help maintain the pastures.
An extensive 13-mile trail system traverses the sanctuary’s 1,100 acres and touch upon many landscape features, including Brown Hill summit, a glacial boulder, ancient trees, and beaver ponds.
In-School and at the Sanctuary
Whether you want to bring nature into the classroom or take lessons outside, our programs for schools offer insight into New England habitats and native species and enrich natural history and science lessons while strengthening students’ connections to the environment.
Wachusett Meadow offers field trip programs for schools at the sanctuary, in-school programs led by a Mass Audubon teacher naturalist, and hybrid programs that incorporate both an in-class and in-the-field experience.
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 multi-session program series covering comprehensive topics.
Most programs include indoor portions 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. Contact us to learn more.
Teacher Professional Development
Mass Audubon’s Professional Development programs are designed to increase content knowledge, provide teachers with hands-on, STEM-focused learning experiences, and offer resources for teaching engaging, inquiry-based science lessons in the schoolyard or classroom.
Mass Audubon offers both school-based PD programs to engage an entire grade level team or department in a deep dive on a particular topic or unit, as well as virtual and in-person public workshops throughout the year that are open to any educator. Learn more about teacher professional development
With Wachusett Meadow
The following Early Childhood Training for Caregivers & Teachers can be offered at Wachusett Meadow or at your site.
Sharing Nature with Young Children
In this workshop, educators will explore the benefits of nature play, and reflect on ways they can incorporate nature play into their programs. As a result of this training, educators will:
- Reflect on personal experiences in natural settings, and the importance of nature and outdoor play for young children.
- Review and understand guidelines from the ECE field for safe and healthy outdoor play.
- Engage in simple activities that can be incorporated into early childhood curriculum and identify ways to incorporate activities into their work.
Educators will also receive a variety of useful resources for continued learning, reflection, and exploration. Contact us to learn more.
What to Expect When You Visit
Are you preparing to visit us with your children or a group of students, including those with special needs? If so, we encourage you to review this step-by-step photo tour (Social Story) of Wachusett Meadow that shows you what to expect!