Professional Development

We offer standard and custom-designed professional development trainings.  Focus is on strengthening content knowledge and teaching methods in earth, life, and physical sciences, while incorporating the best practices of environmental education in your classroom. See listing below for upcoming and ongoing professional development offerings.

In Bloom 2022 Western Massachusetts

Saturday, May 14, 2022 9am–4pm
with Antioch University New England

As we’ve learned from covid, it has been healthier to have children outside. But how do we successfully open up the doors and turn school inside out?

Join the Hitchcock Center as we host Antioch University New England’s In Bloom in Western Massachusetts on May 14, 2022 from 9am – 4pm. The maples, sassafras and inspiring ideas will be flowering by this time in the spring.

Morning and afternoon workshops will be held in-person outside and geared to preschool through fourth grade teachers, so invite your elementary teacher colleagues.

We’ll have regional presenters leading workshops, giving the keynote and leading panel discussions, and will continue to spotlight the work of Antioch University New England faculty members who teach in the Nature-based Early Childhood Certificate program.

Working Professionals–$125, Antioch University Alumni & Current Students–$75:

Group Rate $100/person School Teams of 3 or more:

Teaching STEM Outdoors 

10 teachers in Grades K-5
One 90 minute session
Fee: $300.00 plus travel

Are you looking for creative and innovative ways to teach outdoors at your school? What new techniques will you need to have in your toolkit to create a supportive structure for your class?  Outdoor programs are a way of connecting students to their surroundings in ways that are meaningful to their lives.  Being outdoors is also known to reduce anxiety and increase focus in children, as well as increase their interest in their local environment.

This workshop will demonstrate how to guide your students to develop strong STEM identities, skills and practices. A Hitchcock educator will work with you on your own school grounds to find learning opportunities, including habitats to explore and organisms to discover. We will identify safety hazards and ways of reducing or working around these while teaching outside. And we will share engaging activities and management strategies to ensure that your outdoor instructional time meets your curriculum goals.

We will model active explorations of:

Math and writing practices as well as literature connections will be woven throughout our outdoor discoveries. You will leave with many tools and best practices to share with your colleagues.

Registration and Questions
For more information on trainings, please contact Helen Ann Sephton, School Programs Coordinator via email or 413-256-6006.


Note: These trainings are available in-person only and for that reason they are temporarily on hold due to COVID-19.

The following trainings are designed to assist teachers in implementing curriculum units that have been  developed by Hitchcock Center educators and can be custom-designed to meet your school’s professional development needs, whether it be a two, six or 10+ hour training. These units are aligned with the national NGSS (Next Generation Science Standards) and are environment-based. They aim to make learning relevant to students’ lives and to prepare them to be critical thinkers and 21st century problem solvers. Workshops can be held at your school site or at the Hitchcock Center.

Program Fees
Professional Development Training: $200 per hour + travel fee
Consulting Fee: $120 per hour + travel fee

Registration and Questions
For more information on trainings, please contact Helen Ann Sephton, School Programs Coordinator via email or 413-256-6006.

Implementing New Science Units in Your School

Free online curriculum units

Hitchcock Center education staff have developed the following comprehensive curriculum units to teach environmental concepts to young people:
The Pond Ecosystem – Grade 3
Energy is Electrifying!! – Grade 4
Hydroshphere, Water and How We Use It – Grade 5

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Hitchcock Center for the Environment