Nature and Writing Summer Camp

great spangled frittilaryWe checked out the space for our summer camps this week. Out in the meadow we saw this beauty.

Our Nature & Writing summer camp takes place at St. Mark’s School in Pittsfield, MA August 4-8, 2014 and is run by experienced adult educators and professionals. The camp runs 9am to 1:30pm Cost $175 or $35/day.

Students will go on daily guided nature hikes, where we’ll explore the terrain and examine different kinds of local plant and animal life. Afterwards, everyone adjourns to the classroom to write a fictional story based on some of the flora and fauna we encountered that day. Additionally will meet Mr. Horace Franklin Turtle, bunnies, and other live animals as we learn about invasive and native species. Ages 7-12.

While we do our best to maintain the highest levels of cleanliness at all times, we give students a very hands on approach, and sometimes that gets messy.

To register for the above class contact: Lisa Provencher <> or print out this Camp class application form.

For more information:

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Posted by on July 18, 2014 in Camps, Children's Art & Science Classes, insects


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Butterfly Pavilion

I finally took a tour of the Butterfly Pavilion at the Berkshire Museum. It was amazing. Definitely worth the trip up to visit. Its not huge, but there are about 200 butterflies you get to meet up close and personal. Bring a camera!

blue morpho underwing white butterfly proboscis black yellow butterfly


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The Caterpillar Lab

cecropita caterpillarI had the opportunity to get a sneak peek at the setting up of “The Caterpillar Lab” at the Berkshire Museum. Its the creation of Sam Jaffe, evolutionary biologist and educator. He told me all the cool and fascinating stuff about his caterpillars that he and his team caught or raised from eggs. They are all native, some common and others rarely seen.


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Posted by on July 12, 2014 in insects, Science


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Science in the Park

keying skullsIn collaboration with the Berkshire Environmental Action Team (BEAT) and Partners in Out of School Time (POST), Dr. Augie’s will be holding science in the park, at Pitt Park in Pittsfield Monday-Wed-Friday. This Friday we started with skulls. The kids had a chance to look a collection of skulls and learn how to use a key to identify them. It was fun. Lots of new words and terms like interorbital foramen, bulbus, rostrum. But they stuck with it! Impressive.



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Berkshire BioBlitz 2014

bioblitz sign Thanks to coordinator Collin Adkins, Berkshire BioBlitz 2014 was a blast!! Collin is a AmeriCorps Member – MassLIFT, Service Learning Coordinator, AMC-Berkshires, South Egremont, Greenagers, Great Barrington, MA. He did a great job.

This years Berkshire BioBlitz was held at Fountain Pond/Threemile Hill Trail in Great Barrington. I never made it to the trail, I was too busy in the meadow, swamp and hedgerow surrounding the parking lot.

We found some cool bugs. Caroline had this nifty set up to use your smart phone to take pictures of tiny things close up. She studies algae, but we saw some daphnia too. Then a yellow warbler flew into the glass at the gym and stunned itself. It was fine though and we got a chance to see it up close and personal.




yellow warbler warbler in tree table set up smart phone maginfier caroline bioblitz sign aquatics algae


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Posted by on July 7, 2014 in Berkshire BioBlitz, insects, Science, science in the parks


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Field Entomology for Teachers

lodge state forestField Entomology for Teachers–Through MCLA

This is a hands-on, fun packed, but rigorous course!

Course title:  Field Entomology for Educators
Course number:  BIOE 650
Number of credits:   3 graduate
Course dates:  July 7 – 11, 2014
Course times:  8:00am – 4:00pm
Course location:  Pittsfield State Forest


For questions about registration contact:
Jake Eberwein
Dean of Graduate and Continuing Education
Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts
Mark Hopkins 204
(413) 662-5543

Where we meet: The educator’s building across from the swimming hole just past the main entrance to the forest.

What to bring to the course: Comfortable clothing and shoes with white socks, rain gear, a notebook for keeping field notes, your lunch and snacks.

What will be provided: field collecting equipment, microscopes, pinning and mounting supplies, maps, and most importantly BUG repellent.

bioblitz moths 007What is an insect? And why should we study them?
Lyme Disease overview
Anatomy of an insect
The Insect Orders and Life Cycles
Using an identification key
Aquatic collecting and identification.
Insects, Ecology and the Environment
Wooley Adelgids
Night Collecting
Pinning and mounting
Insects, Genetics, Biodiversity and Evolution
Insects and Society

This 3-credit graduate field entomology course will demonstrate to teachers the accessibility and versatility of insects as models in teaching a wide range of concepts including:
the characteristics of living things, reproduction and heredity, genetics, structure and function of cells, evolution and biodiversity, adaptations, energy cycles, ecology and environmental science.

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Posted by on May 9, 2014 in insects, Science


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Making a TV show

Tish cameraOur 21 Century students are making a TV show in collaboration with PCTV focusing on “reptiles”. They have the background information, did their research, discussed their research and did a little of the filming. Next we are going to practice the scripts and do some filming!

We ask you this, “Why did the turtle cross the road?”
TV christina greg TV studio



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Posted by on April 6, 2014 in Camps, Children's Art & Science Classes, Science


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