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Amherst Recreation is pleased to offer a Science classroom experience to children from ages 5-15 at the Peabody Mill Environmental Center, an environmental and science education center abutting almost 600 acres of Joe English conservation land. Our Homeschool Science classes are taught by Amherst Recreation staff (Find bios for our educators below)

Our monthly classes are grouped as a series of three that follow a seasonal theme. We strive to offer a diversity of subjects that will appeal to many different interests and will hopefully inspire the interest and imagination of our students! Classes are typically held the third Tuesday of each month. Please click on the date links for specific dates. 

Each class will have a hands-on piece and group projects will be included to build team-working skills. All classes will have an outdoor component. Please dress appropriately for the weather! A refillable water bottle is also great to have. Anyone registered will be notified by email of classes are cancelled due to inclimate weather.

“I would highly recommend the staff at PMEC for a memorable program for your students!”  -Homeschool Parent  

About Our Educators!

Program Coordinator Nicole Colvin-Griffin:
 “I have been an environmental educator here for the past 5 years.   I have 20+ years of experience working with children including teaching in Montessori and Waldorf Schools as well as creating my own nature and art based program from my home.    My love of nature began as a child and led me to explore the natural world all over the country by hiking and backpacking. If you don’t find me out on the trails or looking for Macroinvertebrates in the pond here at PMEC, come inside the office and say hello!  I am happiest when sharing the magic of the natural world with children!”   

Laurie Toupin:
Laurie is an environmental/science writer and educator. She has an environmental engineering background with a masters in journalism. She has published with Scholastic, The Christian Science Monitor, and Odyssey Magazine for children. She has tagged swans, otters, and black bear to aid in conservation efforts. She loves hands-on learning and believes that children retain information best when interacting with their subject. Laurie loves camping, hiking, biking, boating, and anything to do with the outdoors. She lives in Brookline, NH with her three children, three hamsters, cat, dog, lizard, chicken, and her husband. 

Kelly Gibson:
Kelly Gibson is currently at Southern New Hampshire University, in the process of obtaining a degree in sociology and non-profit grant writing. Before coming to PMEC, Kelly was a long-time home schooling parent that utilized the programs offered through PMEC. Kelly is now excited to use her Waldorf inspired philosophy and her outdoor education experience by teaching environmental education at PMEC. For fun, Kelly enjoys kayaking, letter boxing, circus arts, as well as spending time with her children, two bunnies, and a dog. 

Session Themes
Fall Session: Wild About Animals, 5-7

Sept: Omnivore, Carnivore, Herbivore, oh my! Learn about local animals and what they eat
Oct: What do animals wear? Learn about animal adaptations
Nov: Sense-Sational Nature! How do animals use their senses?

Fall Session: Kitchen Chemistry, 8-10

Sept: Bubbles! Use different materials to make your own bubble mixtures to test and take home. What "wands" work best? Also see how you can use bubbles to decorate your own wrapping paper.
Oct: Fireworks in Milk. Use simple kitchen ingredients to make colors swirl like fireworks! Will it work if we change ingredients?
Nov: Foaming Mixtures. Make your own lemony cleaning solution and compare the chemical reactions when mixing different kitchen acids.

Fall Session: Environmental Sciences, 11-15

Sept: Why do we care? Pond Life Cycle, Macros
Oct: Pollution: Where does it come from and how it gets into our water; edible aquifers
Nov: Water Cycle and ground water model. Water Quality: pH, Dissolved Oxyget

Winter Session: Chemistry-Geology-Physics-Fun!, 5-7

Dec: Messy Science! Learn Chemistry through messy experiments
Jan: Exploring Geology- What minerals/rocks can you find here in NH?
Feb: Inclined Planes- What are they? How are they used? We will have fun making them!

Winter Session: STEM Challenges, 8-10

Dec: Floating and Flying Through the Air: Design and test a parachute and a straw rocket!
Jan: Engineering Structures: Use marshmallows, pasta, tape and newspaper to build UP!
Feb: Sled Design: No sleds? No problem with inventive engineers around!

Winter Session: Dissection, 11-15

Dec: Brain of Sheep, and eye of cow
Jan: Pig Lungs and pig heart
Feb: Free choice! Choose from many different specimens to dissect and learn

Spring Session: Biodiversity, 5-7

Mar: Mammals, Reptiles and Insects- Forest Life at PMEC
Apr: Who swims there? Learn about Pond Life at PMEC- What is a macro-invertebrate?
May: Fungi- the hidden kingdom- Learn about soil like at PMEC

Spring Session: Water, Water, Everywhere, 8-10

Mar: H2O Olympics. Explore different properties of water and test out all the cool things that water can do.
Apr: Springing into Action. Learn about how water moves through soil through activities and making your own model to show how water filters through the ground and creates a spring.
May: Macro & Micro: Who Lives in the Waters around PMEC? We'll collect samples from the beaver pond, Joe English Brook and the mill pond to see what critters live in these waters. Some we will be able to see with just our eyes but others we will need to use microscopes to spot!

Spring Session: Outdoor Survival Skills, 11-15
May 15th: Class will be held at Baboosic Lake Town Beach!! Paddle tipping and packing for an overnight on the river. We will be using live boats during this class for a hands on experience! Please dress to get wet.

* Adjustments and discounts will be applied during checkout if applicable. *

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