Educators from Boston Public Schools came together on Friday, September 11 and Saturday, September 12 for an open house at the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University, an event highlighting the Arboretum as a unique resource for outdoor learning. Classroom teachers (K-12), along with science specialists, learned about the Arboretum’s Field Study Programs through activities and a guided tour of the landscape.
The open house focused on several areas of the Arboretum where students enjoy exploring plants and animals, including Dawson Pond and the Bradley Rosaceous Collection, the Leventritt Shrub and Vine Garden, and the conifer collection. Participants were excited to discover a toad and many dragonfly wings under a dawn redwood and to examine the diversity of cones represented among the Arboretum’s conifers on Conifer Path. Teachers remarked on how comfortable and enriching it was to explore the landscape, ask questions of Arboretum educators, share ideas, and learn about plants.
Back at the Hunnewell Building Lecture Hall, teachers assembled to hear about a new opportunity for professional development: the Arboretum for Educators Monthly Explorations. This new series of two-hour events, scheduled for the first Saturday of each month, invites teachers to the Arboretum to explore a variety of topics related to life science education, learn how to use the landscape with their students, and practice the types of activities and experiments that can be done in the classroom or the schoolyard. The explorations will also offer teachers suggestions for using technology to enhance outdoor explorations, accessing resource materials, and working with Arboretum Educators to customize a field study for independent learning. Interested teachers are invited to attend the next gathering at the Arboretum on Saturday, October 3 at 9:00am. Registration is requested.