The Center specializes in sustained, multi-session elementary and middle school science education, with a focus on a STEM curriculum. STEM is an acronym for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Here at the center, we know that all four of these problem solving disciplines are necessary for day to day life in veterinary medicine. It is our goal to teach the students that come to us how we use these fields, how they are important in veterinary medicine, and how they can be used in most any profession in the world.
We offer training in the basic skills of observation and classification at the 4th and 5th grade levels in our program entitled “Sevens.” Here students observe, group, and classify objects from the natural world in order to create their own personal field guides to their backyards, local parks and schoolyards. Middle school students, in our program “As Clear As Mud,” study the scientific method by directly conducting a first time ever experiment on shellfish from their local beaches. Students visit their local beach, create an hypothesis, revisit their beaches to collect data, interpret what they find and conclude whether they have proven that clams, mussels, crabs, starfish, and other invertebrates have an immune system. Along the way they students investigate and learn the construction of their own bodies and the bodies of other creatures, especially the morphology and function of the immune system.
We have received generous grants recently from both the Arbella and Stanton foundations. This has allowed us to teach about STEM education to students from the Weymouth and Quincy school systems, from a focus on the technology available to modern students to a lesson on comparative anatomy taught with the help of our Executive Director’s dog Waffle. We do our best to sustain New England’s wild legacy one student at a time.