New England Wildlife Center
Preserving New England's Wild Legacy
School Programs

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.


22 Comments to “School Programs”

  1. Hannah says:

    Hi there!
    My name is Hannah LaCroix and I am a senior at Millis High School, and for my senior project this year I am exploring the question “How are people able to form such close bonds with animals?”. Part of my project is a presentation to my class in which I demonstrate ideas about wild, captive, and domestic animal behaviors. I am emailing you to see if there is any way that someone from your organization could come to my school and give a short talk on how the animals come to trust you when you have to handle them for rehabilitation or relocation purposes. My highest hopes are to have someone bring a bird in that has been rehabilitated or is in the process of so that I can truly show this relationship that has developed to my peers. It would be reasonably short (anywhere up to 30 minutes) since my presentation is overall an hour long and I have other parts to fit into it. Thank you for your time

    • Hannah says:

      *bird or any other animal at all*

    • Katrina Bergman says:

      Hi Hannah, Please contact Nina Flaherty at 781 682 4878 x119. We may not be able to come to you but perhaps your school can take a field trip to the Center. Alternatively, we could definitely facetime your class. We just conducted a “google hang out” class with a school from IOWA! So, somehow we will be able to help but we don’t have the staff to come all that way right now. Let’s figure this out. We’d love to help you. :) Best, Katrina

  2. Kylee says:

    Hi, I am the speech-language pathologist at Orleans Elementary School in Orleans, MA (Cape Cod). Each year in June we do a theme month, with various activities, demonstrations, and speakers centered around a specific topic. This year, our theme is Birds! Even though we have many local resources, our committee is looking to reach further out to off-Cape programs. Does NEWC do site visits to schools for any of your programs or presentations? Our grade levels are K-5. Please let me know via email: Thank you!

  3. Chris King says:

    I would like to inquire if you offer any online resources for those interested in wildlife preservation.
    We have a small community of wildlife enthusiast here, but sadly cannot visit your center. However, your expertise is plain to see, and even if you could recommend some reliable external sources, it would be a great help.
    Thanks in advance,
    Chris King

    • Katrina Bergman says:

      Hi Chris, we have a lot of material on our website that you could review covering a variety of topics, we also post to Facebook as the New England Wildlife Center with lots of interesting stories and educational information. Our vet Dr. Mertz also uses twitter as @oddpetvet and keeps it updated with lots of wildlife related things. The IWRC and NWRA are also both wildlife associations that have lots of information on their websites. Good luck!

  4. Kim Wenzlau says:

    I am currently a vet tech student. We are looking for field trips that will help us to learn about the opportunities after graduation. Do you offer any tours that would work for us?


  5. Linda White says:

    I would like to arrange a field trip for my 5th grade class (18 students) utilizing the Sevens program. We are just beginning our classification studies. Thank you

    • Katrina Bergman says:

      Hi Linda, I think Dr. Mertz talked with you about your classroom. We have a few options for you. Will you please call Nina Flaherty at 781 682 4878 x119. I will also send you an email. Thanks. Hope to see you again soon. :)

  6. Stephanie Nichols says:

    Hi! I’m wondering if you ever offer courses for homeschooled children?

    • Katrina Bergman says:

      Hi Stephanie, The Center is a great place to teach homeschooled children. We do not offer courses, but you can use the Weezie Nature Center that is replete with natural objects and other hands-on activities. We can offer support for homeschool curriculum, depending upon what you may need. Best bet is to email Dr. Mertz at Hope to see you at the Center. :)

  7. Linda White says:

    Please send me more information about your school program. I have 16 fourth graders that are currently doing research reports about animals with which they are not familiar. Being local, I would love to tie a visit to the center in with our finish reports. Even just a tour and a chat with Dr.Greg would be wonderful. Thanks

    Linda White

    • Katrina Bergman says:

      Hi Linda, Absolutely. Please contact Nina Flaherty at 781 682 4878 x124 and she will be glad to coordinate something that will help. Best regards, Katrina

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  9. Richard Steege says:

    I am a co director of Camp Sarsaparilla, Pownal, VT, a summer day camp. I’m interested in continuing to develop our nature program and wondered if I could attend one of your “As Clear As Mud” classes. I’d need to know when that might be possible. Thanks. Dick Steege

    • Katrina Bergman says:

      Hi Richard, We aren’t running ACM this year (lack of funding) but our CEO, Dr. Greg Mertz, would love to meet with you and share the curriculum and anything else that might be useful for you. Greg writes all the Center’s curriculum and has been in environmental ed for many, many years. Give the Center a call at 781 682 4878 x124 and ask for Nina. She can set up a meeting for you. We are also happy to share the materials with you too if that is helpful. Best, katrina

  10. The first time in several months that I have used Yahoo for results and got a useful site. Thank you so much!

  11. Debbie Coggeshall says:

    Hi, I am a first grade teacher at the Vinal Elementary School in Norwell. I am curious if you have informational guided tours of the center, or do you have site visits to schools?

    We are interested in having an educational enrichment opportunity that would compliment our reading program focus: Animals, Tame and Wild – we will be discussing how people help animals and how animals help people. I think it would be an amazing experience for children and their families to learn about what you do.

    Thank you,

    Debbie Coggeshall
    Vinal Elementary School
    102 Old Oaken Bucket Road
    Norwell, MA 02061

    • Katrina Bergman says:

      Hi Debbie, Yes we do have educational tours for kids always. We can absolutely compliment your reading program too. Please call Steve Martin at New England Wildlife Center 781 682 4878 x126. Steve works part time so you can also leave a message for nina flaherty at x124. Safari Steve is our educator and he is a treasurer. Hope to see you and your kids soon. Best, Katrina

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