Workshops by Judy McClure 1. Let’s Find Out About Seeds! Using a variety of common fruits, students will explore seeds, discover their similarities and differences, and understand their function in plants. 2. How Do Plants Grow and Change? Working in the classroom with Wisconsin Fast Plants students will experience and understand the life cycle of plants. These plants grow quickly and are easy to maintain. Students plant seeds, observe growth, pollinate plants, and observe the whole life cycle in about 6 weeks. 3. Investigating Insects. There are more insects on the earth than any other animal! Let’s learn about them and find out which ones are important pollinators. 4. Birds, Bees, and Butterflies (and moths too!) Learn how to create a garden that will attract these essential pollinators while understanding more about these important and beautiful creatures. 5. Nature Journaling. Deepen skills in science, writing, and art through observation in the outdoors or in the classroom. Create journals that include drawings, poetry, prose, diagrams, and plant samples. 6. Planting, growing, and maintaining your school/community garden. Let’s plan your garden, then get outside to create a space that attracts pollinators and is an active learning center for your community. Specifically for teachers: The brave new world of teaching outdoors for brave teachers! Learn well tested techniques and activities for teaching and learning in the outdoor setting. Gain understanding of the skills, values, and understanding that learning outdoors creates. Discover how learning outdoors can help students succeed in all subjects.
Any student workshop can be adapted for teachers or adult groups.
Most workshops can be adapted for group size, grade level, and location, including remote learning.
All workshops are aligned to the Massachusetts STE Framework.
Most workshops require materials which can be purchased/provided by the school using a materials list or by an additional fee.
Sessions are 45 minutes but can be adapted to fit your schedule.
Judy McClure has over 25 years of teaching experience, including as an elementary science specialist, a middle school science teacher, and as an environmental educator working with all ages. She helped design and run the outdoor classroom at her urban elementary school, is a published author, and has presented at teacher conferences, community centers, and schools. She was a member of the review and revision committee for the Massachusetts State Science, Technology, and Engineering Framework. She earned a B.A. in Biology from Beloit College and a M.Ed. from Harvard University. She is a licensed teacher with certification in 1st-6th grade science, 6th-8th grade general science, 9th-12th biology, and the SEI endorsement.
Workshops by Tom Sullivan 1. Interactive bumble bee nesting presentation with puppeteer, playwright and director Ezzell Floranina With the assistance of a slide show, the presentation highlights the bumble bee life cycle and the emergence of the queen as she looks for a place to make her new nest. Playing a Bee Scientist, Tom describes the queen’s activities, as Ezzell animates a bumblebee puppet searching for that perfect spot. This exciting event introduces young students to the behavior of our most beloved bee: the bumble bee. This interactive presentation can be done at any time of year. Mid-May, would be best as it would be closer to the time bumble bee queens emerge. It can also be done remotely. Handouts of activities, related books and online resources will be provided. Grades K-4, 45 minutes, 2. Slideshow presentations three categories – Covering key elements of conserving and creating pollinator habitat by design. 1. Native pollinators: five major families encompassing 386 species in MA 2. Their biology, nesting and habitat requirements 3. The flowering plants they visit and how we can provide for a wide diversity of bees, butterflies, and other endangered insects. Elementary thru High School. Time adjusted per grade level. These can be done remotely or shown as a recorded slideshow. 3. Making native seed balls using clay and compost. Seed balls are relatively easy to make and a direct way of creating lots of flowers for native bees, butterflies and other insects and can become the basis for an outdoor nature laboratory. This technique is an ancient one and was used by Native Americans, among others. Two hours of mixing ingredients and rolling seeds into small balls takes some hand eye coordination and concentration – students love this activity. We mix the compost into the clay and break small pieces to roll the seeds into the mix. Conversation around the table, led by Tom, centers around why we make seed balls and who we might attract to the flowers that grow from the seeds. Tom supplies the ingredients and materials. This activity would be very hard to do remotely. Grades 3-12 4. Preparing garden bed(s) for planting the seed balls, before snow flies in mid to late fall. Weather permitting, this outdoor activity could be done ahead of time or the same day as seed ball making. Tom will bring many tools and arrange compost delivery. Includes introduction to using hand tools in the garden. Extra over the set up fee TBD by time, materials and access to the site. Time depends on conditions and number of students. 45 minute minimum for rich, uncompacted soil. 5. Making a mini-meadow using native seed Bringing wild nature into the school environment is a great way to get closer to native pollinators and empower young people to do good works for the environment. After grass is mowed closely we cover the site with thick paper or cardboard (only if the site’s soil is not compacted) then cover the cardboard/paper with clean soil or compost, into which we hand-cast native seed. Seed balls and nursery plugs can also be added then or at a later time. Tom provides the seeds, soil/compost and landscape pins, while the school body gathers large pieces of cardboard. Tom also brings some tools and students are welcome to bring some also. Two sessions of 45 minutes each. 6. Making nesting boxes for mason and leafcutter bees out of easy-to-gather wooden pieces, or already made containers, that we fill with hollow-stemmed sticks or manufactured paper tubes. Tom provides materials (hollow-stemmed sticks & paper tubes) and demonstrates techniques and ways to personalize the nest boxes. Up to 15 students with help from at least two teachers and/or parents. The school and students bring in wooden, clay, metal or plastic, containers, tape, glue and hammers they can handle. 7. Touring two Pollinator Pathways Gardens: Everett Street Embankment and Christian Herter Community Garden where we show off the niche features of these neighborhood pollinator-attracting garden projects led by Tom, Miriam Shenitzer and Beth Fried of Pollinator Pathways Allston. This could happen between late August and mid- October and next spring, preferably in tandem with another workshop or two. At each location, Tom will talk about the plants, take note of the pollinators, name at least a few, and check out all the flowers from each garden’s list. Students will bring notebooks for writing in and making drawings of the plants and pollinators. We will also do some weeding of Black Swallowwort, so the students get a chance to recognize and weed out one of the most invasive species in the U.S. Handouts will be provided. Shoes, socks and gloves are a must. Grades 1-12
Tom will discount 10% for each additional workshop given on any day with a limit of three.
Tom Sullivan, M.A.L.D., Pollinators Welcome: Tom has devoted his personal and professional lives to bringing awareness of the need to protect pollinators to diverse communities in Massachusetts. He designs, consults, speaks publicly, writes, educates and develops products for pollinators and their habitat. Tom focuses on native bee proliferation by increasing nesting sites, meadow grasses and flowers, and connectivity among habitat fragments across the landscape. Tom has had over ten years’ experience designing and creating gardens. He has managed projects with budgets of $10,000-$20,000, including the first nursery devoted to native pollinator habitat in the state. Tom is founding member of the Western Mass Pollinator Working Group. Over the last ten years, Tom has given over a hundred talks and workshops in schools, municipalities, agricultural conferences, and more.