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 3 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 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 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.
Winter: Our focus is Life Sciences
Chemistry- Kitchen Chemistry Fun- Learn Chemistry using common household objects. We will make a
rainbow in a jar, Paint on Milk and get messy! Students will have some fun things to take home with them
that they created!
Genetics -Exploring your family tree- Make a family tree with Gummy bears. What does it mean to inherit
genes from family members? Extract DNA with a strawberry.
H2O - Sink/Float- Why do things sink and some float? What is surface Tension? We will be making boats that
we will take out to our PMEC pond.
Chemistry Acid and bases through poinsettia. The poinsettia is not just a beautiful plant that we decorate our
homes for the holiday. In this lesson students will learn about acids and bases through an experiment using
this wonderful holiday plant. Come find out the secrets of the Poinsettia.
Genetics - Bring your best sleuthing powers — we are investigating a crime scene! We will analyze finger
prints, hand writing, and mysterious powders to find out who dunnit!
H2O - Students will learn the five ocean zones and the life that exist in each zone. A special instruction to
bio-luminescent creatures will be discussed along with a game and an experiment.
*Students should not participate if fearful of the dark*
Chemistry - Holidays involve food. We will study the science of food such as how our brain tricks us into
believing artificial flavors taste like the real thing i.e. a mock apple pie. Come prepared to eat and make
stained glass sugar, ice cream, or butter. (Please notify the instructor of any allergies when signing up for
Genetics - What is DNA? Can we extract DNA? Let's find out in a common fruit if this is possible.
*Must not be allergic to strawberries*
H2O - How does pollution get into our water? We will make edible aquifers to find out! How much fresh
water do we have on the planet anyway? Not as much as you may think. We will look at different
technologies for cleaning up pollution. And build mini-water towers or purification systems depending on time
Spring: Our focus is Science Makerspace
Geology- Fossil Fun! Exploring the rocks and Minerals of NH. Learn about the rock cycle. Which type of rocks
will we find fossils in? Make your own fossil!
Ecology – Celebrate Earth Day! Reduce-Reuse-Recycle. Why is this important? Learn how you can help the
Earth! Make a recycled craft
Botany-Plant life- Field study Fun- Make a nature journal to take home and Learn about the habitats at
PMEC- the pond, the vernal pools and the forest.
Geology - Let’s talk luminescent rocks and fossils! We will also explore volcanoes and plate tectonics through
Ecology - Pollution, acid rain oh my! Find out what happens to limestone when acid rain presents
through a fun experiment.
Botany- Plant life - What’s the secret of a seed? Let’s dissect one and find out! How do plants adapt? We will
see the one of the oldest plants on earth! Play games that show how animals help plants spread their seeds
Geology - Students will learn about earthworms through experiments. Students will also make and take home
their own seismograph. Must not be allergic to marshmallows and Jello.
Ecology - Oceans play a critical role in the ecosystem of our planet. They regulate the Earth system by
transferring heat around the world; they drive climate and weather systems; they are supply living and non-
living resources from fisheries to marine biotechnology. We will learn more about the impact of oceans on
Botany- Plant life - How do plants get their food? In this lesson students will learn about photosynthesis and
respiration though experiments. Following the experiments students will go on a hike to locate plants that
may have adapted to retain sunlight.