Learning Ahead: July 6th-10th, 2015

Weekday community-based educational opportunities can be found throughout the four counties of Western MA all week long!

This week we are featuring 10 community-based educational opportunities that can be selected to support the interests and education of self-directed teens, homeschoolers and life-long learners:

Check our list of Weekly Suggested Events for our comprehensive list, including ongoing learning and play opportunities for younger children and intergenerational community events.


Learning Ahead is sponsored in part by:

North Star: Self-Directed Learning for Teens


Berkshire County

Physics/Biopic
Monday, July 6. 6pm-8:30pm — Head over to the Chicopee Public Library tonight for a showing of The Theory of Everything (PG-13, 2014), a biopic focusing on the personal life of esteemed physicist Stephen Hawking. 413-594-1800 x 3. 449 Front Street, Chicopee, MA. (FREE)

Local History/Architecture
Tuesday, July 7. 4pm — Examine historic houses of the Civil War era at this week’s Tea & Talk at Ventfort Hall. Historian Hugh Howard will lead guests through stories of specific houses and their inhabitants, and a Victorian tea will be served. Appropriate for older students and adults. 413-637-3206. 104 Walker Street, Lenox, MA. ($$$)

Shakespeare/History
Tuesday, July 7. 7:30pm-9pm — How did Shakespeare, a man of modest means and little formal education, become the most widely read and performed author in history? Find out at the Becket Arts Center‘s presentation “Shakespeare: Life, Times, and the Music of his Plays”, featuring songs performed by David Neill and his Brass Quintet. 413-623-6635. 7 Brooker Hill Road, Becket, MA. (FREE)

Architecture/Historical
Thursday, July 9. 2:30pm — The Norman Rockwell Museum‘s 36 acres are dotted with many interesting historical buildings. Tour the property and explore the structures and their stories with a knowledgeable guide from the museum. Appropriate for older students and adults. 413-298-4100. 9 Route 183, Stockbridge, MA. ($)

Gardening/Propagation
Friday, July 10. 10am-12pm — Have you been interested in propagating native plants but unsure where to start? Learn how to propagate garden plants from cuttings, layering, division, and seeds in the Introduction to Propagation workshop offered by Project Native through Berkshire Community College. Attention will be paid to proper soil and container preparation and seedling care as well. Bring a hat, sunscreen, gloves, water bottle, and closed-toe shoes. Rain or shine! Registration requested. 413-274-3433. 342 North Plain Road, Housatonic, MA. ($$)

Franklin County

Astronomy
Friday, July 10. 6:30pm — What planets are visible in our night sky right now? Are there other interesting celestial bodies to be seen? Find out at the annual Connecticut River Valley Astronomers Conjunction! Kick off the program with a dinner at the Wagon Wheel Restaurant followed by a unique field trip to a local, private observatory featuring a 12.5-inch telescope. There will also be observing sessions at the “Fuller’s Pasture” dark sky viewing site near the Environmental Center. Saturday, July 11 will offer more Conjunction activities! Ages 12 and up. Campsites available; registration required. 413-863-8210. 39 French King Highway, Gill, MA. ($)

Hampshire County

Theater/Shakespeare
Wednesday, July 8. 7:30pm — The outdoor grounds at the Massachusetts Center for Renaissance Studies provides an ideal backdrop for Hampshire Shakespeare Company‘s performance of Shakespeare’s Merry Wives of Windsor! Please arrive early to purchase your ticket and be in your seat by 7:30. In the event of rain, the performance will be moved indoors. 650 East Pleasant Street, Amherst, MA. ($)

Art Studies/Color & Light
Friday, July 10. 4pm-8pm — Try something new this Friday night! Visit the Smith College Museum of Art for its Free Second Friday program. Folks of all ages will be invited to make art inspired by those currently on display. This month’s theme is Color and Light, and materials will be supplied to create a sun catcher. Light refreshments included. 413-585-2760. 20 Elm Street/Bedford Terrace, Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Theater/Shakespeare
Friday, July 10. 7:30pm — The outdoor grounds at the Massachusetts Center for Renaissance Studies provides an ideal backdrop for Hampshire Shakespeare Company‘s performance of Shakespeare’s Merry Wives of Windsor! Please arrive early to purchase your ticket and be in your seat by 7:30. In the event of rain, the performance will be moved indoors. 650 East Pleasant Street, Amherst, MA. ($)

Hampden County

Music Studies/Jazz
Wednesday, July 8. 11am — As a part of their annual Summer Spectacular Family Series, the Springfield Museums will be presenting featured performers every Wednesday through Friday in the Davis Auditorium. On Wednesday, July 8, Made in the Shade performs Jazz America’s Music: From New Orleans to New York! This band specializes in traditional jazz music that is fun, spirited, and connects with the audience. 413-263-6800 x 459. 21 Edwards Street, Springfield, MA. ($)

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