Programs

GROUP PROGRAMS

DSC_0300 Weather Watching at Great Blue Hill
Tour the Observatory using a study guide and learn about weather instruments and how observers record and analyze the weather.
Cost: $50, plus $2.00 per student and $4.00 per adult. Maximum group size is 60 students with one chaperon for each 6 to 10 students (no charge for chaperons).
Time: about 75 minutes

Kite-Making Workshops
Design, build and fly your own kite! Travel with a guide through the history of kites and their use at the Observatory. Kite Flying on Blue Hill is possible time and weather permitting.
Cost: $75, plus materials ($1.00 to $75 per kite depending on style)
Time: 30 to 90 minutes

Windy Weather
Make wind catchers and explore the wind with a guided tour of the Observatory

Cost: $75, plus materials ($1.00 to $10 per student depending on activity)
Time: about 75 minutes

kids flying kites on ski slope2

Guided Hikes
Trek through the Blue Hills and learn about your environment.
Cost: $45 per guide, plus $2.00 per student and $4.00 per adult. Maximum group size is 24 students with one chaperon for each 6 to 12 students (no charge for chaperons).
Time: about 45 minutes

Weather Forecasting
How do meteorologists make weather forecasts? Learn from the experts in a forecasting workshop.
Cost: $50, plus $2.00 per student and $4.00 per adult. Maximum group size is 16 students with one chaperon for each 6 to 8 students (no charge for chaperons).
Time: about 90 minutes

Balloon Launch
Track and learn properties of the wind with bio-degradable balloons.
Cost: $40, plus $1 per balloon
Time: 20 to 30 minutes

kids with baloons

Observatory Exploration
See the Observatory in action. Discover the tools used by Blue Hill meteorologists since 1885 on a detailed tour.
Cost: $45, plus $1.50 per student and $3.00 per adult. Maximum group size is 16 students with one chaperon for each 6 to 8 students (no charge for chaperons).
Time: about 45 minutes

The Math of Meteorology
How do you find the average wind speed, temperature range and relative humidity? Use math skills to learn about the weather.
Cost: $50, plus $2.00 per student and $4.00 per adult. Maximum group size is 60 students with one chaperon for each 6 to 10 students (no charge for chaperons).
Time: about 75 minutes

Custom Weather Programs
Interested in another weather topic? The Observatory staff can organize a workshop especially for your group!
Cost: $60 first hour, $15 each subsequent 20 minutes, plus $1.50 to $5.00 per student and $3.00 to $8.00 per adult. Maximum group size is 60 students with one chaperon for each 6 to 8 students (no charge for chaperons).

Most of the programs above can be held at your school or at the Observatory Science Center. Programs can be combined and adapted to your needs. Prices for all programs can be modified based on combination discounts, multiple program discounts, or surcharges for special needs or extended programming.

What educational programs do you offer?

We have a variety of programs for all ages. You can see most of them on our website on our Programs Page . Detailed descriptions can be custom written for your group.

How do I book a program or schedule a visit?

Please contact Program Director Don McCasland. You can phone him at 617-696-0562 or e-mail  dmccasland@bluehill.org.

Other than Kite Making, which programs do you offer at schools and other sites?

All of our educational programs are available at the Observatory or as Outreach Programs. For off-site programs we have modified them to be done using computer presentations and other visual aids. The pricing starts at $120.00 for up to two hours and varies based on the number of students, materials used and total time required. For specific pricing and scheduling please contact Program Director Don McCasland at 617-696-0562 or e-mail dmccasland@bluehill.org .

My school/organization is on a very tight budget. Do you offer free programs or offer scholarships for programs?

There is a free spring and fall Open House and occasional afternoon programs (announced on Facebook), but all other programs have a fee. The current budget at Blue Hill Observatory & Science Center does not make it possible to offer free programs unless it is a girls’ group participating in the Women in Natural Science (WINS) program. In the future, we hope to get financial support from sponsors and other sources to make it possible to offer free programs to a variety of groups. We can offer discounts or barter to make it possible for you to come.

For the kite making workshop is there a limit to the number of students?

Based on the space at your site, we can do up to 80 people in one session. There is a maximum of 24 in one session at Blue Hill Observatory. For larger groups we can split the group up into a kite making group and a weather Observatory group and then switch activities after a short break. Let’ say you have 30 students and 10 adults. 15/5 or so, depending on ages and family or class dynamics, would make kites while the other 15/5 do the weather program. There would be a short break for lunch and then the groups switch activity.

What kind of kite will the students be making?

For most groups we suggest the Tyvek Sled kite. It’s easy to make and fun to fly. It is $5 per kite kit and is appropriate for all ages. Alternately, if we have one group of about 15/5 (there is flexibility such as 18/6 or 12/4) that wants to do a different kite we can do that. One group can do one kite and the other a different kite. It really depends on a combination of: your budget, group dynamics including age and interest, topics to be covered and time you have available.

How many participants can there be in a program?

“Weather Watching at Great Blue Hill” can host up to 60 in one session though we suggest 40 or fewer. Group Program pricing is based on 20 people per session and is adjusted based on each specific group. We suggest no more than 16 for a simple “Observatory Exploration” program. We can do multiple programs simultaneously so we can host up to 180 people in one day. To work out the best plan and schedule for your school or group (even just a family) please contact Program Director Don McCasland at 617-696-0562 or e-mail- dmccasland@bluehill.org .

Are there minimum numbers required to do a program?

Any number, including just one person, can book an educational program. The base fee covers the initial cost of the program. The per person admission helps cover expenses such as supplies, cleaning and other incidentals. The more participants, the lower the per-person price becomes. For small groups of 1 to 7 we can often modify a program to make the per-person price a little lower but still serve your needs.