“Picture Post for Environmental Conservation”— A New Program for Middle School Youth at Blue Hill Observatory with Supporting Online Units

Middle School Educators: Blue Hill Observatory and Science Center Invites You and Your Students to Visit Great Blue Hill this Fall—at No Charge (and we will help organize this field trip)


“Picture Post for Environmental Conservation,” described below, was developed with heartfelt gratitude to Greater Boston educators who work tirelessly to help all youth to reach their true potential. In the future the program will be expanded to elementary and high school as soon as next year. 


About “Picture Post for Environmental Conservation”
In partnership with the Yawkey Foundation our team at the Observatory has completed: “Picture Post for Environmental Conservation” a new three-tiered middle school curriculum—where each component may stand alone. The program utilizes critical reasoning to answer the question—“How is the local environment changing over time, and what are the steps youth and adults can take now to protect it for the future?”


Program Overview
I. “Picture Post for Environmental Conservation Onsite at Blue Hill Observatory”
Fours hours of instruction and activities to be completed with our team at the Blue Hill Observatory supported by an additional four hours of curriculum for in-classroom instruction that compliments the onsite visit.
II. “Picture Post for Environmental Conservation Guided Hike of Great Blue Hill” leads students through a hike of Great Blue Hill where they learn to identify environmental changes that have been outlined within the program’s curricular modules.
III. “Picture Post for Environmental Conservation Online Curriculum”—this tier of the program is not online yet—
has eight curricular modules supported by student and teacher guides on the topics of:
  • Temperature Trends
  • Droughts
  • Precipitation
  • Haze
  • Freeze/Thaw Cycles
  •  Sunshine Duration
  •  Changes in Flora
  • Means and Extremes
Academic Outcomes
As educators work through the curriculum, students will be able to:
  • Analyze and interpret data from the Blue Hill Observatory’s 137-year climate record including, but not limited to temperature, precipitation, or sunlight duration data.
  • Describe changes over time that they identified in Blue Hill Picture Post photographs to answer critical questions and make predictions.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the physical processes that they are investigating including, but not limited to, movement of water in the water cycle, freeze/thaw cycling, importance of sunshine duration, etc.
  • Design, organize, plan, and implement an original research project using principles and data from the curriculum.
  • Make informed predictions about future environmental change and propose future action to reduce or mitigate the consequences of their predictions.
At this time the Observatory is seeking to pilot two program components from late October thru December. The Observatory’s team will help to organize no-cost field trips to Great Blue Hill for as many as 200 youth. Educators may chose which program they prefer.
I. “Picture Post for Environmental Conservation Onsite at Blue Hill Observatory”
II. “Picture Post for Environmental Conservation Guided Hike of Great Blue Hill”


Please reach out to organize a visit to the Observatory located at Great Blue Hill in Milton, MA by emailing ccummings@bluehill.org.