The core activity of the Greenfield Community Science Workshop (CSW) is its drop-in program, which offers the community a safe and family friendly workspace where they can engage in authentic and fun science learning experiences. Our space, a public hybrid of various learning centers - a hands-on science museum, a fabrication shop, and a nature center - is designed to stimulate student curiosity and maximize engagement in all areas of science and making. Our main work area consists of six simple workbenches surrounded by cabinets filled with building materials, kid-friendly hand and power tools and dozens of inspiring project models. Outside our back door is a cart overflowing with bike parts and components. Animals and starter plants inhabit what once was the City of Greenfield’s City Council chambers, along with a couple dozen Exploratorium-like hands-on science exhibits. Covering our walls you’ll find shelves of bones and rocks for kids to examine and compare, and all throughout the space an eclectic explosion of recycled materials, craft supplies, and equipment for tinkering and making. Everything invites interaction: Please Touch!
Our drop-in space offers everyone something to do, regardless of age, interests, or learning style; on any given day, students have the opportunity to crack shale rocks with a chisel and hammer to find and identify marine fossils, solve our Pangea jig-saw puzzle, learn about electricity by tinkering with our circuit games or by constructing fan-powered cars, learn engineering and measurement through woodworking projects, explore our collection of bones and specimens to learn about human anatomy and adaptation, play with our dozens of science exhibits covering a range of scientific phenomena, fix or make their own bike or scooter, build home furniture, etc.
The drop-in program is open-structure, open-door, and free to families:
OpenStructure: The goal of the Greenfield CSW is to provide students with adequate space, materials, and stimulation. We also provide guidance, but ultimately it is students who are in charge of their own learning and who get to decide what to do and how to do it.
Open Door: Students and families have the flexibility to participate in Science Workshop activities at any time and at any level during our year-round program. This format provides full access to our resources.
Free: Our experiences and learning opportunities are available to everyone, regardless of income.
In addition to our direct services, the Greenfield CSW’s extensive community and regional partnerships (e.g. the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Ventana Wilderness Alliance, The Exploratorium in San Francisco, Hartnell College, etc.) serve as a network of additional resources for participants in our program.
Additional services we provide as part of our drop-in program include:
- Overnight camping and backpacking trips
- Hiking trips
- Nature exploration trips
- Trips to museums
- Trips to educational events
- Trips to universities
- Public events
- School events
The drop-in program also serves as the main engine of all our existing programming. Following a sustainable and replicable model, the vast majority of student projects facilitated by all of our Greenfield CSW programs are made from recycled or repurposed materials, which are gathered, prepared, and organized by our drop-in staff. Preparation of materials for Greenfield CSW programs takes place at our drop-in space with available tools and equipment. It is also during our drop-in hours that new projects and ideas are developed, and old projects are improved or re-made with new, widely available recycled materials. This creative force expands our curriculum and keeps our programs dynamic and exciting for students and staff.
The Greenfield CSW resides in Greenfield’s former City Hall, in the very heart of town and within walking distance of all K-12 schools as well as thousands of students’ homes. The drop-in program is open year-round, five days per week, from Tuesday-Friday and all day on Saturday.