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Lifelong Learning

Lifelong learning at the museum means gaining new skills, contributing to a healthier community, and developing understandings of Vermont's natural history.

Our monthly workshops in the Lifelong Learning series at the Fairbanks Museum & Planetarium mean practical learning on topics that range from the chemisty of beer, apple tree grafting, and beekeeping to bird observation, back yard meteorology, and cheesemaking. Join us to build skills you've always wanted while learning about our region's natural history and its many vocations.

We intentionally keep our workshops small (fewer than 20 participants) and outside work hours. They are perfect for adults and seniors looking to continue their learning. Sign up below today! All workshops will be held in the Fairbanks Museum & Planetarium's upstairs Lecture Hall (1302 Main Street, St. Johnsbury, VT 05819) unless otherwise specified.

Please contact Karina Weiss with any questions you may have.


2020 Lifelong Learning Workshops Schedule

June [THREE DATES TBD], 2020: 5-6:30 PM
Meteorology In Your Back Yard
Presented by Mark Breen
Cost for Workshop: Members: $40 / Non-Members: $50

His voice can be heard across Vermont’s radio waves. Now you can join Mark Breen, the Senior Meteorologist at the Fairbanks Museum & Planetarium, as he helps you develop the skills to identify, observe, and record the weather in your own back yard. This workshop will teach participants new skills in meteorology and also how to contribute to improved weather records as citizen scientists in Vermont. Topics for each of three one and a half hour workshop sessions will include meteorology basics, taking measurements, and cloud identification.




July [FOUR DATES TBD], 2020: 5-6 PM
The Science of Cheesemaking
Presented by Chris Kurdek
Cost for Workshop: Members: $40 / Non-Members: $50

A staple food since it began being made 7,200 years ago in Ancient Egypt, the art of cheesemaking has not been lost to the ages. Join expert cheesemaker, educator, and Fairbanks Museum & Planetarium meteorologist Chris Kurdek as he introduces you to the history and culture of cheesemaking. In this workshop, Chris explores the role of bacteria and aging for different cheeses while also teaching you how to make your own mozzarella cheese. Each of this workshop’s one hour sessions will whet your appetite for one of Vermont’s prized gems. Cheesemaking also helps sustain Vermont's heritage of dairy production into the future.




August [THREE DATES TBD], 2020: 5-6:30 PM
Wildflowers of Northern Vermont and New Hampshire
Presented by Jonathan Kaplan
Cost for Workshop: Members: $40 / Non-Members: $50

New Hampshire and Vermont’s wildflowers can be found on both states' mountains, roadsides, and fields, forests and wetlands. The diversity of the flowers is remarkable, both in color and design. The flowers may appear very simple or beautifully intricate. Scientists have estimated that more than 3,500 species of wildflowers grow wild in New England. Join Jonathan Kaplan, an expert in botany and plant pathology who teaches at Northern Vermont University, as he explores the flowers of Vermont and New Hampshire.




Future Workshops (Check Back Soon For More Details...)

The Technique To Edible Foraging
Presented by
Cost for Workshop: Members: $40 / Non-Members: $50

The Art of Apple Tree Grafting
Presented by
Cost for Workshop: Members: $40 / Non-Members: $50

Apiculture Made Simple: Beekeeping
Presented by
Cost for Workshop: Members: $40 / Non-Members: $50

And More...

  • Lifelong Learning at the Museum: Demystifying Digital Technology for Seniors
  • Lifelong Learning at the Museum: Vegetable Gardening for Healthy Living
  • Lifelong Learning at the Museum: The Chemistry of Cider Making
  • Lifelong Learning at the Museum: Sugar Mapling At Home
  • Lifelong Learning at the Museum: Raising Chickens For Nourishment
  • Lifelong Learning at the Museum: The Entomology of Trout Fishing
  • Lifelong Learning at the Museum: Astronomy for Adults
  • Lifelong Learning at the Museum: Raising Chickens For Nourishment


Program Partners

Our partnerships mean our Lifelong Learning Workshops result in real outcomes and new links between community members. Whenever possible, Lifelong Learning workshops will intersect with community projects so participants can continue their engagement through volunteering and community-building. Our partners include the Caledonia Farmer's Market, Caledonia Food Co-Op, Seed and Weed Garden Club, and the St. Johnsbury House. We aim to overcome social isolation and help connect interested participants with each other.