Waquoit Bay Summer Science School

Summer Science School

Summer Science School 2021 – We appreciate your patience as we navigate the ever-evolving Commonwealth of Massachusetts guidelines and procedures as we near the end of this health crisis.

After much thought and many discussions, we have come to the tough realization that we will not be able to offer the Summer Science School this summer.  It saddens us to have to postpone another year, but given the uncertainty surrounding when Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve buildings will be open to the public, coupled with our small staff and lengthy list of procedures that must be met for reopening safely, we feel the best decision for everyone’s health and wellbeing is to cancel this summer.

We hope as our Commonwealth continues to open and more activities are allowed, we will be able to offer some programs or family activities later in the summer. Should you have any questions please email: waquoitbayscienceschool@gmail.com.


Bayside Buddies – Half day sessions for students entering grades 2-3

Children will get wet, muddy, and inspired while exploring the habitats and wildlife around Waquoit Bay through games, crafts, and basic scientific investigations. They will learn to identify and observe living and non-living elements of nearby woods, fields, marshes, and waters of the bay, make and record observations, use instruments to record environmental conditions, and learn about the fragile nature of these environments. Children will learn about local plants and wildlife, and practice “collect, observe, and release” procedures to help them become responsible estuary stewards.

Estuary Adventures – Full day sessions for students entering grades 4-6

Young scientists in this program will explore Waquoit Bay Reserve using a variety of instruments, from hydrometers to projecting microscopes. They will conduct investigations based on research projects in the Reserve, monitor ground water, test water quality, observe wildlife, and learn to recognize human impacts to the bay. They will play games to illustrate natural cycles, and get to know the plants, algae, and animals in and around Waquoit Bay. Students will wade in the shallow waters and marsh creeks to find estuary creatures, and dig into studies of rocks, soil, water, and sunlight.

Waquoit Bay Reserve’s Education Programs

Women in Science – Full day session for young women entering grades 7-9

In this week of hands-on activities, young women will receive inspiration and support as they meet women scientists who will describe their career paths and projects. Students will conduct field research alongside WBNERR staff and visiting scientists, and use a variety of instruments and technologies to gather and record data from the marshes, fields, forests, and waters of Waquoit Bay Reserve. A highlight of this session will be the boat trip to Washburn Island and overnight on Reserve property, where the students will leave their cell phones behind as they explore local ecology and hike the trails. An afternoon lesson on shell fishing and an evening campfire will round out the day and set the stage for them to spend the night with their teachers and classmates. The session is sure to provide plenty of fun, build confidence, and offer a look at potential careers in science, technology, and engineering.

STEM Curriculum

STEM Adventures – Full day session for students entering grades 6-8

Students will design and create exciting take- home projects using the engineering design process in the classroom lab and in a variety of habitats nearby. They will draw on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills to build, test, and redesign their projects, which will be based on real-life problems and challenges. They will learn about renewable energy and the many ways to capture and harness sun, wind, and water power. Throughout the session, interactive games and water activities will keep the interest level high and the kids cooled down.

TIDAL Quest: Teens Investigating Diversity of Aquatic Life

Full day session for students entering grades 9-12

Do you love science, technology, and figuring out how things work? Join a small team of students spending a week in the field while conducting environmental monitoring projects with Waquoit Bay Reserve scientists. Students will discover the latest technologies used locally to study climate change and sea level rise, monitor wildlife and examine plant communities, and look for ways to solve environmental issues while socializing with other teens and developing questions to investigate. Participation in this session may help determine a career path or boost a college application.

To hear an audio clip of Waquoit Bay History and teens exploring the estuary click here. Narrated by Pam Briscoe, Waquoit resident, featured speaker Jim Rassman, Stewardship Coordinator, Waquoit Bay NERR and Science School Instructor, Gil Newton

For more information or questions: email: waquoitbayscienceschool@gmail.com (during the winter months, this email is not monitored on a regular basis, but we will respond as we see the emails-thank you.)

Payment – online payment through PayPal preferred.  If you choose to print an invoice, your registration will be confirmed once payment is received.

Cancellation Policy – Refunds will only be made if we are able to fill your child’s spot (less a $25.00 administrative fee).