Science + Nature Camps
Our goal is to empower middle-school girls in the sciences by providing them with role models of women in STEM, and help end gender imbalance in the sciences.
Science + Nature Summer Camps for Girls
Penikese Island Science + Nature Summer Camps bring middle-school female students outside to explore the natural world through the island's 75-acre preserve. Penikese Island is comprised of 75 magnificent acres of wind-swept beauty. It is a safe, serene, and unspoiled environment, and as such, its setting is ideally suited for environmental education. Students will learn about the ecology and natural history of the Elizabeth Islands, and the varied history of Penikese Island.
The cornerstone of this experience is the opportunity to engage with female scientists from nearby, world-renowned Woods Hole scientific institutions. Camp fosters excitement, confidence, and literacy in the sciences. Girls will build self-confidence and have fun doing science while connecting with female mentors from various fields of science.
Camp is focused on STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) activities and exploring nature. Each week visiting scientists and artists will share hands-on activities, scientific explorations, and artistic endeavors with campers. Drawing on the rich environment of Penikese and talents within the local scientific and artistic community, previous Guest Scientist and Guest Artist workshops have included: marine biology, aquaculture, bird nesting habitats and behaviors, electronics and robotics, microscopy, landscape painting, scientific illustration, and squid & fish dissections.
Cost for Camp is $1,200 with scholarship funds available
Questions about camp?
Contact: Kendra Buresch, Camp Director
Penikese Camp Experience
Penikese Island is owned by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and managed by the Department of Fish and Wildlife as a wildlife sanctuary for nesting birds, particularly endangered tern species. Penikese Island School has operated on the island under the terms of an agreement with the State since 1973.
Traveling to Penikese
Students travel to and from the island on a modern 36' vessel, the Richard S. Edwards.
The trip from Woods Hole, MA is 13 miles and takes about an hour.
Facilities on Penikese
Rustic, beautiful, and timeless, Penikese Island and its facilities are far removed from the bustle of modern life. The main living quarters have been modeled on a 19th century New England farmhouse and built, in large part, using salvaged beams found on and around Penikese Island.
Scholarships are available for Camp!
Scholarship applications are part of Camp Registration.
Penikese Island School has a long history of making sure that its programs are available to all students irrespective of financial circumstances. Qualified need is the most important priority for our scholarship program.
Women are severely underrepresented in the sciences
Women represent only 23% of the workforce in the sciences, and only ~10% of the workforce in physics and engineering specifically.
Gender-biased messaging suggests that men are more capable in math and science than women. This reinforces stereotypes of STEM specialties as masculine. As a result, girls’ interest in math and science begins to decrease between ages 9-13.
Provide girls with role models and examples of women in science.
Penikese Island School is a part of the solution: Our mission is to change the idea of “what a scientist looks like” by introducing middle-school-aged girls to the many faces and careers that make up women in science, and by supporting learning opportunities and positive messages about girls’ abilities. Our Camp creates an environment where girls have fun doing science and engineering, and fosters excitement, confidence, and literacy in the sciences.