Student Day Trips to Penikese Island

Bringing Students to the Science

Penikese Day Trips are more than just a “field trip.” Natural and historic wonders abound on Penikese Island, which is a peaceful, unspoiled setting, far removed from modern distractions, where learning and discovery can be nurtured. The curriculum for any Penikese trip is customizable for each school. We support STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math)-focused and nature-based educational themes in particular, but we have also hosted art classes and a series of trips featuring a literature and social studies curriculum based on the young adult novel, Beyond the Bright Sea (addressing the history of the leper colony on Penikese).

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Nicollete Sowder

“While our society is busy wondering & theorizing about what children need most, Mother Nature simply holds a space for the child to discover that for themselves”


Sample Day Trip Itinerary

9:00 am

Depart Woods Hole dock (at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

10:00 am

Arrive at Penikese; split into two groups that alternate morning activities

10:15 am

Island tour (cemetery, leper ruins, cistern hill)

11:15 am

Beachcombing activity; collecting (and learning about) plastic trash, found animals and shells, observing tides and discussing their physics

12:00 am

Break for lunch and unstructured discovery time

1:00 pm

Examine found items with dissecting scopes, discuss biological niches & climate change impact

1:45 pm

Biological illustration exercise: how does a drawing inform differently from a photograph? Make sketches and photos of items collected (or of those from the island collection)

2:30 pm

Return to boat; depart for Woods Hole

3:30 pm

Arrive in Woods Hole. Board buses for trip back to school.


"Best Field Trip EVER!"

Student from Mashpee Public School


Health and Safety on Island

PIS has long experience making sure that its programs and facilities are as safe as possible. For many years licensed by the Massachusetts Department of Early & Secondary Education (DESE), PIS has safely transported hundreds of people to and from the island over our 45 plus year history. DESE has even commended PIS on our health, safety and emergency protocols. In case of medical emergencies, the US Coast Guard Station at Menemsha (Martha’s Vineyard) and Boston MedFlight helicopters are prepared to respond.


Support Your Local School's Trip to Penikese Island

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