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Marine Biology

Three-Week Summer Science Program

BioSTEM Award, 2018, J&J • Top Summer Science Program, 2011-2019, NY Times/ • Top Robotics Program, 2017, RoboLoco • Best Medicine Program, 2018, ParentMap • Top Biomedical Engineering, •
Top 101 Summer Camps & Programs, • Top Biomedical Engineering, 2017,

This program takes full advantage of our location on the coast in Boston. Wellesley is only a commuter rail ride away from ships departing for the Boston Harbor Islands. Students study high and low tides, venture into rivers and streams, and explore the various New England habitats. A trained marine biologist leads our program and creates a custom aquarium with discoveries from his SCUBA dives on campus in Wellesley, so bad weather conditions never hold the class back. Students engage in proprietary activities that other marine biology programs for high school students rarely include. This is the perfect option for students who have outgrown the typical summer camp but don’t want to spend the summer in a lab.

Steve Smith earned his Masters in Biology from Northeastern University’s Marine Science Center, in a certified SCUBA diver, and is currently a marine science educator with the Massachusetts Marine Educators. Steve designed this program with a science educator at a major marine science research center. Last year, students visited the famous New England Aquarium and Northeastern’s prestigious Marine Science Center in conjunction with their numerous trips to the shore.

This is a competitive admissions summer research program designed for teens.

Are you a rising 8th-10th grader, not able to take the full three week course?  Check out this one week Marine Biology program, here!

Students do research off the coast of Boston in the Marine Biology three-week summer science program

Applications are open for Summer 2023:

July 17-August 4 | Dana Hall, Wellesley

More About: Awards – Research Programs – Sample Week 
Rising 6th to rising 9th? Check out: Young Marine Scientist or Under the Sea 

Summer 2023 registration opens November 1:

Summer 2023 registration opens November 1:

William Hurley

Dr. William Hurley teaches marine science and is extremely passionate about the subject. At the beginning of his course, many of his students are not well aware of the significant importance of the ocean to the health of the planet, but by the end, their awareness increases and many students embark on activities to help the ocean. Several of his students have gone on to major in Marine Sciences in college.

This year, Dr. Hurley received a grant to design and build a large wave tank so his students could better understand waves and their effects on coastal environments, specifically looking at man-made and natural coast lines. The wave tank is one of the few in the nation at a high school level. The students presented the results from this endeavor at the New England Ocean Summit Educational Consortium in Boston in November 2018.

Along with the wave tank, Dr. Hurley has developed many hands-on activities to teach his students about ocean conservation. Some of the activities focus on bycatch and the techniques to reduce it through problem solving and design skills and using passive sampling devices to study aquatic organisms and compare the year-to-year data. He also teaches an extensive unit on Ocean Pollution, having his students discover ways to get involved and minimize ocean pollution.

Field Work

Marine Biology students measure the impact of ocean temperature and ocean acidification on the growth of seaweed and marine animals while on the Boston Harbor Islands. They will venture out to survey the rocky shores of Georges Island, and document the invasive species fouling the dock pilings.

This program is going fast – apply today. You can receive updates by joining our mailing list.

In-Class Research

First-hand research opportunities start with exploration of a saltwater aquarium in the classroom.  Our instructor. Steve Smith, is a certified SCUBA diver packs the aquarium with saltwater plants and sea creatures that he collects on dives (and releases after the program is over).  The aquarium is definitely worth the effort, as it provides an endless source of entertainment and education for the students. 
Steve has been known to drop by Quincy Market to collect rare and unusual fish. Students first make images of the fish on butcher paper and on t-shirts using Gyotaku, a Japanese art form. Students then dissect the fish, comparing and contrasting the anatomy of fish that are bottom dwellers versus not and so on.
Students study marine life in the Marine Biology three-week summer science program

Field Trips

In the past, students have visited Northeastern University’s Marine Science Center in Nahant, MA where they have witnessed surgery on a marine animal at the New England Aquarium, visited the Boston Harbor Islands, and have identified different species of whales on a Whale Watch.

Students may have the opportunity to attend the Marine Science Center at Northeastern University’s College of Science to learn from top researchers in a beautifully maintained marine environment.

NOTE: COVID will impact field trips. We cannot guarantee any given field trip will run as in past years or at all.

Students work with a natural ecosystem in the Marine Biology three-week summer program

Student Comments - Summer 2021

In Marine Biology, we learned a lot about marine animals and marine habitats. We went to aquariums and went on nature walks. Ms. Campbell was very  nice to us. I liked everything that happened here and our teacher was very nice.

‘I enjoyed the multiple field trips we went on. They were very fun. I also liked the dissections. The dogfish one was my favorite. I liked hearing from professional marine biologists about their job experiences. I also enjoyed hanging out with my classmates.’

‘I liked the dissections and our field trips. I liked field trips because we were able to get to know our class better while also interacting with marine biology.’

‘The teachers were experienced. The program was able to teach me some useful information.’

Student Comments (Previous Summers)

‘I had Steve Smith as my marine bio teacher. Steve is a great teacher, keeps us interested. The program involved a lot of field trips with both the students and teacher made not only educational but fun and intriguing.’

‘I thought this class was an incredible opportunity, I love that we had both in class and in the field learning experiences. The teacher was nice and gave great lectures and balanced his class time so it was never repetitive or boring. I enjoyed being able to learn without worrying about grades and being able to physically experience each habitat.’

‘I loved the marine bio program. Mr. Smith was really chill. He did a lot of different activities to cater to everyone’s learning styles. The field trips were fun and educational.’

Students take a picture while visiting Boston in the Marine Biology three-week summer science program

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