Programs for Schools at Wellfleet Bay

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Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary is dedicated to empowering students to become curious about nature by providing fun, hands-on experiences both in school and in the field. Our lessons are aligned with Massachusetts Department of Education Curriculum Frameworks and we serve students from throughout New England in grades pre-K to college.

Bring your class on a field trip to catch (and release) fish, explore the beach for horseshoe crabs, or hike the dunes. Take a cruise to catch shellfish and see seals. Let us come to you and dissect a squid with your students, examine mammal skulls, try on a "blubber glove," or pick up live crabs. Please Note: Programs listed in the School Program Catalog are just a sampling of we have to offer and any programs can be customized to meet your needs.

At the Sanctuary | At Your School | Off-Cape Schools |Field Trips | Preschools | Colleges | Teacher Workshops

At the Wildlife Sanctuary

Students doing a program in the marsh at Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary

Through guided explorations of our tidal flats, salt marsh, tidal creeks, freshwater pond, woodland, swamp, and fields, students make inquiries, investigate, classify, think critically, and draw conclusions. Programs include activities such as using tools, gathering data, and making observations. Each program will be geared to the age level and curriculum needs of the students with a focus on drawing connections in nature. Green Building tours of our LEED Platinum Certified facility are also available.

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At Your School

Students in the classroom with a Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctury naturalist

Staff from Wellfleet Bay will visit your class to provide students with a broader understanding of the natural world. Programs may include hands-on activities, live animal observations, interactive presentations and discussions, specimen study, and educational activities. If possible, we’ll explore the woods and/or fields on school property. Observation skills and seasonal elements are emphasized. Many of our school programs can be taught as a classroom presentation or outdoor exploration at your site.

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For Off-Cape Schools

Students on a boat trip with Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary

Take an educational trip to Cape Cod! We design multiple session programs for off-Cape schools looking to dive into local ecology and natural history while experiencing the best the Cape has to offer in an extended field trip. We’ll take you on a dune hike to learn how Cape Cod was formed, kayaking to explore coastal ecology, and cruising to study seals and seabirds. See our endangered piping plovers and comb the beach for clues to their survival in late spring/early summer. We’ll ensure your trip is tailored to your specific interests, and we can even make suggestions about affordable housing. Contact us for more information and to start planning your custom sessions.

Field Trips

Students on a tidal flats field trip with Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary

Looking to explore beyond your school or the wildlife sanctuary? We lead Tidal Flats Walks or Ponding excursions at convenient locations around the Cape. Take a Marine Life Cruise throughout Cape Cod Bay and help catch spider crabs, fish, plankton and much more while learning about marine biology. Be part of our citizen science program and tag horseshoe crabs. We also offer a variety of hikes, boat trips, and excursions that can be tailored to your school.

Preschool Programs

Preschool student at Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary

These programs provide wonderful learning opportunities for your preschool students. The programs are a mix of sensory activities, hands-on activities, experiments, dramatic play, movement, live animal presentations, songs, demonstrations, stories, and nature walks. Our programs are specially designed to strengthen listening and observation skills while teaching students about the natural world.

College Programs

College students doing a program at Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary

We offer naturalist-led field studies that connect college students to the natural world through a rigorous ecological curriculum designed to complement undergraduate and graduate level courses. Single and multi-day opportunities exist to explore coastal communities with naturalists and science staff that have advanced backgrounds in natural history and biology. College students may participate in guided field research studies, including tagging horseshoe crabs and tracking box turtles, and a variety of field walks and boat trips. We also offer lab space and dormitory accommodations upon request. Learn More >

Teacher Workshops

Teachers at a workshop at Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary

Wellfleet Bay offers a variety of professional development opportunities for teachers in natural history and ecology throughout the year. All workshops are designed for active participation and practical application in the classroom. Teachers can attend workshops offered on a variety of topics or the Wellfleet Bay education staff can design a workshop to meet your specific needs.

Workshops can be held at the wildlife sanctuary or at your school. We are a DOE-approved PDP provider.