Education at the Woods Hole Science Aquarium
From visitors to students from near and far, the Aquarium offers fascinating learning experiences for all ages. Learn about our educational opportunities here!
Approximately 85,000 people tour the Woods Hole Science Aquarium every year. Since 2002, over one million visitors have been counted. Many of these are K-6 school groups from around New England that visit during the school year.
Visitor levels peak in the summer when local residents are joined by tourists and the swell of researchers and their students who conduct summer studies in the village. By the fall, the Aquarium has had visitors from nearly every state and around the globe.
Interns at the Aquarium
The Aquarium offers competitive internship opportunities in the summer months for both high school and college students. Interns have been part of the Aquarium for decades, but in more recent years the annual number has varied but has averaged about 12 summer student interns per year.
Since 2002, nearly 200 high school and college students have participated in the Aquarium's education programs. Several recent high school summer interns are now college interns in other education programs at the Woods Hole Laboratory including the NOAA Hollings Scholars program and the Woods Hole Partnership Education Program.
High School Interns
For high school students we offer two separate programs: a five-week internship and a two-week Careers in Marine science seminar. This program will not be offered in 2021.
In recent years one or more college students have had paying summer internships in the Aquarium, funded through the Northeast Fisheries Science Center’s Academic Programs Office.
Some interns have worked in the Aquarium as assistant aquarists, caring for the animals and leading public collecting walks. Other interns have served as program assistants, helping to run the high school intern program.
Internships are competitive positions that provide undergraduates with summer employment opportunities at our laboratories in Woods Hole, Massachusetts; Milford, Connecticut; Highlands, New Jersey; and Orono, Maine.
Internship opportunities are posted in mid-winter and applications are usually due in February. Fellowships are awarded in March or April, depending on availability of funds.
Outreach to Local Schools
In addition to the many school groups that visit during the academic year, several additional education programs are focused on other audiences. All freshmen students interested in pursuing the environmental science and technology program at the Upper Cape Cod Regional Technical High School in Bourne, Massachusetts visit in the fall. Juniors at the school who are enrolled in that program spend three days in the late winter/early spring at the Aquarium attending a science seminar and learning about animal husbandry.
A similar partnership with the Codman Academy has brought students from the inner-city charter high school in Boston to the Aquarium for three days to learn about careers, animal husbandry and some of the research conducted at the Woods Hole Laboratory.