Science Education

Designed to align with Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks and the Next Generation Science Standards, our science classes draw on the incredible biodiversity and unique geologic and hydrologic qualities of our forests, ponds, meadows, and farm to engage students in meaningful and relevant scientific inquiry.

Current science class offerings include:

Animal Adaptations

Students come nose-to-snout with a number of friendly animals at Burgess Farm, a working organic farm on the Camp property. Students explore the adaptations that help these animals – and their wild counterparts – survive, while also learning about the similarities and differences between insects, reptiles, mammals, and birds.

Forest Ecology

Students explore ecology from the ground up, using the woods at Camp Burgess as an interactive classroom. Starting with microscopic decomposers and ending with some of the most common local flora and fauna, students learn about the many factors that come together to create stable cycles of energy and matter in an ecosystem.

Pond Study

From forming hypotheses to sharing results, students will practice looking at the world with a scientist’s eye to address real-world questions such as the repercussions of human activity on an aquatic ecosystem. Through macroinvertebrate study and pH testing, students will assess the quality of Camp Burgess’s own Spectacle Pond, a 90-acre freshwater kettle pond.

Watersheds

In this class, students explore an under-appreciated resource: fresh water. After learning about the ways in which water cycles and is made available (and unavailable) to humans, students delve into their own watersheds, mapping water in the neighborhoods surrounding their own school and exploring human impact (including their own!) on local waterways.

Coastal Ecology

Students head to the Sandwich boardwalk beach to explore the extreme abiotic factors and diverse biotic factors that make up a coastal ecosystem. From the tidal marshes to the windswept dunes, students investigate the forces that shape this unique habitat and address humans’ role in using (and conserving) this delicate space.

Geology

Using the grounds at Camp Burgess as a focal point, students explore the forces and processes that shape Earth’s surface generally, and the unique circumstances that formed Cape Cod specifically. Students also take a walk through the past as they learn about geologic time scale and how it compares to human time scale, in addition to considering the hazards that geologic events pose to humans.