Public programs

Expedition: Bio

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About

Exchange your swimsuits for lab coats in July and August, and join us for Whitehead Institute’s popular summer science program for middle school students, Expedition: Bio. Delve into the amazing biology that thrives in the world around us during a two-week, fully immersive experience where curiosity meets real world science. And no question is off-limits!

Through hands-on activities both inside and outside the classroom, interactive laboratory modules, and discussions with scientists, rising 7th and 8th grade middle school students will learn how methods from the fields of ecology, genetics, chemistry, and bioengineering are used to answer some of the most challenging questions in the life sciences today—and have an awful lot of fun doing it! 

Expedition: Bio program is supported by a generous contribution from the Amgen Foundation, with additional scholarship support provided by Sanofi Genzyme. Amgen and the Amgen Foundation support local and national organizations that spark students’ interest in the sciences through inquiry-based hands-on science experiences and that offer professional development opportunities for teachers.

Schedule

Below are the session schedules for 2020. Each session covers the same content, so students should only apply for one session. Lunch is provided each day. 

A sample schedule is available for download. For more information, contact Amy Tremblay at tremblay@wi.mit.edu.

Session I

Monday, July 6–*Friday, July 17, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m   
(*The final Friday session on July 17 will end by 1:00 pm)    

Session II

Monday, August 3–*Friday, August 14 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m  
(*The final Friday session on August 14 will end by 1:00 pm) 

FAQ
What is Expedition: Bio?

Exchange your swimsuits for lab coats this July and August, and join us for Whitehead Institute’s popular summer science program for middle school students, Expedition: Bio.

Delve into the amazing biology that thrives in the world around us during a two-week, fully immersive experience where curiosity meets real world science. And no question is off-limits!

Through hands-on activities both inside and outside the classroom, interactive laboratory modules, and discussions with scientists, rising 7th and 8th grade middle school students will learn how methods from the fields of ecology, genetics, chemistry, and bioengineering are used to answer some of the most challenging questions in the life sciences today—and have an awful lot of fun doing it! 

Two two-week sessions of the same program will be held in July and August. Each session will cover the same content, so students should only apply for one session.

What is the daily schedule?

Doors open for daily registration at 8:45 a.m., with formal activities commencing promptly at 
9:00 a.m. Programming concludes at 3:00 p.m. Monday– Friday, and ending at 1:00 p.m. on the second Friday of both sessions.

Who can register for the workshop?

Registration is open to middle school students entering grades 7-8 in the fall and requires parental consent.   

Two two-week sessions of the same program are held during July and August. Each session typically covers the same content, so students should only apply for one session.

How many students participate in the workshop?

24 students per session are accepted into the program.

How much does the workshop cost?

$1000 per student. $500 is due at registration. Tuition assistance is available for students who demonstrate financial need through scholarships sponsored by the Amgen Foundation and Sanofi Genzyme.

What's provided?

Morning snack and lunch, professional science instructors, a professionally designed curriculum, field trip fees, and all lab materials necessary for a fun, educational, and memorable experience.

When is payment due?

$500 is due at registration, and the remainder ($500) is due two months out from the start of the program.

Is tuition assistance available?

Tuition assistance is available for students who demonstrate financial need through a limited number of full-tuition scholarships sponsored by the Amgen Foundation and Sanofi Genzyme.

Is housing provided for students?

Because most attendees live in the greater Boston area, Whitehead Institute does not arrange for student housing. Out-of-state students or those wishing to stay nearby during the workshop may find accommodations within walking distance of Whitehead Institute at the Boston Marriott Cambridge and Kendall Hotel.

May parents attend or serve as chaperones?

While we appreciate their interest in the program, space constraints prevent us from allowing parents to take part.

What if I've registered but cannot attend?

Registration for the workshop is non-refundable and represents a commitment to attend all ten days of the program. If due to an unforeseen emergency, a student should need to cancel, please contact tremblay@wi.mit.edu to notify us of the absence and/or discuss further.

What meals are included? What if a student has a food allergy?

Morning snack and lunch are provided every day. If a student has a food allergy, please alert us ahead of time so that we can help accommodate that student's needs.

How do you protect students during the day?

Students are supervised 100% of the time by at least one adult. Amy Tremblay, Public Programs Manager at Whitehead Institute will oversee the group each day, while two professional scientists and teachers will lead each of the daily activities. Students are released ONLY to parents or legal guardians at the end of each day’s session.

What should students wear?

Students are required to wear closed-toe shoes and long pants or knee-length skirts or shorts. Those who do not adhere to this requirement may be asked to forgo some of the daily activities.

Registration

Registration Requirements:

  • Parental consent is required for online registration.
  • Registration is limited to 24 students per session. 
  • Two two-week sessions of the same program are held during July and August at Whitehead Institute, 455 Main Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts. 
  • Each session will cover the same content, so students should only apply for one session. Because space is limited, registrants are encouraged to apply early.

Fees:  $1000 per student. A non-refundable $500 deposit is due at time of registration. You may opt to pay the full amount of $1000 during initial registration.

Tuition Assistance: Tuition assistance is available for students who demonstrate financial need through a limited number of full-tuition scholarships sponsored by the Amgen Foundation and Sanofi Genzyme. 

Parental Consent: A signed parental consent form is required to complete registration.

What’s provided:  Morning snack and lunch, professional science instructors, a professionally designed curriculum, field trip fees, and all lab materials necessary for a fun, educational, and memorable experience.

For more information contact Amy Tremblay or visit our FAQ page