Check out the Packing List, Facts for Students, and the Seashore Nuts & Bolts for the answers to frequently asked questions.
The N.E.E.D. Academy Seashore Program
The Seashore Program provides the opportunity for 5th grade students to live, explore, and study in a beautiful setting within the Cape Cod National Seashore. Our living space is a former Coast Guard Station with some grand views of the Atlantic Ocean and the Pamet River valley. Our classroom consists of the beaches, dunes, woods, marshes, bogs, swamps, and ponds of the National Seashore. The N.E.E.D. (National Environmental Education Development) Academy is run by the Falmouth, Dennis-Yarmouth, and Monomoy schools, which send all their fifth grade classes. The program has been in operation since 1973 as a Collaborative program, and hosts approximately 900 students each school year for their 2 ½ or 5 day-overnight environmental education experience.
The primary purpose of the week is to teach students about the history, both natural and cultural, of Cape Cod. Through hands-on experience, first person observation, and guided exploration, students gain a deeper understanding of the unique and fragile place they call home. Lesson themes are drawn from the Massachusetts Science Curriculum Frameworks for Earth and Space Science, Life Science (Biology) and the Massachusetts History and Social Science Curriculum Framework. Participation in the Seashore Program is an integral part of the grade 5 science curriculum in the collaborative schools. The program also supports the educational mission of the Cape Cod National Seashore by integrating interpretive themes.
Days are structured into learning blocks which include a morning field class, an afternoon field class and an evening program. Some days are spent close to the Pamet River Station. Students may hike, walk the beaches and dunes, or explore a nearby pond. On other days, students may explore singular locations within the Cape Cod National Seashore, including: Great Island, the White Cedar Swamp, Fort Hill area, Nauset Marsh, the Beech Forest, and the Province Lands. Students also have the opportunity to explore the human history of Cape Cod. Lessons focus on a variety of topics but may include: a day in the life of a Surfman in the U.S. Life Saving Service, the challenges faced by early colonists, and to appreciate the legacy of the Native American tribes who have lived on Cape Cod since long before Europeans arrived. Students also learn about how people made a living through the sea, including whalers, traders, fishermen, and pirates. Through living together and through specific activities, students also learn about themselves and each other. Students are given the opportunity to take more responsibility for themselves. They learn to work as members of a team and, with their classmates, negotiate the world with new found independence and self confidence.
N.E.E.D. is staffed by a team of four Teacher/Naturalists, the Program Director and a Cook. All staff members are employees of the Dennis-Yarmouth schools and vetted through comprehensive interviewing and thorough background check.