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1927 Map of the Arboretum

Arboretum Young Scientists Frequently Asked Questions

AYS Summer Session 2023
Wednesday, July 5–Wednesday, August 2
125 Arborway, Boston, MA 02130

Who can I contact for information about the program?
Nancy Sableski, Manager of Children’s Education
Phone: (617) 384-5239

Who is eligible to participate in Arboretum Young Scientists?
Rising 8th grade students from Lilla G. Frederick Pilot Middle School, Boston Green Academy, Dearborn STEM Academy, and Mildred Avenue K8 School who are fully vaccinated and boosted against COVID-19 are eligible to apply.

What will happen during a typical day in AYS?
A typical day starts with a check-in and outline for the day and breakfast. During the day students go out into the Arboretum landscape with science tools to learn about our forests, fields, meadows, and ponds. Students will use science skills for journaling and documenting their learning. There will also be special workshops for learning skills that Arboretum staff share with students, and there will be guest presenters each week. Additionally, we have built in time for games and quiet reflection. We know that summer is a time for fun, and we plan to make every day an enjoyable experience of discovery and growth!

What are the daily hours for Arboretum Young Scientists?
Arboretum Young Scientists will run from July 5 to August 2 from 9:00am-2:30pm. The Arboretum will provide daily bus transportation for students who want an alternative to taking public transportation. Enrolled participants should expect to attend our program for all nineteen days. Parents/guardians are invited to celebrate with their students at the Arboretum on August 2.

Is there a charge for Arboretum Young Scientists?
No! Our program is free.

Will Arboretum Young Scientists provide food?
We provide breakfast, lunch, and snacks for all students enrolled in our program. All meals and snacks will be nut-free. Please notify us if your child has any allergies when you complete our enrollment packet.

How do you communicate with families before and during the program?
When your student is accepted, we will send you a welcome email and Parent Letter from the Program Coordinator. The letter will tell you about our start date and our end-of-program celebration. We will also provide contact information for an emergency.

Must I sign the risk form?
Yes! Each parent and student must sign the liability release form to prior to the start of the program. This form lists some of the activities in which your child may participate and the risks of those activities. Arboretum Young Scientists staff has evaluated all activities thoroughly to prepare for and minimize risks associated with its programs. The release form details the risks that come with any outdoor education program.

Does my student need to be vaccinated against COVID-19?
Yes! We require proof of vaccination against COVID-19 for each student. Every student must be fully vaccinated and boosted by June 16 in order to participate.

Must I complete the medical forms?
Yes! We need to know about medications and allergies to keep each student safe. Make sure to complete all the questions on the form.

How do you keep students safe?
Programs for students have been running in the Arboretum for almost 40 years. All students will always have a responsible program teacher nearby to supervise any activity. We also teach students to recognize the hazards involved in our activities so that they also take risk seriously and know how to avoid injury.

I worry about bullying. How will you respond if my student is bullied?
Bullying is not tolerated. If it takes place the AYS staff will contact the family of the offending student. If any student continues with bullying behavior, they will not be able to stay in the program.

Can my student bring their cell phone to the program?
Yes. There will be time set aside for students to use phones, and time when students must leave phones turned off.

How many students will be participating? How many adults will be supervising?
We plan to have 20 students and four teachers for our program. We will emphasize small group interaction so that everyone has lots of adult attention. At no time will a student be unsupervised.

What happens if there is a medical emergency?
The Arboretum is in the heart of Boston. Police, Fire, and Emergency Medical teams respond within 10 minutes for any emergency.

How are you preventing the spread of COVID-19?
At this time, all activities will take place outside unless there is severe weather. We plan to use a large tent as a classroom. If we need to go indoors because the weather turns bad, masks will be provided.

How do you protect against mosquitoes and ticks at the Arnold Arboretum?
Any park in Boston is a habitat for mosquitoes and ticks. We recommend that students wear long pants and close-toed shoes each day of the program, and we provide students with tick-repellant socks. We will teach the students to do tick checks. We will also provide guidelines for students to do more thorough checks at the end of each day at home. We will also provide instructions for how to respond if a tick is found. Students can bring insect repellant to the program.

How can I apply?
Click here!