WINS I: Exploring the Natural World
WINS I is a free year-long after-school and summer science enrichment program. The WINS students participate in classroom lessons, science experiments, behind-the-scenes museum tours, and daylong, weekend and weeklong field trips—all of which are designed to help students explore the intricate relationships between plants, animals and our biological and physical environments. Sustainability and the importance of scientific knowledge to make informed decisions are interwoven throughout the curriculum.
The Academy, with its extensive scientific collections and research initiatives, public museum and world-renowned scientists, make it the ideal setting to expose the program’s participants to real-life science.
Summer: “Science in the City”
During the summer, WINS students explore Philadelphia’s urban ecology. Through issue-based science classes that meet three times each week, field trips and focused projects, students learn that ecology and environmental issues are as relevant in the city as they are in rural areas. A camping trip to the Poconos caps off the session and gives students a chance to compare the rural experience to their urban lives.
Autumn: “Biodiversity & Classification”
As the school year begins, WINS I students attend the Academy after school once each week to explore the concept of biodiversity. Using the Academy’s extensive collections, the girls see first hand how organisms are related to each other and the great variety among them. Behind-the-scene tours and monthly field trips enhance the lessons.
Winter: “Adaptation & Evolution”
The winter session focuses on the Earth’s biomes and the unique habitats and adaptations of land flora and fauna, and evaluate the evidence to support evolution. Academy staff presentations and monthly field trips augment the activities.
Spring: “Aquatic Ecology”
With spring the WINS I students return outdoors and investigate bodies of water and aquatic organisms, focusing on waterways and shorelines of the Delaware Valley. A spring-break stay at a wetlands ecosystem and a day trip on a boat provides the girls with hands-on experience with science in the field. The session culminates in a seashore camping trip where the year’s educational themes converge.