200 Years. 200 Stories. Story 118: “Building the Future ”

« Linnaeus' System

WINS Alums to the Rescue »

WINS ladies pitching a tent
WINS students put their tent-pitching skills to work on an overnight trip to Hyner Run State Park in Pennsylvania.

Building the Future

While preparing Philadelphia high school girls for careers in the sciences, the Academy’s Women in Natural Sciences (WINS) program provides opportunities for natural science adventures and hands-on experiences that build girls’ self-confidence. The Cape to Cape program starts at the Marine Mammal Stranding Center in Brigantine, New Jersey, and continues to the Wetlands Institute in Stone Harbor where the girls learn about marine life and health. The two-day program then takes the girls all the way across Cape May to Cape Henlopen by way of the Cape May Ferry for an overnight in the wilderness.

In addition to providing lessons on aquatic ecology, the program also teaches wilderness skills like tent building. Before this years’ trip, WINS Manager Betsy Payne gave the girls a chance to try their hands at turning heavy bundles of plastic and metal into tents that they could use for shelter during the trip. The girls did not receive instructions; instead, they used creativity and teamwork to build practical overnight abodes.

“I said, ‘Where does this piece go?‘” remembers WINS student Jasmane Harvey. “I never knew how to pitch a tent before WINS.”

Practicing made perfect, though, and before she knew it, Jasmane and her tent mates had their sleeping quarters ready for the night in Cape Henlopen State Park. They woke up refreshed for seining the bay the next morning.

“You start getting the hang of it after a while, and it actually becomes a race,” Jasmane says. “I definitely grew from my first tent experience—I felt like a pro!”

Visit ansp.org to hear from the girls about their adventures in the WINS program.

Plan your visit, check out our new exhibits, and find out about upcoming activities.
Discover the past and explore the future of the natural sciences in our online exhibits.
Make a difference, browse our programs, and get involved with the natural world.