For students in grades 9 to 11

Do you want to dive deeper into the world of marine science? Explore science at the New England Aquarium! From studying fish, jellies and fur seals, to becoming a better scientist as you contribute to ongoing research projects, you will join researchers and educators as we investigate the world around us in a bid to better understand and protect our Blue Planet.

Marine Biologist in Training (MBIT) courses are challenging opportunities for students in grades 9 to 11 to learn about marine science through the New England Aquarium and build skills for problem solving, leadership and environmental stewardship.

It's cool! It's also different. It wasn't huge on facts and worrisome tests, it was just a friendly, open, learn-at-your-own-pace, fun class.
- Anonymous MBIT: Fish student

Spring 2017 – MBIT: Fish

Note: Applications for this program are now closed.

During MBIT: Fish, participants will spend six intensive days using the New England Aquarium to explore the world of fish biology and behavior. Armed with an understanding of the needs and threats to fish, students will utilize their new-found know-how to report on a species of their choice.

The program will cover the following topics, among others:

  • Fish biology and adaptations
  • Fish behavior
  • Habitat needs
  • Threats and solutions


Early Fall 2017 – MBIT: Field Work

Note: Applications for this program are now closed.

During MBIT: Field Work participants will spend five intensive days engaged in regular field trips conducting marine scientific studies. Science is so much more than a classroom or a laboratory! It takes hard work in the elements, a keen eye for detail, and a curiosity of mind. Hone these skills and learn how scientists uncover the mysteries of the ocean through hands-on research.

In this program, you will:

  • Engage in scientific field work
  • Contribute to citizen science projects
  • Gain familiarity with real field biology techniques

Late Fall 2017 — MBIT: Scientist

Note: Applications for this program are now closed.

During MBIT: Scientist, participants will spend six intensive days using the New England Aquarium and nearby habitats as living laboratories to conduct research projects and discover how research is done by real marine biologists at the Aquarium and around the world. Participants lead a research team as you design and perform research studies to answer questions about the ocean’s inhabitants.

In this program, you will:

  • Learn scientific methods and study design
  • Practice project management
  • Gain familiarity with real field and laboratory biology techniques
  • Promote collaboration, build leadership and teamwork skills
  • Gain confidence with your public speaking abilities as you communicate your research to an audience


All classes meet from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  MBIT: Fish MBIT: Field Work MBIT: Scientist

Application Due Date

February 8, 2017
August 23, 2017
September 20, 2017


2017 Class Dates

March 5, 12, 19, 26,
April 2, 9
September 16, 23, 30,
October 7, 14
October 15, 22, 29,
November 5, 12, 19


That was the first time I actually felt like a real marine biologist at work, conducting an investigation and later analyzing the data.
- Dylan, MBIT: Scientist student

Tuition and Expenses

Upon acceptance to an MBIT program, tuition per participant is $375 for Aquarium members ($425 for non-members). Limited needs-based financial aid is available. Eligibility for financial aid is determined by your household’s Gross Adjusted Income, as is the amount of copay for which you will be responsible. Applying for financial aid will not influence the success of your application to the program.

Annual Household Gross Adjusted Income

< $40K
  1. Copay$75$150

Please note that there are limited spaces available in each financial aid category. Therefore, if you are accepted into the program, and your household’s income level falls within one of the financial aid categories, you are not guaranteed to receive the offer of reduced tuition in that, or either category. Financial aid awards will be granted based on a combination of demonstrated financial need, and the relative merit of your application.

Snacks are provided during the program, although participants are required to bring their own lunch. Lunch may also be purchased at the Aquarium Café.

How to Sign Up

Create a family profile online. Applications are available from within your family profile.

loster in hands
Hands-on learning for teens

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How do I know I got in?

    Applicants will be informed by email within one week following the application deadline. If you are accepted, you will be given instructions on how to complete required forms and for submission of tuition.

  2. If I do MBIT, can I become a volunteer at the New England Aquarium?

    Successful completion of the MBIT program does not guarantee a volunteer opportunity at the Aquarium. Please visit the volunteer website for details about volunteer opportunities.

  3. What do I get with my tuition?

    • Five to six days of instruction (depending on specific program) by Aquarium educators, with backgrounds in research science, ocean education and fish biology
    • Free access to the Aquarium when the Aquarium is open for the duration of the program
    • Discount at the Aquarium Café while class is in session
    • Meet students from other schools with a similar passion for the ocean
    • Eligibility (and a leg up in the application process) for several other Aquarium programming options (e.g. live blue™ Ambassadors, Teen Internships, Junior Instructor roles))

  4. What do I need to bring the first day?

    On the first day you should have:

    • Closed-toed shoes that can get wet
    • Layers of comfortable clothing; be ready for an active classroom
    • A positive attitude and a willingness to work and learn!

  5. Is the whole program at the Aquarium?

    Most of the time in MBIT: Fish and Scientist will be spent in classrooms adjacent to the Aquarium, along the Harborwalk around the Aquarium, or in the Aquarium itself. There is, however, one day with a planned field trip (weather dependent) to a local coastal area.

    MBIT: Field Work will spend most days on field trips, engaged with work outside of the Aquarium grounds.

  6. OK, if I do MBIT, what then?

    Some youth do MBIT as a stand-alone experience, to participate in a marine-oriented program at the Aquarium because it fits into their interests and adds to their tool belt of knowledge and experiences. But if you choose, MBIT can be so much more! Our goal is to provide opportunities for youth to gain the knowledge to fully appreciate and steward the ocean, along with skills that will serve our students for life in whatever path they choose. MBIT is but a rung along a ladder of learning at the Aquarium, with subsequent potential opportunities including:

    • Participation in live blue™ Ambassadors (LBA)
    • Assist in data collection with LBA or the Advanced level of Harbor Discoveries Camps
    • Potential to be a MBIT Assistant Instructor
    • Be a leader in LBA
    • Eligibility to apply to be a Counselor in Training (CIT) for the Junior/Senior level of Harbor Discoveries Camps
    • You will build the expertise to take a leadership role on in any science or environmental project you do inside and outside of the Aquarium

Contact Us

Contact the Program Office at 617-226-2425 or email