Frequently Asked Questions
We welcome all students who have a strong desire to learn and who demonstrate an interest and aptitude in science as evidenced by their teacher recommendation. Due to the extensive work in the field and on board boats however, students with severe emotional, physical or learning issues will have difficulty with the program. Though many students with ADD, ADHD and other mild learning disabilities have done very well at AIO, we are not equipped to appropriately handle more severe issues. Since we want to ensure a memorable experience, academically and personally for all students, we ask that you seriously consider what is best for your child before registering.
How do I get to Seal Harbor? When should I arrive/depart?
Students can be driven by a parent, take a bus into Bar Harbor or Bangor or fly into the Bar Harbor or Bangor Airports. We will pick students up from the bus stop or airport for no additional charge. Arrival and departure days are those listed as the first and last days of each session. Students should plan to arrive between 12 noon and 5 pm on the first Sunday and depart on the last Friday between noon and 5 pm. If the student is being picked up by a parent, they are invited to join us for a family cookout starting around 5 pm.
No. Our sessions are broken into introductory, intermediate and advanced. The introductory session is for students 10-12 years of age, the intermediate for students 12 to 15 while the advanced sessions are for students who have completed a minimum of a high school science course (preferably biology or chemistry) typically 15 -19 years of age.
Yes, since we are able to accommodate most food restrictions and allergies, although you will need to discuss them with the Director prior to attendance. We are able to keep the cooking nut-free, if necessary, and we always offer vegetarian alternatives at meals. We cannot, however, control the food that is sent to students in their care packages or the food they buy while away from the building. We have also found that peanut butter is a staple food for many people, especially vegetarians and vegans so it is offered as an option for lunch. Still, we can and have successfully included students in our program with life-threatening allergies to nuts by strictly controlling where the peanut butter is used and by separating the allergic student's lunch from others.
7 AM: students wake up for showers or morning lab
8 AM: breakfast
9 AM - 1 PM: morning activity (usually academic: boat trips, tide pool, etc)
2-5 PM: afternoon activity (recreational or academic)
5:15-5:45 PM: mini-seminar on various topics offered or free time
6 PM: dinner
7-8 PM: recreation (i.e. volleyball, basketball, soccer, etc)
8-9 PM: evening lectures to prepare for the next morning activity
Yes, but most students come on their own. If you are attending with a friend, let us know if you want to be in the same dorm by writing it on the application. Once the dorm arrangements and splits have been organized, it’s impossible to change it without affecting several other students.
No, though some students may require additional services.
Additional costs could include:
• Returned check= $35 per incident
• Extra overnight before or after session = $150 each night
Certainly! Keep in mind, however, students may only leave the property with a friend or non-custodial parent with the expressed, written permission of the custodial parent/guardian.
Cell phones and tablets have become a part of everyday life but they have also become a big distraction for many of our students during lessons. We prefer you leave them at home and take a break from the electronic (this includes video games, ipads, Kindles/Nooks, etc). Plan to bring an inexpensive camera for pictures and books to read. You also have access to a free landline (for calls in the US and Canada) and the internet to check email. If you do choose to bring one for music and games, we ask you to leave in the building except for the Saturday trip to Bar Harbor. If you do bring them on activity, we will confiscate them.
AIO offers 22 rising juniors and seniors the option of taking the advanced session program as a 4-credit oceanography course (ENV 103) through the Early College Program at the University of Maine Machias. This a graded course, based on the UMM grading system.
The cost of the credits in 2017 was $516 over and above the AIO tuition and will be billed to you directly from UMaine Machias(UMM) sometime prior to the start of the session. The AIO tuition for that session includes a $100 registration fee. The registration packet includes two forms needed to create an account for you at UMM so complete and return these to the AIO address prior to May 1. Beside participation in the existing AIO program, you will be expected to attend some additional labs and lectures. You will also be given an end of session lab practical and final exam.
• Withdrawal before May 1: full refund
• Withdrawal after May 1 to 31 days prior to session: refund of tuition minus deposit.
• Withdrawal within 30-15 days prior to start off session: no refund unless space is filled by another student.
• Withdrawal within 14 days of start of session: no refund
• Payments on tuition after June 1 must be in the form of a certified bank check, cash, money order or credit card. Tuition must be paid in full prior to start of session. Please review our Tuition Policy before registering.
Participants are expected to report to all scheduled activities on time, to abide by all rules of conduct explained upon arrival at AIO, and to behave in a manner to bring credit upon AIO and themselves. This conduct includes but is not limited to:
--- treating staff and fellow students with proper respect
--- using appropriate language
--- refraining from improper relationships with other students or staff
--- not possessing tobacco, alcohol or any illegal substances
--- never leaving the property without a staff member
--- respecting the property of AIO and other students (you must replace property willfully destroyed)
Infractions of the above guidelines could result in immediate dismissal without refund.