What Is Kestrel?

Kestrel is a natural science education organization connecting people of all ages with meaningful learning adventures.

The three pillars of our learning adventures are: Sensory awareness, imagination, and systems thinking

 

Based in Gloucester, Massachusetts, Kestrel is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization inspiring a sense of wonder, understanding, and connection to the natural world through playful, outdoor, scientific inquiry. Our unique philosophy centers on the relationship between learner, spontaneous events in nature, and instructors. We serve the communities of Gloucester, Rockport, Manchester, Essex, Beverly and Salem, among others.

Our services include designing and delivering nature connected inquiry science programs for school, homeschool, and other youth groups, and operating the Get Outside center for people of all ages in downtown Gloucester. We also offer professional development and curriculum services to educators. All our programs center on finding a sense of place through direct experiences, constructing understanding of natural systems, and building the skills scientists use to make new discoveries. Programs are staffed by professional naturalists, educators, and curriculum designers.  

We travel throughout Eastern Essex County, and beyond, to bring people into connection with the publicly accessible wild spaces in their own communities. We custom design everything to fit your local landscape and specific needs.

Our namesake comes from the smallest of the falcons, the American Kestrel. This slight but powerful bird reminds us that even the smallest people, and the smallest animals, can have a powerful impact. To learn more about our name, click here.

 Jumping for joy during Wild Science - our after school adventure club.

 Jumping for joy during Wild Science - our after school adventure club.

Founded by volunteers to improve scientific literacy in Gloucester Public Schools, Kestrel has grown dramatically since it was conceived in 2002. Today we work with dozens of schools representing thousands of students in communities across Essex County. For a list of our 2014-2015 partner schools, click here

In addition to our work with schools, we offer a menu of youth programs, including after school, homeschool and summer programs, alongside a traditional assortment of adult and family programs throughout the year. 

Because we believe access to the natural world ought to be a basic human right, we work hard to make sure everyone who wants a seat at our table gets one. We specifically target underserved communities who are often overlooked by our competitors and we conduct fundraising campaigns and solicit grants to keep our prices affordable for everyone.