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The Program

An enriched learning and social experience within a collegial and supportive residential environment for rising 8th and 9th graders

The Advanced Studies and Leadership Program (ASLP) is an immersive STEM-based program that offers a unique learning experience for participating students. With access to state-of-the-art facilities, including laboratory spaces, training vessels, and simulators on the Massachusetts Maritime Academy (MMA) campus, students have an unparalleled opportunity to expand their knowledge and skills in a supportive academic environment.

The program is designed to challenge students while helping them develop essential leadership and social skills. STEM and Humanities courses are taught by distinguished faculty members from the academy and teachers from nearby school districts, ensuring that students receive a comprehensive and well-rounded educational experience.

To fully immerse students in the experience, they will be assigned to a residence hall on the MMA campus, where they will stay for the duration of the 2-week program. Upon completing ASLP, students receive a certificate of completion, recognizing their hard work and dedication to academic excellence.


Cape Cod Collaborative members and affiliated districts are allotted a certain number of slots each year based on the number of rising 8th and 9th graders.

This year’s districts include:

Dennis – Yarmouth
Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School


This year’s affiliated districts include:

North River Collaborative
New Bedford

ASLP enrolls high-achieving students with demonstrated academic and leadership potential, and a commitment to benefit from the programming offered.

Program Highlights

Each day students will participate in STEM and Humanities classes in addition to group activities and hands-on learning exercises.

Core Leadership Course

All students participate in programming designed to provide interactive activities that foster personal growth and leadership development throughout the two-week program. This highly engaging and interactive course includes special guest speakers, live demonstrations, team-building activities, and exciting presentations.

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Course(s)

Students will select one of three pathways for their STEM coursework. Each pathway involves three (3) days of engaging hands-on study, including demonstrations and interactive work with cutting-edge technology and state-of-the-art science labs. This year’s courses include:

Power Engineering and Renewable Energy

In this course, we’ll explore how power is created and learn about steam, turbines, and electricity. Plus, we’ll chat about the latest and greatest in alternative and renewable energy. Picture yourself in the engine room of a massive 550 ft. training ship, the Enterprise. You’ll get hands-on experience and even build your working model of a steam cycle in an engineering lab. Lastly, you’ll team up to construct a gas-fired steam plant that’s not just any plant but one that makes electricity. Get ready to power up your engineering skills and have a blast doing it.

Remotely Operated Vehicles and Their Use in Oceanography

Get ready for a fantastic adventure into the world of underwater robots. Dive into the exciting universe of ROVs—Remote Operated Vehicles— and explore how they’re built and used in the vast oceans. In this course, we’ll uncover the history of these machines and discover the secrets behind their underwater missions. Buckle up for a thrilling competition activity where you will build your own ROV and test its abilities in the campus pool.

Science of Emergency Management

In this course, you’ll learn about disaster preparedness, fire safety, light search and rescue, and join the awesome Community Emergency Response Team (CERT). Based on the National Incident Management System and the EM Disaster Cycle, prepare for a journey through the past 10 years of emergency management in the United States. You’ll be hands-on heroes, working with a fully functional emergency operations center on campus where you’ll have specific roles and responsibilities that will unleash your inner emergency superhero.

Discover Science on Cape Cod

In this course, we’ll uncover the secrets of Cape Cod’s stunning landscapes, dive into the mysteries of coastal erosion, and discover the power of storms. We’ll be hitting the outdoors for hands-on experiments and embarking on two exciting field trips to Sandy Neck Beach and the Cape Cod Canal. In this class, we’ll become geology and meteorology detectives, focusing on the local wonders of erosion, coastal processes, lightning, and other wild weather events. Are you ready to unlock the wonders right in our own backyard?

Marine Environmental Issues on Cape Cod

In this course, we’ll tackle four important problems: nutrient loading, pesky harmful algal blooms, saving our wetlands, and battling invasive plants. Did you know wetlands are like superheroes but endangered? We’re part of a real-life mission to save a nearby marsh, and we’re teaming up with the Army Corps of Engineers, and the Town of Bourne to make a difference. We’ll also board a Mass Maritime Academy vessel and head out to a local estuary to tie together everything we’ve learned in class. Get ready for an epic journey into the heart of environmental heroism.

Chemistry of Water

Don’t let the course title fool you! You’ll uncover the secrets of water and its mind-blowing properties. We’re talking cool experiments every day – from checking out what makes water tick to exploring how it can clean up its act as a solution. We’ll even tackle a super important project about phosphorus and water pollution to save the day. Get hands-on with real-deal lab equipment, like special glassware and a spectrophotometer, just like the experts in a college chemistry lab.

Navigation and Ship Handling

Sail through the seas of boating safety, unravel the secrets of navigation, chart your course, plan thrilling voyages, and master seamanship. Plus, get ready to become a certified Boating Operator with this Coast Guard-approved course. You’ll learn essential seamanship skills like tying knots, mastering line work, and even conquering lifeboat operations. Experience the thrill of our high-tech Radar labs and Ship’s Bridge Simulator. The ultimate challenge awaits in the capstone project – a team-based simulator exercise where you and your friends will navigate a massive 600 ft. ship into the bustling Boston Harbor.

Strength of Materials

In this course, you’ll explore the stuff behind how structures work. We’ll uncover the secrets of materials, learn about stress and strain (think stretching and squeezing forces), discover the twists and turns of torsion, and unravel the mysteries of bending moments and temperature changes in all sorts of structures. You’ll team up with your friends to build an epic bridge model. From sketching out designs to the ultimate challenge of testing its strength, this class is all about putting your engineering skills to the test. Are you up for the challenge?

Alternative Energy

We are introducing a new course all about alternative energy! Course description to be announced soon.

Humanities Course

Students will select one Humanities course to participate in for the duration of the program. Courses are taught by MMA faculty and designed for creativity, critical thinking, and artistic expression. This year’s courses include:

Improve with Improv

In this course, you’ll unleash your creativity and discover the secrets of acting magic. In the first half, we’ll unlock the power of improv as a technique for bringing characters to life. Through fun warm-ups, games, and exercises, you’ll become a master at crafting characters, setting the stage, and rocking the dialogue. Then, we’ll jump into the world of improv shows! Think of it like the epic performances you’ve seen on “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” and improv troupes nationwide. You’ll be part of the action, learning the ins and outs of creating your improv show. And guess what? You’ll even show off your skills in front of a live audience! This class is all about high energy and hands-on fun and is so popular we offer three sections during ASLP! Get ready to stretch your imagination, surrender to the excitement, and experience the freedom of improvised theatre like never before.

Painting and Drawing

In this course, you will explore topics like playing with colors, creating unique compositions, and mastering the art of light and shadow. From funky still-life drawings to capturing epic landscapes and tackling the human figure, we’ve got various awesome projects lined up. Have you ever wondered how to make your drawings go from “meh” to “wow”? We’ve got the secrets, and we’re here to spill them! Whether you are a newbie or a seasoned artist looking to level up, this course is your ticket to acquiring top-notch drawing and painting skills. Let’s turn your passion for art into a masterpiece.

Memory Book Writing & Publication

In this course, you’ll craft your very own ASLP memory book. Imagine documenting all the cool stuff you’re learning and the friends you’re making during your time at ASLP! Join a group of aspiring writers where you’ll take on the exciting challenge of meeting production deadlines. Each day, you’ll have fun with short assignments and explore creative pieces like poetry and prose. Get ready to share your unique experiences through journalistic pieces that capture the highlights of your journey through the program.

Critics Corner

Join us on a cinematic adventure where we’ll unravel the secrets behind what turns a movie from good to great and what makes some just okay. In this course, we’ll gather in a lively discussion setting to explore the magic of storytelling. We’ll dissect the ingredients that make a plot twist-worthy, discover the power of unforgettable characters, and unravel the mysteries of suspense and high drama. But that’s not all – get ready to put on your critic hat! We’ll watch incredible movies together and channel our inner film critics to write our movie reviews. From plot surprises to epic special effects, we’ll learn how to spot the elements that make a movie unforgettable.

Musical Creativity

This course is all about unleashing your inner rockstar, whether you’re into singing or playing instruments like drums, guitars, trumpets, saxophones, and more. We’ll groove to jazz and rock tunes, culminating in an epic performance where you’ll showcase your newfound skills. Explore the world of music as we focus on enhancing your musical abilities, perfecting tones, mastering techniques, and even trying your hand at improvisation. If you can read music at your grade level, you’re eligible to join in the fun! Just bring your passion and your instrument, whether it’s a saxophone, flute, guitar, or even a tuba. Prepare for a musical adventure where you’ll learn, grow, and create lasting memories with fellow musicians.

Be Your Own Author

Dive into the fascinating world of storytelling, where you’ll not only get to enjoy amazing tales by fantastic writers but also become the author of your gripping narratives. From thrilling fiction to captivating real-life stories, this course has it all! You’ll build a dazzling portfolio showcasing your best original works as you unleash your creativity. But that’s not all – picture this: you, standing proudly in front of your peers at ASLP, sharing snippets of your favorite creation. It’s the ultimate chance to let your imagination soar.

Students are not required to participate in a formal physical education program. However, recreation facilities are available under supervision for students at designated times. There are also social activities, including a dance, and countless informal opportunities for students to gather, connect, and have fun.

Tuition & Scholarships

Tuition varies each year and is dependent upon available grants and corporate sponsorships. Interested students and families should contact their local guidance office to learn more.

A limited number of scholarships are also available for eligible families. Interested students and families should contact their local guidance office to learn more.



The safety and supervision of participating students is the highest priority for ASLP staff and leadership. We maintain a 1:8 staff-to-student ratio. On-site staff includes:

17 faculty members and teachers
6 overnight Resident Assistants
1 Nurse Practitioner
1 Counselor
1 24/7 On-Site Program Director

Additionally, a selective group of highly motivated cadets enrolled at MMA act as on-site staff throughout the program. The cadets are often a favorite element of ASLP for participating students!

Get Involved with ASLP

Please submit the form below and our team will be in contact with you soon!

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