The Community And Urban Science Enrichment (CAUSE) program is dedicated to celebrating the energy and creativity that Camden City teens bring to the mission of the Center while empowering them to become environmental and educational leaders in the community.

The CAUSE program is designed to address the needs and interests of Camden’s youth through experiential learning, practical 21st Century workplace skill building, fostering awareness and appreciation of science and science careers, life-long learning and community service.


The CAUSE program begins with the Explorers program for 8th grade students and progresses to a 4-year Intern program in high school. The program also has an extensive Summer Science Camp, which Explorers and Interns develop and implement, with Center Staff, to children, grades k-8 in Camden City.

The Explorer component is designed to train middle-school students interested in science and education to volunteer as community outreach explainers and as assistant counselors for the CAUSE Summer Science Camps. The Explorer Program engages youth during the transition years from middle school to high school. The program has 4 tiers that focus on science content training and field experiences, character education, personal development and career exploration, and CAUSE summer camp. The Explorer Program runs from November through August. We encourage participants to transition into the CAUSE Intern program in the fall.

The Intern experience is a personal and professional life skills program that trains high school students interested in science, education and beyond to work as public program explainers for the spring and as summer camp counselors for the summer. Interns participate in many activities such as community service projects, public education programming such as outreaches, overnight programs, college tours, and educational and scientific trips. Students who progress up the program leadership ladder, gain more responsibilities each successive year they are in the program. The Intern Program runs from September until the mid-August. It begins with an intensive natural science training program in the first year and progresses to more focused skill building. Interns also participate in Stewardship Projects in their community and weekly workshops, around teambuilding, communication skills, diversity, inquiry-based learning/teaching, job readiness, college preparation, creative writing, finance, nutrition, workplace etiquette, interviewing, and resume writing.

Teen interns in the CAUSE program have experienced successes in employment and learning that greatly enhance self-esteem, widen horizons, and indelibly shape ambitions for future education and employment. The personal impact over the decades is real. Perhaps for the first time in their lives, the teens are the expert: the person to whom people will listen and learn. Equally powerful benefits result for the K-8 youngsters who have the chance to develop mentoring relationships with teenagers from their own community, who are enthusiastic role models and committed teachers .

High Impact Results: Since 1993, CAUSE demonstrates an impressive track record.

  • 100% high school graduation rate. Teens participants are recruited into the program without regard to school performance.
  • 99% of the CAUSE Staff students enroll in college or pursue continuing education.
  • Over 75% pursue Careers in science or education fields.
  • 91% feel empowered and leadership in public speaking.
  • 97% feel their horizons were broadened through travel and field experiences .

In their own voices:

“This program is a life changer, something I couldn’t replace with anything else. Students gain knowledge, not only about marine biology, but to be themselves, speak up for themselves, and challenge themselves. Apart from the drama of high school, they shape themselves into a future of prospect and success. You will push yourself forward and never stop. These lessons are golden and you never forget them. It’s like riding a bicycle, though it takes a lot of hard work to reach this potential.”

“The CAUSE Program is the molding of a well-rounded student that is at the forefront of success and ingenuity making and taking giant leaps in discovering who they are and their greatest potential.”

9th Grader (1st Year recruitment) for 2022 - 2023 is now closed

Donate Now