The Experimentory

The Experimentory at Deerfield Academy welcomes middle school students from around the world to delve into project-based, creative learning that focuses on collaboration, communication, fostering creativity, building character, and developing how we look at the world. While there is a lot of uncertainty about what the world will look like this summer, we are certain The Experimentory will be full of amazing opportunities for students to connect with each other, grow as an individual, and get a taste of Deerfield from wherever they are in the world. We are currently exploring options for both virtual and in-person programs this summer and will have more information available very soon! In the meantime we would love to hear from you, so click the “I’m Interested” button below to be notified as soon as our application is available.

Deerfield’s summer program is a fantastic opportunity for students entering seventh, eighth and ninth grade to sample Deerfield Academy. The Experimentory at Deerfield Academy’s innovative program allows students to delve into project-based, creative learning and focuses on collaboration, communication, fostering creativity, building character, and developing how we look at the world.

The Experimentory also strives to provide our middle school students with a sample of the Deerfield Experience. The majority of our teachers and senior staff are Deerfield Academy faculty and staff members, and many of our classroom and dorm assistants are recent DA alums. The Experimentory is a great way to try boarding school life to decide if it is a good fit for you.

Visit the Experimentory online to learn more and apply. Get a taste of the Experimentory experience on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Flickr. And if you have any questions, please schedule a phone appointment with our office or email us at


Experimentory =
Maximize your
Creativity + Character

Hear from
our students

The Experimentory at Deerfield Academy is an amazing opportunity to innovate, grow, make friends and have fun . . . but don’t just take our word for it!

In this mix of videos and reflections, hear how seven EXP16 students describe the projects, friendships, lessons, and fun they experienced during their summer at the Experimentory.

Frequently Asked Questions

All 2020 residential summer programs at Deerfield Academy have been cancelled as of April 7, 2020. We are confident that suspending the Experimentory 2020 is the most prudent path forward to support the health of our participants and the public health of our greater community.

However, we’re already excitedly anticipating the Experimentory 2021! We will set the dates for our two week sessions and four week session this coming fall. Be sure to check back in September!

A hearty soup can be a delicious meal in itself or served in a cup to accompany other courses. Likewise, the Experimentory is wonderful in large or small servings. Our students can strive to maximize their creativity and character over the course of four weeks or just two.

That said, if at all possible, we highly recommend the four week experience if it works for your family. And don’t just take our word for it.  Students who have taken the two week courses in the past all wish they could have stayed for the four week program.  Time is a key ingredient when building collaborative friendships, working on a project, and building creative confidence. Attending the four week session will also mean you will be able to take more classes, take the four-week version of some classes, and go on more field trips.

For many, the deciding factor is the impossibility of being two places at once: if your summer menu already includes a family vacation or an early first day of school for example, the side order of Experimentory is for you! If you have other concerns that put you on the fence, please feel free to contact our office to address your specific questions and concerns.

Day students are important members of the Deerfield Academy community during the school year, so we’re happy to have them join us.

Generally, day students live within a driving radius of campus. Day students will join us either during or after breakfast and participate in all daily activities: courses, sit-down lunch, co-curriculars, and free time. They’ll stay into the late afternoon ending around 5:30 each day with the option to stay for dinner and evening activities until 8:30. Day students may also choose to join us for some evening and weekend field trips and activities.

That said, day students will obviously miss out on living in the dorm and the activities that happen there. There is great value in community with your classmates away from home. However, while day students may be on campus part time, they are full Experimentors – we are passionate about helping them maximize their creativity and character.

The Experimentory is designed to be an immersive learning experience where students form a close-knit community that learns, works, lives and plays together. Interruptions inhibit both community building and learning.

Full attendance is expected of all students.  All students are expected to arrive on their check-in day and stay through the end of their session.  Leaving early will forfeit the student’s session completion certificate and session comments and feedback from teachers.  As a rule, students cannot leave the program for any reason, including weddings, family events, athletic or arts events, or academic events.

Likewise, day students are required to follow the full day schedule all weekdays, but are always welcome to join in for extra events.

Of course family or medical emergencies sometimes arise and we accommodate these however we can.

The Experimentory is designed to introduce our students to Deerfield Academy and boarding school life in general.  Our teachers and many of our staff members are at Deerfield all year round.  Further, the skills and concepts of the Experimentory are just the sort of skills that we believe make a successful student at any institution.  However, the Experimentory is not linked to Deerfield’s admission process and brings no specific advantage in admission to the Academy.

That said, Experimentory students get a taste of Deerfield Academy’s campus, teachers, culture, and values. This personal, experiential knowledge is valuable data for students and parents to know whether Deerfield Academy – or boarding school in general – is a good fit for them.

The Experimentory offers a limited amount of financial assistance for domestic students. Financial aid is based on need and is applied for along with the program application. We are not able to provide financial aid to cover the cost of the entire program. We are ready to consider financial aid applicants of all kinds – i.e. both day and boarding student and two week and four week students.

All students applying for financial aid must apply for both the program and financial aid by February 1 to be considered.  Financial aid applicants will be notified of their admissions decision and financial aid decision together via email later that month.

It is, of course, a completely made-up word, but still made up of meaningful parts. To start, it contains the word “Experiment.” We learn on our feet by trying, failing, considering what went wrong, and then trying again. It contains the word “mentor.” Our teachers coach and guide rather than simply lecture and instruct. And the suffix “–tory” – as in factory or dormitory – means place. So we’re a place to experiment with mentors.

Contact the Experimentory

7 Boyden Lane, PO Box 87
Deerfield, MA 01342