MARINE SCIENCE INSTITUTE

Rating: 4.8 stars   65 reviews

Issues: Animals, Technology, Education, Environment

Location: 500 Discovery Pkwy Redwood City CA 94063 USA

Mission: MSI's mission is to cultivate a responsibility for the natural environment and our human communities through interdisciplinary science education.
Results: MSI has been conducting watershed education programs on and around the San Francisco Bay and Coast for 42 years. We estimate that a total of 1 million students have enriched their understanding of science and the environment through our programs, and as a result are living their lives with a greater sense of responsibility for the environment. MSI currently works with 50,000 students of all ages each year. At least 75% of teachers rebook our services year after year. Most our growth can be attributed to word of mouth promotion by satisfied teachers and other educators. More than 3,000 teacher surveys collected in the last 3 program years reveal an extremely high satisfaction rate. Teachers rated MSI with a nearly perfect score of 3.9+ on a scale of 1-4. On those same surveys, teachers also scored our programs an average of 3.3 on a scale of 1 - 4 when asked “How likely is this program to increase your students’ understanding of science?” The most common remark by teachers is about how impressed they are at MSI’s ability to engage students in active learning of science, and capture the attention of even the toughest cases of wandering minds or disinterested students. Students we taught in our early years are now in their 50’s. They have passed on their love and appreciation of the environment to their children and grandchildren. Teachers who went through our program when they were students come back to us to provide the MSI experience for their students. Science teachers using the Institute programs have been awarded Presidential Science Teaching recognition, and then commented, “It all began on that ship on the Bay”.  Many MSI “alumni” students and staff play active roles in environmental conservation or in other sciences. Some are even captains of industry.
Target demographics: Students of all ages and schools throughout Northern California
Direct beneficiaries per year: 55,000
Geographic areas served: Northern California
Programs: MSI serves 55,000 students each year by making them marine scientists for the day by putting them in touch with their local habitat and using scientific equipment on our 90-foot research vessel and hands-on programs on our San Francisco Bayside beach.
2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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EIN 94-1719649
650-364-2760
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

The Marine Science Institute (MSI) provides a realistic hands-on science program for my students to connect with everyday, real-life experiences about the importance of the watershed, the San Francisco Bay, and the inhabitants that live therein. MSI helps to creates an awareness of the necessity of the Bay and links us to direct evidence of the health and condition of Bay that not only fosters an appreciation of SF Bay, but develops stewardship for protection of the Bay for future generations.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

I am a former MSI employee who now teaches in a public school that uses MSI educational programs. I loved working at MSI and felt that the staff and facilities were top notch. All of the instructors were highly educated and compassionate about teaching students of all ages.

As a teacher, I work directly with the scheduling coordinator to plan field trips for my school. She is organized, flexible and extremely helpful especially when trying to plan around all of the special days and testing that my school has.

MSI is an outstanding organization and that I am proud to have been a part of. I am excited that my students are able to do programs with them.

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

The Marine Science Institute offers one of THE best, educational, yet fun-filled trips you could ever imagine! I took students on a Discovery Voyage a couple of years ago, and they had a blast (so did I)! MSI will do everything within their power to ensure that underprivileged students are not left out; that includes offering very generous grants towards your travel expenses - if yours is a Title1 school.

We did the 'Biomimicry' trip, which was fantastic!

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Allow payment via RPO, perhaps?

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

A lot

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

My students and I felt so lucky to have Marine Science Inst. come to our school through the Inland Voyage program. The program was not aligned to what I was teaching but it was engaging and fun.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

It was great, I would not change anything

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

A lot

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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Rating: 4 stars  

My fourth grade students and I were excited to visit tide pools, but I had no idea how thorough this academic experience would be. Before our trip, the children were introduced to the scientific method, practiced data collection, and handled live ocean specimens. After the tide pool exploration, the data collected at the pools was used to create bar graphs. This was one of the most complete science units I've seen.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

A lot

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Likely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Quite well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

As a teacher, I thought this program was excellent. My students and I learned so much from the pre-trip school visit. We learned even more on the actual visit, and the post-trip school visit solidified the learning experience. Like the Chinese proverb states, " I hear, I forget, I see, and I remember, I DO and I understand." That is what this program guarantees to provide.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Unsure

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

As a parent who researches and schedules field trips for a K-8 school, I was thrilled to learn about all the programs offered by Marine Science Institute ("MSI"). Our community (teachers, parents and students) has had the opportunity to experience some of their field trips and Inland Voyage programs. We love everything about MSI! The knowledgeable and friendly staff always make their hands on science programs fun and educational for everyone involved. The excitement, before during and after a program with MSI make it a top pick for our school year after year.
Thank you MSI, for providing us the opportunity to be part of and experience science and not just read about it!
Dina Casanova
Parent Volunteer Field Trip Coordinator

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

A lot

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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Rating: 5 stars  

As a teacher I took my class here for the first time many years ago. I am now at a new school who had never heard of it, so I organized a grade level wide field trip over four days so all 1st graders could experience the amazing field trip program they put on. The students love it and it ties in to our science standards. Plus, it is BEAUTIFUL!

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

A lot

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

Me and my family have gone on several of MSI bay cruises. They are the best, most organized trips and totally kid oriented handson. The first time we netted for fish, we had many, the second time we went we didn't catch many fish but it didn't matter because the staff had so many other activities to entertain the kids (and adults). It has been one of our favorite activities and have taken and referred many of our friends. The staff is very well prepared and knowledgable. It was very enjoyable,

We also have visited the center during shark day. Although the center isn't very big, they seem to be able to entertain the kids all day with hands on activities.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Expand it with more tanks and have activities for the kids every weekend,

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Likely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A lot

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

So many great things about MSI: (1) Real exposure to the real world. Mud face painting and petting sharks. (2) The level of engagement of the staff is exceptional. They're sensitive, considerate, professional and smart. (3) Non-commercial...no gift shop! (4) Yet you always leave with something cool (shark hats, for example). Our 5 y.o. has been out on the boat twice and loved it. Our 3 y.o. has only done shore programs, but likes those a lot too.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

A lot

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful?