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 was founded to provide high quality, hands-on education for children and adults interested in San Francisco Bay. They have land programs, Bay-front programs, and a ship for on-the-Bay programs. MSI runs multiple programs a day throughout the school year, plus runs a top-notch summer camp series. Family memberships add opportunities for lectures, films, fun days, service days, and more. The ED and her staff see quality and safety as top priorities. MSI draws highly qualified scientists to work as instructors and staff because people want to see success in what they do - and MSI provides success not only for employees, but most certainly for child, adult, and family participants. I am proud to serve on the Board at MSI, and also to have participated for many years as a teacher in classes, and with my students on field trips. MSI is an outstanding educational non-profit.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

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

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Rating: 5 stars  

My children adopted a starfish and tiger shark for Hanukkah. They enjoyed a day feeding and caring for their "pets" and the other sea life at MSI. They learned a terrific lesson about giving in the holiday season.

Was your donation impactful?

Unsure

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Likely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Rating: 5 stars  

I have 2 children who attended and loved the week-long summer camps offered at MSI this year. My 6th grade son had a blast at his Underwater Investigators week - the balance of science with creative fun had him engaged and learning every day. My 4th grade daughter thoroughly enjoyed her Ocean Explorers camp - the mix of field trips, hands-on crafts and marine science education was perfect for her. Thanks MSI for the great job you do!!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

seeing my kids take an interest in the marine life around them and helping to keep the environment clean.

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

give them more money so they could expand their programs.

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Rating: 1 stars  

My sixth-grade daughter had been looking forward to the underwater investigators camp for months. She loves science, fish in particular. She had been to the marine science institute on field trips with her school and very much enjoyed her time spent at the institute. We expected that camp would involve, as the website describes, "a challenging week of scientific investigation". Sadly, this was not the case. My daughter spent 3 days at camp during which she was taught very little. She was so disappointed she did not return for the last 2 days. There was very little instruction, very little content or substance. I don't know if that was a result of her instructor or the camp curriculum, but I think it may have been both. I think the camp does not know how to meet the needs of older children. My daughter was a great candidate for marine science camp - a really enthusiastic learner with a keen interest in the subject matter. Sadly I really think the marine science institute is missing a big opportunity with this camp - educating our youth and encouraging kids' interest in science. Huge disappointment.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

school field trips and camp

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-7-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

My son attended one of their summer camps this year for the first time and the experience was so wonderful that he's decided to study marine biology. The staff was knowledgeable and fun - the kids learn so much but in a fun way. Both of my children have also been on field trips with their middle school science classes. They have been some of the best field trips we've attended (even the adults learned). Keep up the great work!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

my son's interest in being a marine biologist.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-8-01

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

2 people found this review helpful

Some of my team members and I from the Tech Museum were invited by MSI for their 2 hour bay voyage on Saturday, August 21st. As we all work with children, it was fun to see how the kids were completely engaged in all the activities, from trolling the bay to examining mud samples, and even touching a shark (I didn't do that, but I did hold a shrimp). The team running the voyage was extremely knowledgeable and also extremely fun, and encouraged us to discover and explore as we wished. The only thing I would have done differently was to bring chapstick, but they warned me to beforehand, so that was my error. Didn't hinder the great time we all had, though! You can see pics of the voyage at this link: http://www.flickr.com/photos/medanie/sets/72157624777841200/show/

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the voyage and the effect it had on the kids as they learned about the bay.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-8-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

We have been attending MSI camps since our daughter was in kindergarten, 6 years later we attend as many camps as there are for her age group. She loves the hands on learning and has annouced she wants to work and save marine life for a career. The trips on the boat are cherished and talked about for weeks! She is happy to share with whomever will listen.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

joy of learning something new and exciting from my daughter

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-7-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

My daughter attended your camp for the first time this summer, and had a GREAT experience! She came home with cool creations, told us about the marine life she got to "pet" and other interesting facts about the bay. She was at first scared to board the boat, but your staff was reassuring, and professional. You were also very well organized in the details, re parking, snacks to pack, etc. etc. We joined as members since we were so impressed with your operation. We've lived in RWC for 5 years, and did not even know you existed. We will spread the word, for sure on all the great things you're doing. Thanks!!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Having our daughter attend their summer Marine Camp.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

GREAT and very attentive!!

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-7-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

My daughter has been attending your camp from age 5 until this summer when she was 11. She had looked forward to this camp every year and had an amazing time this last summer. Your staff and your program are wonderful!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

My daughter has learned so much and has enjoyed this camp every year that she has attended.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-7-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

My son had the greatest experience this summer at the Marine Science Institute summer camp. Signing him up for this camp was a very nice experience for me, too. We were late and camp was full, but the staff tried to find a space for us and they did. All my phone calls were returned in a very timely and respectful manner, and best of all my boy had a blast! Kids were doing science, and learning about the environment and on ways to protect it. They explored marches in the south bay on kayaks, taking samples for analysis and having a great time in between. The overnight trip to Angel island was something that kids will remember for a long-long time. I praise the MSI for all work they do.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-8-01

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