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  

I teach at a local middle school and MSI has provided many field hands-on science experiences for my students over the years. For the past several years they have also provided many in class hands-on educational experiences as well through our partnership. I have found all their staff not only to have excellent content knowledge but also great experience with working with students in keeping them engaged as they encourage their questions and answers. Last year one of my classes partnered with a high school class. With guidance and support from MSI my students visited the high school campus for a tour by their students and the high school students visited my class twice to advise my students as we completed environmental projects. How fortunate my students have been to have such a resource available to them and as a teacher of science I too have felt fortunate to have colleagues with whom to plan and work to provide rich science experiences for my students. I often felt isolated as an elementary school science teacher. However, working with MSI has kept me focused on teaching science, and I continue to learn along with my students on every field trip even after many trips.

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

I always felt it would be easier if MSI could somehow provide transportation for the students to attend field trips. The cost of buses is so high. I believe they investigated acquiring a bus and all the related costs and found it too expensive. My district serves many low income families, and even though we are only a few miles from MSI, the transportation cost is from $300 to $600. The former is the cost if our school bus is available.

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?

2014

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

I had the privilege of working with MSI on a grant they'd been awarded to support my high school students working with a nearby middle school. My students got to mentor & support the middle school students' development of environmental stewardship projects. I was thoroughly impressed with MSI's organization, their staff members professionalism, and their flexibility to make the program work for me, my students, and the middle schoolers as well. The even made their site available to us one afternoon when we were coming back from a different field trip, and their staff member was incredibley helpful and impressive with her management of our rowdy students.

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

give them more funding !!

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?

2014

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

More than 20 years of Discovery Voyages, and every single one of them a total hit with students! Many were so fascinated that they went on in high school and college to study the sciences in more depth; a good number have been led to careers in the sciences!
In those 20 years, my fellow teachers and our students have also experienced land programs, tide pool programs, and in-house (at school) presentations. Each and every contact with MSI has brought our students motivation to be better caregivers of our Bay, experiential time in Life, Earth, and Physical sciences, and memories for a lifetime.
For all MSI field trips, parents can hardly wait to sign up to chaperone; often, we have had a drawing to see who gets to come with us!
The office staff and field trip instructors are so professional, so friendly, and unbelievably good at what they do. Their credentials and experience are awesome.
I will continue MSI participation with my students for as long as I am teaching.

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

-provide time for kids to buy items, such as T-shirts for themselves and educational posters and books.

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?

2014

 
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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

For about 20 years, MSI has provided top-notch hands-on science education for my students. Instructors are knowledgeable and great with kids. The ship is fantastically designed like a mini-NOAA vessel, so every student gets a chance to handle all kinds of equipment safely and with ease. The station work is well designed, instructional, and fun. Five stars to MSI for their Discovery Voyage program.

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?

2010

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

I have organized student trips with MSI for many years as a way for our city to educate its youth regarding stormwater pollution to our waterways. I am always impressed by MSI's professional and enthusiastic staff. Every Californian should be required to take a Discovery Voyage on the SF Bay...to help all citizens discover and appreciate this wonder-full world we live. Positive behavior changes always flow from this hands-on experience. No longer are students apathetic polluters or oblivious of the ecosystems in the heart of California. Instead, their environmental compasses are realigned towards becoming the good stewards of Planet Earth God requires of humanity.

For example, I had one 5th grade group, who while on board, thanks to staff inspiration, renamed their environmental club to "Earth Keepers". The MSI person had the kids at every station yell out, "Earth Keepers! Save the World!" To this day, the Earth keepers are meeting on Fridays at their school site in Lodi, doing street and campus cleanups. And yes, they still end each day with their rallying fell, "Earth Keepers! Save the World!" Keep up the good work, MSI!

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

Not a thing!

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?

2014

 
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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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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

 
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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

 
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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

 
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