Marine Science Institute is a gem in our community. Over the years my family has participated in the canoe trip, low tide walk, school field trips, and summer camp, including the middle school trip with an overnight stay on the Robert S. Brownlee. Every event has been very informative and fun. The staff are very friendly.
Provides great educational experiences to kids of all ages through school, camps, scouts, etc.
Great field trips, awesome camps! Such a unique place. My kids love how hands on it is. They have learned so much about fish and Bay conservation there. It is definitely a favorite and I feel lucky to have it close by!
Marine Science Institute is doing a fantastic job of getting young kids excited about science in general, and marine science in particular. I love it and my son loves it! We've gone to numerous events and camps they've put on and look forward to doing more.
Best engaging summer camps! And terrific birthday party educational program. LOVE THIS PLACE! We're annual members also.
This is an amazing teaching location. The staff is so knowledgable and the science camps are amazing.
LOVE MSI! My kids had the best time at summer camp & can't wait to go back! They come home and teach us so much about our local wetlands, have such a great excitement and love for our environment, and best of all, are happy & exhausted! It's their favorite camp!
My children have been to summer camp at MSI, and we also went to an Earth Day event there in 2016. They always walk away excited to learn more about marine science. Can't really ask for more than your children excited about learning and having a good time with the staff at MSI. Big thumbs up :-)
I worked at MSI for 9 years. It is an amazing organization. At my new job I am bringing my students here so they can learn and experience marine life. MSI gives so many schools, families, communities the opportunity to learn about the nature in their own backyard.
My daughter came here on a fieldtrip and had the best time! Everyone was very friendly, patient and engaging, and she came home excited for us to take our own field trip to Half Moon Bay. Definitely a worthwhile trip!
My children have attended summer camp at MSI for the last 3 years and loved it. They came home everyday full of stories about what they saw and learned, and they were able to apply the knowledge directly when we visited the nearby Monterey Bay Aquarium. Great job Felicia and team! We can't wait to come back next summer!
Marine Science Institute comes out to our school every year for their Inland Voyage program. My students always are engaged while they are here presenting their lessons. The reach students who would not normally be able to see live marine organisms. It is a wonderful program!
My fifth grade students took the voyage last year out on the Bay and it was extremely beneficial to their learning. My students ranged from never having been on the Bay to some that go out monthly, but very few actually knew about the life in the Bay. The students walked away with language they continued to use in the classroom and a deeper understanding of our ecosystem. This was absolutely a phenomenal trip and we will be doing it again this year.
MSI provides a much needed vehicle for connecting the community to our bay and ocean, whether its through coastal clean-ups, low tide walks, summer camps, school outreach programs, ship rides, etc....the list goes on and on!! The staff is excited about what they do and is eager to share their wealth of information. Thank you MSI!!!
Both of our children have participated in MSI summer programs multiple times, and every summer they learn new things and have a fantastic experience! I highly recommend it to anyone!
Our school LOVES Marine Science institute. One of the great things about them is that when we bring our groups, all special education students, they learn so much!! The hands on experiences really help our students absorb information.
I have been taking my 2nd/3rd grade students to MSI for almost 25 years, as part of our study of the Ecology of San Francisco Bay. It is one of the highlights of our year. It is an engaging, hands-on experience, with well-trained, enthusiastic, knowledgeable instructors who enjoy working with kids. The children often attend the summer camps and/or return for visits with their families.
MSI is my favorite bay area institution for taking my 6-year-old son, who loves marine animals and wants to be a scientist. They make science fun and local. What could be better?
I have been taking my fourth graders to the Marine Science Instutue's Discovery Voyage for the past 9 years. The experience for me and for my students has always been extraordinary! The instructors give the students the hands-on learning that allows them to retain most of what they see and do on the their 4 hour voyage. The students are fully engaged learning not only about habitat and adaptations, but also about the very unique estuary that is San Francisco Bay. I highly recommend a day with any of the Marine Science Institute programs.
I first met the Marine Science Institute team when I signed up for a mixed ages experience of San Francisco Bay on their boat. It was a terrific experience seeing the various ways they have of teaching about what lives in the waters and mud of the bay.
Delighted with my experience I sponsored a twelve-year old girl for a week of camp. She was thrilled and says it is the best thing she has ever done. The following fall she began to take her school work more seriously and made such good grades that she was added to the Honor Roll. The MRI experience wasn't the entire reason for her renewed interest in her school work, but I believe it opened her eyes to what doing science is like. She met the excellent staff including the scientists aboard and could imagine doing it herself after college.
I highly recommend MRI for their learning experiences and your donor dollars. This is an excellent group to support knowing you will be making a difference for the many children served.
Caroline Beverstock, Atherton, CA
My 33 5th graders had an extraordinary learning experience on their Discovery Voyage. They learned, and retained, so much from every station, and their conversations were in-depth. For both me and the children, this trip is our absolute favorite. Former students mention the amazing time they had and their specific memories when they come back and visit me.
Thank you for providing a high-quality learning opportunity for the children. You are unparalleled!
Walnut Grove Elementary
MSI is a great way for students to explore, basically, their back yard, the estuaries around SF Bay. What a fabulous way for teachers to tie in Common Core Standards with NGSS. Students whom I have taken on this experience have very fond and long-lasting memories of exploring the SF Bay. I have been taking students on this exploration for the last 15 years. I and my students parents always look forward to this extended experience.
Thanks for all you do!!!!!
My older son volunteered at MSI, my younger son went to summer camps at MSI. Both of them enjoyed their experiences. MSI staff are knowledgeable, creative, fun and supportive.
MSI is one of the best field trips you will ever to take your students on. They are so well organized, informative, and fun. I go within the first 3 weeks of school (I teach K). Parents are nervous about their child leaving the school campus so early in the year inspiring them to be chaperone drivers. The MSI instructors are very good and well prepared, so chaperones play a small role once we get to the bay. The parents actually have time to do some bonding and our class really comes together after our field trip. Thanks MSI for teaching us about the bay, about protecting our resources, and for starting our year off right. P.S We also had MSI come out once and do the tidepool program at school. That was excellent also. The kids loved touching all the animals.
I've worked with many nonprofits as a development professional. Marine Science Institute (MSI) has the utmost integrity in their financial practices. They are lean and efficient. They run a tight ship. (pun intended) And their mission, education and conservation messages are felt deeply by the thousands of students and teachers who come to learn about the incredible importance of the San Francisco Bay each year. MSI has earned the confidence of dozens of foundations and corporations who support their unique hands-on science education programs each year. Donors who give to MSI are people who hold the belief that the future of our planet rests on the shoulders of children and adults who understand their surroundings and who feel personal responsibility for stewarding all living creatures and ecosystems.
We have had some wonderful opportunities as a family, and for our children, to explore and learn about Marine life thru the Marine Science Institute. The events and camps are absolutely wonderful and reasonably priced and we and our daughter have great memories. She loved the overnight camp. The staff and volunteers are very caring and knowledgeable. We are looking forward to our son being old enough this year.
Love the Marine Science Institute. It is a unique place to learn about marine life in the bay area. My kids first discovered MSI on a field trip and then I have signed them up for summer camps there. Now one of my sons wants to be a marine biologist. What a great way to open up the world to marine science!
After many, many years of full time teaching, I now teach arts and sciences part time. Retirement is almost here! I was lucky enough to attend the Teacher Night at MSI for 2015, and see how they have revamped and updated their curriculum for the new STEM standards and practices. I am so glad to have been able to bring some of our teachers with me. We learned a LOT. Much of what we experienced is now in our classrooms.
We will have 6 classes participating in MSI programs this year. The MSI instructors are so well educated, work wonderfully with children of all ages (our participants will be ages 10-14yrs), and seem to run on endless energy! The program content is of interest to the students, and is made so understandable by the MSI instructors. Everything MSI does is hands-on; they create lifelong memories and lifelong learners.
We are most grateful for MSI's commitment to financial assistance for schools who want to participate in their programs. The sponsors make a big difference in the lives of our families and the education of our children.
Thank you, MSI, for all you do, for your continued growing, for keeping us aware of our environment and how to be responsible caregivers for our Bay and the creatures who call it home.
We have been contracting with MSI for many years to provide environmental education programs to our local students. They consistently exceed our expectations and we couldn't be happier with them! Lessons on the RV Brownlee are well-planned, age-appropriate and very engaging. The feedback we receive from students, teachers and parents is always very good. If I could give MSI more stars, I would!
I have been involved with Marine Science Institute for over 10 years, from educational programs to volunteerism they have constantly exceeded my expectations. Their teaching staff is by far the most knowledgeable within their fields and remarkably friendly and patient with all of their students. I cannot recommend Marine Science Institute enough. Thank you for all that you do.
I was lucky enough to have been invited as an adult volunteer to two of many field trips held through an MSI grant with a sixth grade class. One was a tide pool expedition and the other a search for the endangered snowy plover. Once beachside, the MSI volunteers launched right into hands-on activities which were both educational and fun. This experience was especially exciting for those children who had never seen the ocean, and introducing them all to science in a hands-on method made a positive impact on everyone.
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.
I spent a few weeks volunteering for MSI over the past two summers and it is always a highlight of my summer. The field trips we go on with camp create a wonderful background for learning about our bay and oceans and adds to the invaluable hands on learning experience available to campers. It never ceases to amaze me the amount of learning the counselors and instructors are able to pack into one week while still making the camp exceedingly fun. Not only that, the camp is able to instill a lasting environmental awareness and morals that I have now had for more than half of my life.
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.
Volunteering for the Marine Science Institute for summer of 2014 was nothing but fun! I really enjoyed seeing kids of all ages have a great time while learning all about our oceans, bay and environment. I learned a lot this summer and am very happy that I chose to volunteer. I went to MSI as a kid and loved it. Being around our younger generation and seeing them enjoy it as much as I did was heartwarming. We went out on the Robert G. Brownlee, Planted gumplants at the Lucy Evans Nature preserve, went tidepooling at the Bean Hollow State Beach, learned about native plants at Pescadero State Beach and visited the Gulf of the Farallons Marine Sanctuary. I couldn't picture myself enjoying anything as much as I enjoyed helping out with the Marine Science Camp. Volunteering for the Marine Science Institute was a wonderful experience. I would do it all over again but am hoping to become a conselor next summer.
I am so glad that i decided to volunteer at MSI this summer. It was such a great experience, and I loved working with the kids! Not to mention, I had a lot of fun participating in all their activities as well, and learned quite a lot from them. It amazed me how much these tiny kids knew! I also loved working with the counselors and instructors. They were all so friendly and nice to talk to. The program itself is also very enriching. It is filled with field trips, fun educational activities, games, hands on interactions with different marine animals, and lots and lots of FUN!
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.
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.
I volunteered at MSI camp all summer and had so much fun! The people are amazing to be around not only because they are fun but because they are helpful and want to help everyone learn. I have learned a lot this summer and can not wait to go back as a counselor next year. I will hopefully also be sending my sister back to camp again next year. She had an amazing time as well. When I have kids, they will most definately be at this camp. Absolutely love MSI and can not reccomend it enough!
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
Parent Volunteer Field Trip Coordinator
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!
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.
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.
My son loves MSI...and his two younger sisters can't wait for the day when they are old enough to experience their fisrt voyage on the Robert G. Brownlee. We are so thankful for the opportunity for our children to cultivate a love and appreciation for the ocean through MSI's camps and family events.
I was a student for the Marine Science Institute in my 6th grade year. I had been a struggling reader and felt stupid most of my childhood. When we were on the boat, a world of science opened up to me. We collected a previously unidentified species and I really wanted to know what it was. The captain plunked down a huge book in front of me, showed me the basics of fish ID, and I set about figuring it out. It was hard, but not a struggle. When I figured out what it was (the black-finned sucker fish) I beamed with joy. I finally felt like I was good at something: Science.
In high school, I volunteered for the summer. One day, an instructor was suddenly sick and I had to teach a station on the ship. It was the first time I had ever had to teach somebody something, and it was the second big life lesson I learned from my time at MSI: I could share my knowledge with others.
I studied environmental science and geology in college, returned to MSI as a marine instructor. For two years I worked on board the ship and was transformed by the experience. I became a science teacher after I moved on from MSI, and always look back on how my time at MSI shaped me. I cannot think of a better organization to learn and grow from.
MSI nurtures the curiosity of young scientists, for creates a wealth of data free for scientists to analyze, and raises awareness of environmental issues. Their contribution to the lives of people who explore with them is priceless.
I was a volunteer for Marine Camp for 6 years and it was always the highlight of my summer. I was originally interested in volunteering because I had such a great experience when my 6th grade class took a trip out on the bay on the Robert G. Brownlee. MSI has a way of inspiring kids to love science and the bay as much as they do and I believe it is because of the passion that all of the people there have. I have watched hundreds of kids come into camp on a Monday morning not knowing anyone and looking rather scared and shy, and by the end of the week they have mud from the bottom of the bay on their face, are grinning from ear to ear, and are begging their parents to let them stay just a little bit longer. MSI is truly top-notch.
My daughter and son loved going to camp at MSI at ages. They had a great time and learned so much about our local waters. Great program.
My 7 year old has been doing MSI programs for 3 years now. He has done low tide walks, summer camps, and after school classes and loved all of them. The instructors have such deep knowledge of Marine Science, I feel lucky that they choose to teach and share that love of the water with our children. At the camps, he always comes home happy, dirty and tired - what more could a little boy want from summer!
I have a six year old daughter who absolutely loves going to the marine science expeditions that MSI organizes. They are absolutely invaluable in terms of the exposure my daughter gets by going to them.The staff is super dedicated and enthusiastic. Could not say enough good things about them!! they absolutely amazing
We go to MSI several times a year and love the educational value. Marine Science Institute does so much with a tiny budget and has a very dedicated group of youth and adult volunteers. They are super passionate about educating people about the Bay and Pacific. They have been very generous and accommodating with the underserved kids that I've been involved with.
I first discovered MSI when I went there for a teacher training during the summer. I was impressed by the facility, the level of care for the animals, and the knowledge of the staff. When I found they subsidize the cost of a bus to take my students, I arranged a field trip then and there. I took two classes of low income mostly second language learner third graders to the shoreside program. For many, it was the first time they went to a beach, the first time they held an animal, and the first time they were able to touch a shark. The children had a great time, learned a lot, and got really flithy... all signs of a great field trip. We had four docents assigned to our groups. All four had different styles and covered the information differently; but all four were very knowledgable and adapted the information to meet the differing needs of some challenging learners. I highly reccomnd The Marine Science Institute as a destination for school field trips as well as family excursions. I am taking my students again next year!
My six year old went to Marine Camp this year and had an absolute blast. He ended up sponsoring a little shark that we end up going to visit a couple times a year. I've been on the board for about two years now and really enjoy helping MSI.
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.
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.
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!!
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.
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!
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/