MSI's primary activity is our in-school education program, Discover Our Bay, which serves an average of 40,000 Northern California pre-K through college level students each year. The following education services were created with teacher input and are aligned to Next Generation Science Standards and CA Common Core learning:
1. Discovery Voyage is a 4-hour exploration of the San Francisco Bay aboard our 90' research vessel. Students participate in 4 learning stations where they work in a cooperative setting using industry-standard science equipment.
a. Use a trawl net to catch fish and marine life from the Bay, and dichotomous keys to study and identify them.
b. Gather samples of plankton from the Bay to view and identify using video-microscopes.
c. Use a Van Dorn bottle to collect water samples, developing hypotheses and gathering data on temperature, density, salinity and other measures of water quality.
d. Operate a mud grab to take a benthic sample, to study plants and invertebrates that live at the bottom of the bay while learning about the geologic and cultural history of California.
2. Inland Voyages are in-class "field trips" to the Pacific Ocean and Bay, enabled by our mobile aquarium that brings live sharks, fish, crabs, and other marine animals to students at their school.
3. Shoreside Program is a 3-hour land-based version of the Discovery Voyage that takes place at MSI's pier and Discovery Lab on the bayfront in Redwood City.
4. Ocean Lab students handle and study animals, and dissect a squid, to develop an understanding of taxonomy, anatomy, characteristics and adaptations.
5. Tidepool Excursion is a 2½ hour hands-on exploration of the terrain and inhabitants of the Pillar Point tidepools in Half Moon Bay, CA.
6. Marsh and Beach Exploration is a 2½-hour hands-on exploration of sandy beach and marsh ecology at Pescadero State Beach.
7. Canoes in Sloughs is a 5-hour wetland ecosystem expedition exploring Redwood Creek and the salt marshes by canoe.