The mission of the Marine Science Institute (MSI), founded in 1970 as a 501(c) 3 non-profit, is to cultivate a responsibility for the San Francisco Bay Area’s natural environment through high quality interdisciplinary science education programs. Our programs are developed by MSI instructors in partnership with teachers and professional marine biologists, and updated regularly to meet State educational standards. MSI offerings build foundational scientific skills and knowledge, including elements of those of physics, geology, biology, microbiology, and chemistry. We facilitate active learning, observation and critical thinking through a variety of programs, most of which involve safe, supervised contact with local marine animals.
The Discovery Lab is a central feature of our shore side facilities–the homebase for our operations, and the site where we host thousands of students each year. The 2,000 square-foot aquarium is the temporary home for live marine animals from the nearby Pacific Ocean and the San Francisco Bay. Providing a healthy and safe environment for more than 70 animals in our 2,600 gallon Bay system and 1,800 gallon Ocean system is crucial to our work in engaging students of all ages toward an interest in marine science. MSI instructors not only teach students through interaction with the animals at our facility in Redwood City, but also transport these animals in a specially designed aquarium trailer towed behind MSI vans or trucks to schools across the nine counties we serve in the Bay Area.