As we look back at the year, we have much to be proud of and thankful for. Our staff has once again made science come alive to excite and educate more than 56,000 people about the wonders of the San Francisco Bay. Many of our students had never been to the water’s edge let alone on a boat, or had the opportunity to touch a live shark. Every day, the anticipation level and excitement run high here at MSI!
We have been extremely busy aligning all of our programs to the Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). This allows teachers in our region to see in advance what topics will fulfill their curriculum requirements and to plan the most inspiring and educational field trip of the year for their students. In collaboration with the San Mateo Environmental Learning Collaborative (SMELC), Ten Strands, the San Mateo County Office of Education and five local nonprofit organizations, we participated in a series of Teacher Workshops titled, ‘Professional Learning Collaborative for K-8 Educators: Succeeding with NGSS Using Your Local Environment.’ Although California’s full adoption of the NGSS standards will not take place until 2018, MSI’s alignment of the NGSS standards now provides teachers with on-the-job training and preparation that prepares them for the rigorous changes they will encounter as they implement the standards in their classrooms.
Studies have shown that Multi-Exposure programs have a greater impact on the students, facilitating much deeper learning experiences. Between 2011 and 2015 we piloted three programs in which we bundled single modules with a field trip allowing us to reinforce the science concept for students – The Scientific Method Combination, Biomimicry Discovery Voyage and Wonders of Watershed Programs. The astounding popularity of these pilot programs has led us to offer several more Multiple Exposure Programs including Biomimicry Inland Voyage, and four different Habitat Combos. Our teachers have recognized the value of Multiple Exposure Programs to the extent that we have completely booked all of our available slots for them in the 2015-16 school year!
As the drought continues, we have increased the water conservation education in our curriculum to teach students about the causes and how their actions can be a part of alleviating the crisis. We have done our part in reducing our own facilities’ water consumption too. We replaced our water guzzling natural lawn with artificial turf, and stopped watering our smaller lawn altogether. We made water conservation changes to our aquarium protocol. And very recently, we installed a rain collection system to prepare for the rains we hope will come this winter.
Our 90-foot research vessel, Robert G. Brownlee, continues to be the star of our show. This amazing work horse continues to carry full loads of students out onto the waters of the San Francisco Bay or the Delta twice a day, six days a week, nearly every week of the year! Quarterly, we host EcoVoyages for the public to explore the bay and learn
about our precious ecosystem. We invite you to join us and learn first-hand what tens of thousands of students are experiencing each year.
The Board and Staff have finalized our three-year strategic plan. We look forward to the implementation phase of these strategies, to continue to improve our programs and our outcomes, as well as to improve our financial stability. We will be sharing our success stories with you in this coming year.
Finally, we want you to know that we feel gratitude every day for our many funders. We could not do this work without your support.
Marilou Seiff and James Crawford
We invite you to keep in mind the significant and tangible impact your donation will make for students.
We hope you will donate to science education and stewardship in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Click the link to view the rest of our 2014-2015 Annual Report.
Marine Science Institute is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) not for profit organization
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