Marine Science Academy
Frequently Asked Questions
Our FAQ Page is under constant review as we update our program and procedures to reflect new guidelines and mandates.
Check back often as we continue to revise our plans.
If you have questions please email us at
What are your cleaning procedures?
All cleaning procedures are in compliance with San Mateo County Health and California state cleaning and sanitation guidelines. We have implemented more thorough cleaning and sanitizing measures to happen daily before, during, and after program. Those include:
- All staff will wear masks when cleaning.
- High contact surfaces will be cleaned and sanitized after each group of participants uses the area.
- Facilities will be cleaned daily.
- Hand washing or use of a hand sanitizer will be enforced before and after activities that involved shared materials and before and after eating (snack and lunch).
- Any item brought from home will be isolated and kept separated from other groups items.
- Bathroom and Break rooms are sanitized multiple times a day.
How will MSI encourage social distancing during program?
Students will be with their group for the entire session.
What are the preventive measures that have been implemented?
- Staff and participants are required to wear masks (unless medically not possible).
- Staff will check their temperature before arrival- if temperature is above 100 degrees staff will not come to work.
- Staff will check their temperature upon arrival to work. If temperature is above 100 degrees they will leave the facility.
- Participants will have their temperature taken upon arrival to the Marine Science Institute. This will be done with an infrared thermometer while they are still in their vehicles. If temperature is above 100 degrees they will not be allowed in the facility.
- Participants will be asked if they or any in their household are exhibiting any of the following symptom: Fever, coughing, shortness of breath, or new loss of sense of smell/taste. If they have the participant will not be allowed in the facility.
- If Staff or any in their household are exhibiting any of the following symptom: Fever, coughing, shortness of breath, or new loss of sense of smell/taste they will not be allowed in the facility.
- All Staff and Participants will wash hands or use hand sanitizer upon arrival to facility.
- Everyone will be reminded and encouraged to not touch their face with their hands without cleaning their hands first .
- Everyone will be taught/reminded that coughing and sneezing should be done into a tissue which is thrown away. Hands should we washed or sanitized after using the tissue.
- Toys and stuffed animals are not allowed and should not be sent with students.
- All teaching spaces are outside or in well-ventilated areas.
Cancellation policy and refund policy
What is the cancellation and refund policy?
Pick up and drop off
How does drop off work?
All drop-off is at Marine Science Institute (500 Discovery Parkway, Redwood City, CA 94063). Due to our limited parking area we use a drive-through style drop-off and pick-up procedure. This is proven to be efficient and safe. To drop off your student follow the circle of traffic cones and pull as far forward as possible. Staff will be present to assist and direct.
How does pick up work?
What to bring
Does MSI provide food for my child?
MSI will not provide any food to students. Please pack snacks, a trash-free lunch, and refillable water bottle for your child(ren). Water stations are available on-site.
Should my child bring medication?
If your child needs to take medication during the day, please make sure that they have it with them including instructions. Please alert the staff that the child has these.
What should my child bring daily?
Small bag or backpack to carry belongings
Reusable water bottle (Refill station available; MSI will not provide any single use plastic water bottles)
Snack and lunch (MSI will not provide any food)
Light jacket or sweater, as it can get breezy in the afternoons
Sunscreen (MSI will have extra on site)
Medication, inhalers and/or EpiPens (if applicable), with instructions
Masks are required for all participants (MSI will not provide masks). Face covering exceptions will be made to those with sensory complications or other issues which make wearing masks or face coverings challenging. **Please note that in addition to snack, lunch, and drinking water, there may be other break times in which your camper can remove their mask (i.e. when the activity is outside and with 6-foot social distancing). We are big fans of fabric wraparound coverings such as neck gaiters so that your camper can easily remove their face covering (while not losing it since it is loosely around their neck!), and put it over their nose and mouth when needed.
Please make sure that your child wears clothes and shoes that can get dirty. At MSI, children will be enjoying fun activities outside that may include water, mud, and fish slime. Please dress them in "play clothes" that they will feel comfortable in, and will not be worried about getting dirty.
Discovery Voyage boat trip
Who goes on the Discovery Voyage boat trip aboard the R/V Robert G. Brownlee?
All students will spend a day on board the research vessel each week, resulting in 3 trips total through the course of their program.
How large is the ship?
The R/V Robert G. Brownlee is a 90' research vessel that was designed specifically for teaching programs in the San Francisco Bay. Its maximum capacity is 103 passengers and crew. In 2013, this ship received several upgrades, and the Brownlee now runs on the cleanest and most fuel-efficient marine diesel engines available today.
Is this trip safe?
Our vessel, the R/V Robert G. Brownlee, was designed specifically with students in mind. This ship passes regular Coast Guard inspections of maintenance, safety, and rescue equipment. Our staff undergo rigorous training to become crew on this ship and must complete regular safety drills. In addition, all students wear personal flotation devices provided by MSI at all times.
How long is the trip?
The "Discovery Voyage" on our ship will last for their full day. The ship undocks shortly after 9:00 am after a brief welcome activity on land and donning personal flotation devices (provided by MSI). It is important that your child arrives during the drop-off window in the morning, between 8:30-9:00 am so that they do not miss out on this exciting adventure.
What is the student to staff ratio?
What is the experience of your staff?
All staff at Marine Science Institute have minimum of a college degree and experience working in outdoor education. They work at MSI throughout the school year and are experienced in education for a variety of ages from pre-kindergarten through college students. Marine Science Institute staff receive frequent professional development training and ongoing observation and evaluations. Instructors go through a rigorous training to be crew aboard the research vessel. All staff members are highly qualified, pre-screened, finger printed and background checked, go through drug testing and hold current CPR and First Aid certifications.
What discounts are available?
This year we are not able to offer discounts.
Do you offer scholarships?
At this point we do not offer scholarships or financial aid. Please check back soon.
How to register
How do I register?
Press the "Click here to register" button on the Marine Science Academy webpage to be taken to ACTIVE, our secure camp registration site. You will be required to login to your existing ACTIVE account or create a new one.
What if the program is full?
If the program is full and you wish to be added to the waitlist, please continue with the normal registration process. Waitlist registrations are available at no cost. If a spot opens up for your child you will be notified via the e-mail and phone number provided in your ACTIVE account and given 24 hours to decided if you want to take the spot. Payment will be due at the time of acceptance. If you do not reply to us within 24 hours of being notified of the open spot, we will move down the waitlist and offer the spot to the next family.