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The boat is ready, instructors trained -- we're prepped for another year of science learning at

Now that the boat is all scrubbed and our Coast Guard inspection complete, the Marine Science Institute is shifting into high gear to bring high-quality, hands-on science learning through its marine science lens to area schools and beyond throughout the entire school year.

All week long our marine educators and science instructors are participating in a professional development and training that covers such topics ranging from teaching strategies and the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) to science topics (such as invasive species and ocean acidification) and equipment safety.

This year we are pleased to welcome back 83% of our educators and instructors from last year’s season. Be on the lookout as we spotlight our teaching staff and their varied knowledge and expertise all year long via social media.

At each training we like to challenge our teaching staff with the latest education strategies and recent marine science knowledge and advancements. So, this year, we’ll be delving in deeper into NGSS. Our teaching staff will be given the task to break apart a science and engineering practice, a disciplinary core idea and the crosscutting concepts and determine how they can touch upon those standards while teaching a specific program. And of course, they’ll be presenting their findings. All of MSI’s programs are already aligned to and support NGSS. Additionally, the 5 E’s of Science Instruction will be covered, with educators and instructors creating questions to encourage wonder and explanation.

Along with prepping the boat and training our education staff for the 2017-18 school year, we’ve also been busy booking field trips with teachers. School programs are available for booking one year in advance, so now’s the time to book your field trip.

For example, if you’re wanting to book a Marsh and Beach Exploration or a Canoes in Sloughs field trip, we have dates available. The Marsh and Beach Exploration, which is a hands-on immersion into the coastal habitats, is available all year round. Students will participate in interactive and team-building activities while learning about sand geology, beach formation and wracklines at Pescadero State Beach. They’ll also walk through a salt marsh walk using binoculars and field guides to identify native and non-native plants and beautiful bird species, all while learning about the complex web of interdependence in this ecosystem. The students even create their own marsh and beach creature -- complete with adaptaions -- using found items.

The Canoes in Sloughs program runs through October and then resumes in the spring. Through this program students discover our local wetland, the wildlife within it and how humans impact it. Topics to choose from include: water quality monitoring, plant identification, mud and invertebrates collection and investigation, and trash collection.

To learn more about all of our hands-on, experiential learning programs, please visit our website here. Remember to book your program early to get the dates you want. A sliding fee scale is available depending on need.

From the boat to the instruction staff, we’re ready and looking forward to another exciting year of teaching science to area students.

Denise Mohsenin serves as the link between Marine Science Institute and the education community. She enjoys helping schools and teachers bring marine science and environmental literacy to their students. Her current favorite fish for teaching is the starry flounder. Ask her why at

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