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Marine Science Camp Sneak Peek - Naturalists (4th-5th grades)

The countdown to summer has begun! This week’s Marine Science Camp sneak peek is at Naturalists camp for return campers entering 4th-5th grades.

The Naturalist program is for entering 4th and 5th graders who have previously attended an MSI camp or program. It is intended to give our “MSI experts” a more in-depth view of topics that they are already familiar with. The Naturalist campers will dive deeper into life and processes of the San Francisco Bay and Pacific coast, learn how to think critically about biological and ecological concepts, and discuss current issues in our world’s marine ecosystems. By exploring concepts in detail, campers will become familiar with the skills and passion needed to be a life scientist during their fast-paced camp week.

The 2020 Naturalists camp theme is Characteristics and Classification. Through the course of their camp week the Naturalists will dive into taxonomy (the classification of organisms) and why and how scientists categorize all living things. They will explore the characteristics within major phyla by examining the marine animals at the MSI aquarium and along the docks at our facility, and while at off-site field trips. Their activities will culminate in an end-of-the-week project on board the research vessel in which they will create (''discover") a new species based on an assortment of phyla characteristics, and will present this new species to the rest of the Naturalist campers.

Each week of Naturalists includes:

  • Hands-on activities from 8:30 am-3:00 pm Monday through Friday

  • 2 days at our site to study live animals from our aquarium and to engage in other science projects both indoors and outside

  • 2 days at local field trip sites (reached by school bus) that feature different habitats. 2020 field trip locations are still TBD. Past field trip locations include Pillar Point, Bean Hollow, California Academy of Sciences, Crab Cove, Aquarium of the Bay, the EcoCenter at Heron’s Head Park, Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary Visitor Center, and more.

  • 1 day aboard our ship that includes fishing, studying plankton, sampling mud, and learning about nautical navigation

  • 2 staff plus a volunteer for every 16 campers

  • Flexible curriculum that engages multiple learning styles

Week-long camps are available. Camps run Monday through Friday select weeks from 8:30 am-3:00 pm. Extended care is available until 5:30 pm. Visit our Scholarships page to apply for financial assistance.

Camp sessions: July 27-31, August 10-14

Registration is OPEN! Click here to register.

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