Family Science Nights

Hopkins Marine Station and the Monterey Bay Aquarium Join Hands to Educate

A team of scientists from Hopkins Marine Station and educators from the Monterey Bay Aquarium have worked together since 2009 and developed an exciting outreach program, called "Family Science Nights."  On weeknights, the team heads to underserved schools around the Monterey Peninsula to teach a five-lesson course on important topics in ocean conservation. The latest Family Science Nights have focused on plastics—properties, uses, recycling, and how plastic waste unfortunately ends up in our oceans.  Lessons are bilingual, given in both Spanish and English.  "Family Science Nights" allows families to work together in a supportive setting and discuss important issues regarding our environment.

Pacfic Grove Natural History Museum


Hands-on activities bring students to the excitement of marine biology and the importance of good ocean stewardship. Humboldt squid provide an outstanding teaching platform for discussing climate change, ecology, anatomy, physiology, oceanography and fisheries science.

Squids4Kids supplies frozen specimens of Humboldt squid for use in educational activities at any level. This outreach program is a collaboration between researchers at Hopkins Marine Station of Stanford University and NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service in Santa Cruz, CA.    

Hopkins Ocean Literacy Program

With funding from the Stanford K-12 initiative, researchers from Hopkins Marine
Station are teaching 3rd-5th grade students from underserved HEROEScommunities surrounding Monterey Bay about the oceans, marine conservation, and sustainability through hands-on, outdoor learning experiences.  The project is a collaboration between Hopkins, the Stanford School of Education, the Stanford Institute of Design, and the Hilton Bialek Habitat in Carmel. Graduate students and Postdocs from Hopkins are working with Habitat staff to develop and implement the curriculum we call the Ocean HEROES Program (Hopkins/Habitat Early Researchers and Ocean Environment Scientists).  The curriculum and web-based teaching tools will be made available to all teachers on the Habitat web site.

Sacramento River Discovery Charter School

Ocean HeroesThe 7th and 12th graders at this school enjoy an annual field trip to the Monterey area. Their adventures include tidepooling, kayaking, whale watching, hiking Pt. Lobos, and a day at the Monterey Bay Aquarium and Hopkins. The students usually go to MBA in the morning, then come to Hopkins in the afternoon, where graduate student volunteers lead them in exploring invertebrates, pressing algae, and other activities.

Upward Bound

Part of the federally supported Upward Bound program, this event brings a group of high school students to Hopkins every summer for an afternoon of marine biology. They move between different stations (inverts, pressing algae, etc.), supervised by graduate student recipients of Myers Grants.

Boys and Girls’ Club Visit (2007)

The East Palo Alto Boys and Girls Club (mostly 7th and 8th graders) visited Hopkins for a day in 2007. Graduate students gave ten-minute presentations about their research, including activities such as dressing a kid in SCUBA gear. After lunch, the visitors went to the Aquarium (tickets donated by MBA). We hope there will be future visits!

Sea Urchin Embryology, Virtual Urchin, Fish & Environment

Sea urchins provide a fascinating model for investigating core biological principles, applying the scientific method, investigating environmental problems, and learning to use the tools of lab biology. The drama of fertilization and development is explored in laboratory modules using sea urchin eggs. An extensive website, developed in the Epel Lab provides classroom activities and lab support for teachers. Virtual Urchin complements the Sea Urchin Embryology project to include on-line laboratory sessions (virtual labs) that engage students in scientific inquiry and develop key laboratory skills. The modules include microscopy, fertilization and development, urchin anatomy, and environmental investigations and engage students in an interactive lab experience. Both projects are sponsored by the National Science Foundation.

The Inquiry-2-Insight project sponsored by the Wallenberg Global Learning Network and Stanford is a collaboration between the Epel Lab at Hopkins and Sweden's Sven Loven Marine Center of Goteborg University. Biologists and educators have developed Acid Ocean, an inquiry-based virtual lab designed to investigate the problem of ocean acidification. Students use a virtual lab bench to set up an experiment, use authentic research data, and measure changes in larva to see possible effects of climate change. Students measure their own specimen and then evaluate the significance individual and class data.

ISCFCIn The International Student Carbon Footprint Challenge students use a carbon footprint calculator, especially designed for students, to determine how much greenhouse gas our activities produce. We then post class data, and students join international discussions using our partner-project, the Einztein Knowledge Exchange, to see the problems of climate change from an international vantage point to better understand problems and seek solutions.

Vanishing Fish: An environmental science investigation-What is the connection between the disappearance of migrating salmon and global warming? This Epel Lab project, also sponsored by WGLN, uses virtual lab tools and a CSI approach to investigate the correlation between climate change, physiological response, and migration patterns. The curriculum fosters acquisition of important lab skills including microscopy, measurement, and data analysis and examines this measurable effect of climate change on the migration success of an actual salmon population.

Monterey Academy of Oceanographic Science

The Monterey Academy of Oceanographic Science (MAOS), based at Monterey High School, is a magnet public school program that draws on motivated students throughout the county.  During their annual visit to the Station, students in this program learn about the teaching and research being done at Hopkins and are offered the opportunity to do internships under the mentorship of a Hopkins scientist.