Student (K-12) Programs

Our TEK-aligned programs immerse learners in guided-inquiry and place-based activities that inspire curiosity, connect to research, promote stewardship, and refine STEM process skills. Program offerings include R/V Katy excursions, field investigations, classes/labs, presentations, professional development, interpretive tours, and self-guided walks. Many of our classes and labs can travel to your classroom or learning center, be sure to ask us which programs are available for outreach. Learn more about our programmatic offerings, availability and how to reserve a program by contacting us at msi-edureserve@utlists.utexas.edu.

Programs are offered at both the Port Aransas UT Marine Science Institute campus and our Bay Education Center in Rockport. Programs may differ depending on location.

R/V Katy Excursions (Grades 4-College)

The R/V Katy provides a unique platform for student groups to learn about estuaries and estuary dependent organisms by bringing the students directly to the habitat they are learning about. Aboard the R/V Katy, students will observe the deployment of various scientific sampling devices, gain an appreciation for the diversity of life in estuarine environments, refine their science process skills, and have an authentic science research experience. Half-day trips are approximately 3-3.5 hours with a maximum of 25 people (students and teachers). Groups with more than 25 people have the option to schedule multiple half-day trips or schedule multiple quarter-day trips (2 per half day reservation) to accommodate the entire group. Trips are seasonal and weather dependent. To schedule an R/V Katy excursion complete this form: https://utmsi.utexas.edu/visit/field-trips/visiting-group-request-form

Field Investigations & Interpretive Tours (Grades 3-12; K-2 in development)

Learning experiences facilitated within the Mission-Aransas Estuary and nearby natural environments, such as beaches, jetties, dunescapes, wetlands, and native gardens. These place-based programs immerse learners in dynamic and diverse coastal habitats where they will examine, identify and compare habitat characteristics and plant and animal adaptations. Students will also look for evidence of human impact and discuss how these impacts affect the health and function of these valuable natural resources. Throughout their exploration students will use scientific tools such as magnifiers, rulers, identification guides, and models to support their investigations. 60-120m programs. Up to 25 students (10 student minimum) per program. Larger groups can be accommodated with advanced notification.

Exploration Labs (Grades 3-12; K-2 in development)

These guided inquiry-based programs provide students an opportunity to refine and practice STEM process skills while exploring coastal and marine organisms and environments. Each lab focuses on a particular topic and is grade specific. Students will safely use a variety of scientific equipment or instruments to conduct their investigations, such as microscopes, magnifiers, probes, rulers, nets, and maps. 60-90m programs. Minimum of 10 and maximum of 24 students per program. Larger groups can be accommodates with advanced notification.

Science On A Sphere (SOS) Programs (Grades 3-12)

During these interactive and visually stimulating programs, student will use observation and critical thinking skills as they conduct science investigations using a 3D digital globe on Earth and Ocean topics such as climate, weather, currents, and marine debris. 30-60 minute duration. Minimum of 10 and maximum of 25 students per program. Larger groups can be accommodated with advance notification. These programs are only offered at the Bay Education Center.