Ocean Discovery operates on a single premise: by receiving high quality science learning opportunities, kids in poverty develop a passion for science and conservation, stay in school, go to college, become scientists, and gain entry to high paying fields where they make a difference.
Believe, Achieve, & Lead
As a result of our educational programming, our students will:
- BELIEVE that science is something they can do and a scientist is someone they can be.
- ACHIEVE in science and think critically.
- LEAD in science and conservation to make a difference.
Our model provides science opportunities and experiences, mentoring, and tools for success to build belief, achievement, and leadership in underserved young people from kid to career. We provide continuous, tuition-free science education across our “school-shed” – defined as the young people that feed into and through a single high school cluster, the Herbert Hoover High School cluster in City Heights. To reach our entire school-shed, Ocean Discovery Institute offers three levels of participation.
Our Community is our broadest level of programming and provides opportunities for all young people in the school-shed in an out-of-school setting. Community Initiative programming seeks to engage participants in science and conservation-oriented exploration in a place-based context and build belief that science is something they they can do and a scientist is someone they can be.
Ocean Adventurers learn about sea animals and the ocean. This program is held during after-school hours on Tuesdays at the Living Lab. For students in Kindergarten through 5th grade accompanied by an adult companion or middle school or older school-shed member.
Career Explorers investigate science as a career path alongside scientists from our own community in this weekly program held during after-school hours on Thursdays at the Living Lab. Local scientists share the story of their pathway, and engage you in an activity that demonstrates what science looks like in their industry. For students in grades 6th through 8th.
NAKOA Warriors experience the science of health firsthand through sustainable exercise and healthy eating practices in a fun, non-judgmental environment. Join us on Saturday afternoons at the Living Lab. For students of ALL ages.
Through our Student Initiative and in partnership with San Diego Unified School District, educators with a formal STEM background bring hands-on science education to every student in the school-shed in their school setting and take every student in the school-shed to the outdoors for study and for stewardship. These school-shed-wide in-school programs continue to foster belief while additionally generating learning and building critical thinking skills through hands-on Next Generation Science Standards-aligned science curricula. Our Student Initiative programs include:
Ocean Science Explorers actively participate in science, embody scientific careers, and make connections across disciplines.
Ocean Science Discoverers engage in the scientific process through hands-on lessons and experiences in the classroom, laboratory, and field.
Ocean Science Researchers are empowered to make their own experiments, discuss conclusions with supporting data, and work side-by-side with STEM professionals.
Our Leaders Initiative is our most intensive level, and offers young people who want to do more, the opportunity to do more, as they progress on their pathway from middle school through college and beyond. By pairing rigorous science programming and experiences with college and career support services, this initiative aims to develop young people who lead using science and conservation to make a difference in their community and our world.
Science Empowering Students (SES) engages middle school students in authentic scientific research in the San Diego region where they gain experience being a scientist. This academic year-long program takes place during after-school hours at the Living Lab. For incoming 7th and 8th grade students. Interview required.
BAHIA engages high school students in authentic scientific research in this rigorous international research program that takes place in San Diego during after-school and summer hours and in Mexico during the summer. For incoming 9th, 10th, and 11th graders. Interview required.
Discovery Fellows through discrete fellowships for high school students, college students, and college graduates, individuals gain practical work experience within positions at Ocean Discovery Institute. Working in these job settings, young people take an important exploratory step along their pathway and develop skills needed to compete in the marketplace. Fellowships may range from several week to multiyear commitments. Examples of fellowships may include high school Fellows serving as teaching assistants in the science classroom or serving as an assistant to a staff member in the office; college-level Directed Research Fellows aiding in the management of scientific research; and college graduate AmeriCorps Fellows serving as lead science instructors. Interview required.