Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Now More Than Ever Take Action and Support Summer Camps for Kids

"Hi my name is Journey,  I have been to almost all of the Port Townsend Marine Science center camps. On my first day of camp I was so nervous I thought I might die. By the second day, I had a ton of friends all because the staff helped be more comfortable and helped me break out of my shell.
I also went to Water World which is a weeklong overnight program that involves art, dance, writing, and marine science which was one of the funnest experiences I have ever had! I even made 2 best friends. I cried the whole ride home because I missed them so much. At Water World we put a whale skeleton together which was so cool especially because I love whales. We looked at plankton under a microscope and that was the ice cream on the cake for me because I want to go into marine biology. When we took out the seine net the waves came into my boots and I said I had plankton on my thighs!

When my family and I went to Mexico, my dad and I got scuba certified. I was ten years old and the smallest person our instructor had worked with. If I hadn’t gone to camp at the Marine Science Center I would never had gone scuba diving. Also because of my experience at camp and Water World, I participated in Project Oceanology which is a marine science program through the University of Connecticut. While out on the research vessel, scientists asked questions and I was able to raise my hand and answer questions that no one else could! That made me feel proud.

Going to a marine science camp was a lot of fun and I know it changed me. I am more confident and I tried new things because of it, like scuba diving and an oceanography class. I don’t know exactly what I am going to do when I grow up, but whole new worlds are open to me now. Thank you for helping make this experience possible for me and thousands of other kids too."

On Wednesday, May 10, the Port Townsend Marine Science Center invites you to help raise $22,000 for summer camps scholarships and capacity-building to offer more camps through GiveBIG, a one-day, online charitable giving event hosted by the Seattle Foundation, but we can't do it without your help! Thanks to a challenge match from a group of local donors, the first $11,000 donated will be matched dollar-for-dollar. The #GiveBIG campaign only lasts for one day, so follow along on Facebook and the #PTMSC blog for stories and updates before the BIG day.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Save the Date for Give Big!

On Wednesday, May 10, the Port Townsend Marine Science Center invites you to help raise $22,000 for summer camps scholarships and capacity-building to offer more camps through GiveBIG, a one-day, online charitable giving event hosted by the Seattle Foundation, but we can't do it without your help! Thanks to a challenge match from a group of local donors, the first $11,00 donated will be matched dollar-for-dollar.

The #GiveBIG campaign only lasts for one day, so follow along on Facebook and the PTMSC blog for stories and updates before the BIG day.

Thank you for helping ALL kids get outside and learn to love the ocean by donating on Wednesday, May 10th! 
Your gift will provide scholarships for children who otherwise would not be able to attend because of financial hardship. Donations will also fund the capacity of the Center to offer more camps. Many children have already been turned away this year because of full enrollment. Plans are in the works for expanded facilities and more camp offerings. But we need your help.

Learn more about GiveBig here!

Monday, April 17, 2017

Free Science Classes 2017

The time has come and gone for 2017's free science classes (FSC) at the Port Townsend Marine Science Center (PTMSC). Free science classes have been going strong for the past nine years, and this year was no exception. The AmeriCorps led program provides science classes for local schools free of charge. FSC are important as some schools do not introduce inquiry-based science curricula until 5th or 6th grade. Throughout the program, with the help of essential volunteers, AmeriCorps led bird and barnacle based science classes to 3rd and 4th graders. Free science classes are a grant funded program made available by the Wells Fargo Foundation, the MacRae Foundation, and the Dietze Charitable Foundation; this funding is essential as more school funding is cut and field trip budgets are slashed. Programs such as FSC provide a memorable field trip for the students while they employ new aspects of logistical and scientific reasoning.  
AmeriCorps Juhi LaFuente working with students from Queen of Angels.
  I headed the FSC ship’s course this year, working with my fellow AmeriCorps to decide the curriculum. I took a lead role in organizing the classes; the first time I have experienced something like this. A total of seven schools made eleven visits to the PTMSC, giving us an opportunity to introduce new concepts and styles of thinking to these wonderful youths through FSC. This year’s Free Science Classes were Barnacle Lab and Birds of Shore and Sea. Barnacle Lab is an introduction to the scientific method where students brainstorm simple, harmless experiment ideas, and then perform them on their own terms. They were so interested! The barnacles were a fun thing for them to experience. The class Birds of Shore and Sea exposes children to science in their backyard. They learned how to use binoculars, spot bird anatomical differences and derive their purpose. An outstanding moment I recall is teaching the scientific method to 2nd and 3rd graders. The scientific method is a complex and abstract idea for students in this age group, and I was amazed at how quickly they picked it up and how excited they were to complete an experiment on their barnacle friends. Juhi LaFuente, Marine Exhibit Educator AmeriCorps, noted how excited these naturally inquisitive children were, asking loads of interesting questions during classes they normally would not get a chance to take part in.

AmeriCorps Matthew (Mattie) Stephens instructing Barnacle Lab.
Sarah Croston, Natural History Exhibit Educator AmeriCorps, feels the impact on children visiting PTMSC for FSC is powerful. Through small things like using binoculars for the first time, or larger moments like marking previously unnoticed differences in bird anatomy, children dive into the science and excel. During activities like bird-watching, children can learn the value of scientific observation in everyday instances. Sarah recalls the excitement of the students as three bald eagles made an appearance as a true mark of the value of the classes.
AmeriCorps Sarah Croston choosing an eager class volunteer.
The outstanding impact of FSC was "the opportunity for students who would not otherwise get hands on experience in science in the world outside of a traditional classroom setting," says Brooke Askey, Citizen Science Coordinator AmeriCorps. The effects Brooke could see were a lot for students getting excited about the marine environment in aspects they had never seen before. Introducing new concepts to kids and see them applying those to other things in their lives later on, like adaptations in the bird class, is a cool feeling.
After the classes wound down, a post-exam was issued to gauge the level of learning. On average, the students increase in knowledge was impressive. The field trip itself is an incredible experience for young people, and the statistics prove that it is a productive and educational time. We would not have this kind of impact if it was not for our fantastic volunteers that lend their time and expertise. Volunteers provide a lot of support for our organization, and their involvement in FSC is a testament to that.
FSC were beneficial to the kids as they learned new things and experienced a great program while the AmeriCorps honed and grew their skills in passing knowledge down to younger generations.
AmeriCorps Brooke Askey talks Salish Sea with a group of excited learners
Free science classes are an integral part education and outreach at the PTMSC. At the PTMSC, we stand behind the importance of education of youth. The youth we saw were impressive, and their future looks bright. To see children excited about learning (whether they know they are learning or not) is itself exciting. The PTMSC is a kid favorite – interesting marine creatures that most students do not have a chance to observe in detail, a fantastic experience outside of the classroom, a wonderfully helpful volunteer base - and will continue providing FSC and enriching lives.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Screening of "Plastic Ocean"

Port Townsend Marine Science Center to Host Screening of Award Winning Documentary, A PLASTIC OCEAN :

Saturday, April 22, 2017 - Port Townsend, Washington @ 3:00 PM at Port Townsend Marine Science Center Natural History Exhibit

A PLASTIC OCEAN uncovers the shocking truth about what is truly lurking beneath the ocean’s surface. More than 8 million tons of plastic is dumped into our oceans each year. A PLASTIC OCEAN follows an international team of adventurers, researches and ocean ambassadors on a mission around the globe. This award-winning documentary shows the devastating effects of our disposable lifestyle on marine life and the consequences for human health.

During its four-year production period, A PLASTIC OCEAN was filmed in 20 locations around the world, documenting the global effects of plastic pollution and introducing workable technology and policy solutions that can, if implemented in time, change things for the better.
NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries together with Washington CoastSavers are hosting free screenings in Port Angeles at Peninsula College on April 13th at 7:00PM, and in Port Townsend at Port Townsend Marine Science Center on April 22nd at 3:00PM. The screenings will be followed by panelist discussions and are open to the public. Washington CoastSavers is an alliance of partners and volunteers dedicated to keeping the state’s beaches clean of marine debris through coordinated beach cleanups, education and prevention. Make a difference, register for April 29, 2017.

Washington Coast Cleanup at
A PLASTIC OCEAN can be found on iTunes and other online movie platforms.
A Plastic Ocean Website:
Washington CoastSavers Website:
NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries Website:

The Port Townsend Marine Science Center inspires conservation of the Salish Sea. A new initiative—Gone Green? Go Blue! Support Your Local Ocean—encourages collective action and civic engagement. Located on the beach at Fort Worden, the PTMSC offers two public exhibits: the Marine Exhibit and the Natural History Exhibit. The Natural History & Orca exhibit is open Friday through Sunday, 12 to 5 pm. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for youth, and free to PTMSC members. The PTMSC also offers a wide variety of educational programs and special events. For more information, call 360.385.5582, e-mail or visit

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

FEEL GOOD. DO GOOD. Yoga Benefit for PTMSC

The Port Townsend Marine Science Center is excited to partner with local yoga teachers for the FEEL GOOD/DO GOOD yoga benefit on Monday, April 10th from 5:30 - 6:30 pm at Madrona MindBody, Fort Worden. This is an “all level” class suitable for everyone. Come stretch and breathe, at the same time you support PTMSC! Donate whatever you can…$10, $20… whatever! You’ll leave refreshed, energized and restored.
Here’s what yoga teacher Shanon Leonard has to say about the event:
"The classes support local nonprofits and provide an opportunity for people to experience a wide variety of yoga styles and practices."
Visit for more information