The STEP program has inspired nearly 100,000 young people since its inception 35 years ago. About 3,000 students each year have the opportunity to learn about salmonid biology/ecology while incubating steelhead eggs in their classroom aquaria. After the hatch & swim-up, the class goes on a fieldtrip to observe the habitat of the San Lorenzo River and release their fry. The students almost invariably become emotionally bonded to their “local” steelhead run in this way. They go on to become champions of the steelhead and spread motivation toward model watershed stewardship.
In early February each year the STEP team trains new teachers to present the curriculum to their students. The two-day weekend workshop has one day in the field and in the creek studying the salmon habitat. After taking the training the teachers are qualified to apply to MBSTP for eggs to incubate. The incubation experience has had a very high success rate over the 35-year history. Not only are the kids inspired, but greater than 95% of the eggs hatch and the resulting fry are successfully released into their native habitat.