Cabrillo Marine Aquarium
 
 
cma
 
News Splash

Middle school students spend Sundays with science

Did you spend your weekends doing science projects during middle school? For 7th and 8th graders at South Gate Middle School, the answer to that question is yes! For the past three years, a group of South Gate students has been coming to CMA every Sunday during the school year to learn about scientific research by designing and documenting their own research projects.

It all started with an enthusiastic science teacher named Craig Jones. After listening to presentations by CMA staff members, he was very skeptical about the student research program at the Aquarium. “When Craig first called he really didn’t think that Aquarium staff members would mentor South Gate students for free. He said, ‘Nothing exists in this world that is that good,’” said CMA Research Curator Kiersten Darrow.

“After several phone conversations, Craig was convinced. He really wanted to get South Gate Middle School students to a science fair for the first time ever,” said Darrow. “The biggest challenge was how to get all the students here every Sunday.” Thankfully, FRIENDS of CMA receives bus transportation funds from donors such as The Ella Fitzgerald Foundation and was able to cover the weekly costs.

With a full bus available, there was room to give many students a chance to visit CMA. “We have our core group of South Gate Middle School students here every single week working on research projects and then we have a different group of visiting students who joins them,” said Darrow. “We are bringing as many students as possible to CMA because we want them to get excited about science and hopefully some of the visiting students will want to be part of the core research group next year.”

Each Sunday, the visiting students split off to work with several local student volunteers led by CMA staff member Chris Bautista. The day is packed with fun activities including an Aquarium tour, an introduction to field research and Aquatic Nursery research highlights. Students get to feed abalone, learn about seahorses and their behavior and sometimes there’s even an opportunity to witness in vitro fertilization of jellies.

Meanwhile, Andres Carrillo, a CMA staff member and PhD student at UC-Irvine, mentors and teaches the core group of 24 students doing research projects. “At the beginning of the program I talk to them about CMA, the scientific method, how to look up facts in the library and help them understand what makes a suitable research project,” said Carrillo. “During the fifth week, the students are setting up tanks or learning how to use quadrats for field research measurements. The goal is for each student to be able to create a poster and learn how science works.”

And so far, Carrillo’s approach and Jones’ dedication to accompanying the kids every Sunday has been a winning combination. Not only have South Gate students met Jones’ goal of going to the Los Angeles County Science Fair, during the second year of the program Chelsea Gonzalez placed first in her category and Kevin Coronado received an honorable mention. Now Violeta Llamas, another science teacher, has taken over the program and a third group of South Gate students is preparing for the science fair this year and maybe another first place.



Post Date: Monday, March 04, 2013

Share

Facebook icon  Linkedin icon  StumbleUpon icon  Twitter icon 
 

    News Archive


          10/22/2014 Discovery Lecture Series (Featured)
          8/18/2014 FREE Public Tours
          7/10/2014 Midnight research studying grunion
          6/12/2014 Stay Connected to CMA
          6/3/2014 Tesoro Donates $50,000
          3/12/2014 Delving into Sustainable Seafood
          3/3/2014 Ocean Discovery Kits
          2/7/2014 Sweetheart Savings for Gala
          1/29/2014 Sustainable Seafood Event
          1/13/2014 New Executive Director
          1/1/2014 Let's go whale watching!
          12/6/2013 Little Squirts is Moving
          11/20/2013 Help FCMA Raise $15,000
          11/13/2013 Sea stars wasting away
          11/4/2013 From Junior Docent to Junior Leader
          10/27/2013 Sharks belong in the ocean
          10/21/2013 Help FCMA win $5,000
          9/23/2013 Making a Difference
          9/16/2013 CMA Receives Top Honor
          9/9/2013 CMA in the News
          8/30/2013 Symbiotic Copepoda Workshop
          8/19/2013 FRIENDS Announces Marine Science Scholarship Winners
          8/5/2013 Robots Storm CMA
          7/24/2013 PADI Internship Program
          7/9/2013 Story time in CMA's library
          6/28/2013 Summer in the Aquatic Nursery
          6/14/2013 Become a Sea Ranger
          6/3/2013 Stung! Jellyfish blooms
          5/28/2013 Lights, Camera, Ocean!
          5/23/2013 Students celebrate Earth Day the CMA way
          5/13/2013 Scholarships Offered
          5/12/2013 CMA Kids News
          5/9/2013 Grand Grunion Gala A Smashing Success
          4/15/2013 Student Research Highlights
          3/15/2013 World Ocean Network
          3/4/2013 Middle school students spend Sundays with science
          2/17/2013 White Abalone Spawning
          2/4/2013 Earth Day Poster and Photo Contest
          1/29/2013 Introducing the pipefish
          1/22/2013 An animal’s conservation status
          1/9/2013 Experience a worm’s eye-view in the mud tunnel
          12/31/2012 Books about CMA
          12/21/2012 Exploration Center: You oughta be in ocean pictures
          12/14/2012 Rare bird spotted near CMA
          12/12/2012 Start a free table at work
          12/7/2012 Camouflage: the art of blending in
          11/26/2012 Announcing a new species!
          11/13/2012 Ocean Children's Books
          11/5/2012 School groups: Paying one can at a time
          10/31/2012 Exhibits and Collections Curator elected SCAS President
          10/22/2012 Argonaut at CMA
          10/20/2012 Wash your car the ocean way
          10/12/2012 Aquatic Nursery: A new role for red abalone
          10/5/2012 The 8th International Aquarium Congress
          10/1/2012 Danielle’s First 100 Days
          9/29/2012 Ocean Outreach Team
          9/24/2012 Sea Otter Awareness Week
          9/23/2012 The CMA Gift Shop: A personal shopping experience
          9/13/2012 Free audio tour available
          9/10/2012 SEA Club is a great way for kids to spend an afternoon
          8/29/2012 Phillips 66 Supports CMA
          8/23/2012 What’s on CMA’s Menu?
          8/11/2012 It's Shark Week!
          8/10/2012 Congratulations Scholarship Winners!
          8/2/2012 Looking under the microscope in the Exploration Center
          7/20/2012 Students earn CMA field trip
          7/19/2012 Become a FRIENDS of CMA Community Sponsor!
          6/27/2012 Youth On Board
          6/14/2012 Celebrate National Lobster Day
          6/8/2012 Underwater Park System
          6/7/2012 The Nausicaá Connection
          6/1/2012 Intel Innovation Showcase
          5/3/2012 A Career in Marine Biology
          3/3/2012 "Youth on Board" Video Contest
          2/28/2012 CMA Awarded Grant for Tidewater Goby Education
          2/28/2012 Flashback: A Page Out of CMA History
          1/17/2012 "Amazing Aquariums"
          1/6/2012 Cabrillo Marine Aquarium Is Accessible to All
          11/16/2011 New Education Curator
          11/15/2011 CMA Staff Members Tour SA Recycling
          11/14/2011 Inner Cabrillo Beach Survey: You Never Know What You Might Find!
          10/27/2011 Mommy and Me Class at CMA?
          10/19/2011 Jellies Travel the World
          10/3/2011 Practice Safe Whale Watching
          9/19/2011 A Clean Sweep!
          9/8/2011 Volunteer Spotlight
          8/15/2011 Become a Volunteer Research Intern
          8/3/2011 It's Shark Week
          7/29/2011 Mutant Crab at CMA
          2/10/2011 New Animal Care Center
          1/2/2011 A Tribute to John M. Olguin
          9/27/2010 AZA Honors CMA
          2/2/2010 75 Years Young!
          9/22/2009 $30,000 Grant Received!
          6/23/2009 CA State Marine Fish Babies Growing at CMA!
          1/10/2009 Piglet Squid
          7/14/2008 One In A Million
   
 
cma