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CMA Receives Top Honor

Cabrillo Marine Aquarium (CMA) received the 2013 Top Honors Award for Education from the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) for the Aquatic Nursery’s Young Scientists Program. Exhibits Director Ed Mastro and Research Curator Kiersten Darrow accepted the award at the 2013 Annual AZA conference held this month in Kansas City, Missouri in front of more than 2,000 zoo and aquarium professionals from around the globe.

“This award validates all the hard work we’ve put into providing free, high-quality, hands-on science research opportunities for students,” said CMA Director Mike Schaadt. “Only 10 percent of California students receive hands-on science experiences. Our Young Scientists Program helps fill an educational gap and allows 30 to 40 students to do marine science research projects each year.”

Aquatic Nursery staff guide students during their summer break or during the school year through the steps of the scientific method, demonstrating how to design a research project, mentoring them on sharing their discoveries with the public and coaching them on how to professionally present their results. Through the process, these budding young researchers begin to view science as a potential career goal.

“The students come from public and private schools from South Central Los Angeles to Hollywood, but they all share the Aquarium as their home away from home,” said Darrow. “We see the young people who take part in this program as our future science colleagues and it’s our job to prepare them to take further steps in science-related majors and careers.”

Previously, CMA won the AZA Edward H. Bean Award for Significant Achievement for its propagation program of garibaldi fish and the AZA Munson Aquatic Conservation Exhibitry Award for the Aquatic Nursery and Exploration Center.

Post Date: Monday, September 16, 2013

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