DSN Readers Make A Difference

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Last year DSN and our readers raised money to send 53 seventh and eigth grade sciences students of Kipp Academy of Opportunity to the Aquarium of the Pacific.

KIPP Academy of Opportunity is a free public middle school of choice, which opened in the Summer of 2003 in South Los Angeles. This new charter school accepts 90 fifth graders each year, and serves approximately 360 students in grades 5 through 8. KIPP Academy of Opportunity enables students to become self-motivated, competent, and life-long learners. Armed with these skills and achievements, the students of KIPP Academy of Opportunity recognize that an outstanding education is the instrument to achieving personal success and that success means having infinite opportunities. While the mission is not easily accomplished, the students of KIPP Academy of Opportunity will soon learn that there are no shortcuts to realizing these goals.

Mr. Green their teacher wrote this to me of last year’s visit:

I am constantly amazed by the power of the ripple and I firmly believe that Aesop was 100% correct when he said that “no act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” Your donation is going to change the way my students learn in great ways. Rather than science being little more than facts, figures and diagrams, my students will be able to experience what many never have…They will see how physical, life and earth sciences are all related in underwater worlds…I believe wholeheartedly that this year, because of this field tirp and all the connections, students will have memories of fun and knowledge to last for years to come.

You can make this kind of experience happen again in 2007. So go donate now! Some quotes from student’s thank you letters from last year to inspire you:

You really gave us a chance to excel in learning evolution of aquatic mammals. What I liked best about the aquarium is that we were able to do an experiment on how sea creatures make light under water where no sunlight is.

I would like to thank you for giving us the chance to go to the aquarium. I have learned about the 5 layers of the ocean…I learned that if you were red down there you wouldn’t have been seen.

We learned about different creatures that lived up to 8000ft below the ocean and how they see and adapt to the freezing temperature.
Another one of my favorites was the anglerfish. It has a light and uses chemical to make it.

And perhaps the most amusing…

You didn’t have to let me go you could have let me with some other teacher but instead you let me go. I think you let me go on the aquarium trip partially cause I owned up to the fact that I did cheat and the other half cause you just wanted me to go and be in the group.

Dr. M (1801 Posts)

Craig McClain is the Executive Director of the Lousiana University Marine Consortium. He has conducted deep-sea research for 20 years and published over 50 papers in the area. He has participated in and led dozens of oceanographic expeditions taken him to the Antarctic and the most remote regions of the Pacific and Atlantic. Craig’s research focuses on how energy drives the biology of marine invertebrates from individuals to ecosystems, specifically, seeking to uncover how organisms are adapted to different levels of carbon availability, i.e. food, and how this determines the kinds and number of species in different parts of the oceans. Additionally, Craig is obsessed with the size of things. Sometimes this translated into actually scientific research. Craig’s research has been featured on National Public Radio, Discovery Channel, Fox News, National Geographic and ABC News. In addition to his scientific research, Craig also advocates the need for scientists to connect with the public and is the founder and chief editor of the acclaimed Deep-Sea News (http://deepseanews.com/), a popular ocean-themed blog that has won numerous awards. His writing has been featured in Cosmos, Science Illustrated, American Scientist, Wired, Mental Floss, and the Open Lab: The Best Science Writing on the Web.