A $100,000 grant from the S. Mark Taper Foundation has enabled the Santa Monica-based environmental organization Heal the Bay to open an interactive and educational microscope lab at its Santa Monica Pier Aquarium.
“During a time when school funding is being cut back, the S. Mark Taper Foundation grant has provided Heal the Bay with an amazing opportunity to offer vital scientific education to school groups and the general public,” said Heal the Bay Executive Director Mark Gold. “Thanks to the Foundation’s generosity, the Aquarium now has an entire area full of high-tech microscopes, computers and flat panel viewing screens to educate and inspire all Southern Californians.”
The new S. Mark Taper Foundation Science Lab will teach students and other aquarium visitors about the cornerstone of the ocean environment – microscopic organisms. With the Foundation’s donation, as well as time and materials donated by HO+K Interiors and others, the lab will accommodate up to 15 students and a teacher.
Specifically, the new lab is designed for students in fifth grade through college. They will collect and study microorganisms from the Santa Monica Bay, practice scientific methodology, and discuss issues such as urban runoff and pollution prevention.
Aquarium staff will also use the microscopes to show visitors aspects of marine life not visible with the naked eye. Slide shows and documentary films will be screened on the large new television monitor.
The Santa Monica Pier Aquarium (located beach level at the Santa Monica Pier) is open to the public Tuesday through Friday from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., and weekends from 12:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. Reservations are required for school groups interested in attending an education program. Call (310) 393-6149, ext. 105, for more details.The S. Mark Taper Foundation, founded in 1989, is a private family foundation dedicated to enhancing the quality of people’s lives by supporting nonprofit organizations and their work in our communities.