Friday, June 3, 2016

Media advisory: San Diego Unified School District partners with Ocean Discovery Institute to build new Living Lab in City Heights

Media Advisory from San Diego Unified School District
June 3, 2016
Contact: Cynthia Reed-Porter, 619-546-3378   

San Diego Unified School District partners with Ocean Discovery Institute to build new Living Lab in City Heights

WHAT:  A community "Construction Party" is being held to celebrate the construction on a new educational facility called the "Living Lab" in City Heights. The "Construction Party" will begin with guided tours around the construction site. Following, there will be booths and activities available to discover science, how to protect the planet and careers in science and conservation. The event will conclude with a celebration and a short program, food, music and giveaways.  There will also be information on how to get involved with the "Living Lab" and Ocean Discovery Institute.

The "Living Lab" is a joint venture between San Diego Unified School District and Ocean Discovery Institute. It will be a science education center where students explore different fields of science, and define their college and career aspirations. This project aligns with the Board of Education's and Superintendent Cindy Marten's Vision 2020 goal to develop schools as neighborhood learning centers. Vision 2020 seeks to re-establish a strong bond between communities and their neighborhood schools, and achieve quality schools in every neighborhood.

WHEN: Saturday, June 4,  from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. (The will be a short program begin at 12:30 p.m. with the guest speakers listed below.)  

WHERE: Florence Griffith Joyner Elementary School's joint use field, 4271 Myrtle Ave., San Diego, CA 92105. (Media parking available on site. Enter driveway off 43rd St.)

VISUALS:  "Living Lab" construction site, booths and activities.  Ocean Discovery Institute will have a variety of partners that will be hosting interactive booths to demonstrate what the community will be able to discover at the Living Lab, activities include:
. Interacting with Dr. Zoolittle from the San Diego Zoo
. Learning about pollinators in our canyons from San Diego Canyonlands
. Learning how biologists identify animals from aerial photographers with, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
. "Ask an Architect" where guests can speak to Rob Quigley about his work on the Living Lab

- Ocean Discovery Institute Board Member Claudia Rodriguez (emcee)
- San Diego Unified Superintendent Cindy Marten
- City Council President Pro Tem Marti Emerald
- County Supervisor Greg Cox
- U.S. Congressman Scott Peters
- San Diego Unified Board Vice President Richard Barrera
- Ocean Discovery Institute Executive Director/Founder Shara Fisler

INTERVIEWS: The speakers will be available for interviews, as will current and former students who participate in the Ocean Discovering Institute program, and Lee Dulgeroff, chief Facilities Planning and Construction officer.   

BACKGROUND:  San Diego Unified School District and Ocean Discovery Institute have a joint-venture agreement to construct and run the "Living Lab" facility that will be used to provide educational programs in outdoor science and environmental conservation. The facility will provide significant science and other educational opportunities to more than 10,000 youth per year who attend the 14 district public schools in the City Heights area. The 12,000-square-foot, two-story building is being constructed adjacent to Florence Griffith Joyner Elementary School. It will include two laboratories, administrative space, and approximately 35,000 square feet of outdoor features that will include nature play elements and a natural trail.

Ocean Discovery Institute is a unique nonprofit organization that offers hands-on science and conservation programs to students often faced with the hardships of living in a highly urbanized underserved community. Ocean Discovery provides rigorous educational, scientific research, and environmental stewardship experiences that build curiosity, science understanding and skills, and leadership in underserved young people from kid to career. These programs use ocean science to generate the spark that makes young people want to learn all principles of science, technology, engineering, math, and conservation.

Cynthia Reed-Porter, communications supervisor l Communications Office l San Diego Unified School District
Mobile phone:  619-546-3378 l E-mail:

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