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VALLEY ROUNDUP | Chatsworth

Students Shine at School's Ecology Fair

April 24, 1999|NEDA RAOUF

Parents toting cameras and video recorders converged Friday on Base Camp: Planet Earth, an ecology fair and open house at Sierra Canyon School.

Striped tents filled with educational information and game booths dotted the six-acre site, where kindergarten through eighth-grade students had set up areas representing various ecosystems, or biomes.

The students have been studying biomes all year, said Ann Gillinger, director of learning, adding that the ecology fair was part of the school's efforts to raise awareness about caring for the planet.

"We teach our children all of the time about recycling and using nature carefully, but we didn't ever have it as one of the themes for the fair," Gillinger said. "We want the children to know as much as we can possibly teach them about taking care of our environment and the planet."

Each booth was filled with information about the planet, with pictures, student projects, collages and games.

A misting rain forest, a jungle with thatched-roof huts, icebergs and other decorations appropriate to each region surrounded the tents.

Students led their parents through the fair and the open house, where many showed off their multimedia presentations.

Dylan Sures, 8, showed his father his "hyperstudio biome stack," a series of pages within a computer system with content on different biomes. Clicking a mouse quickly through a computer program, Dylan showed his father, Brad, his work: a page on symbiotic relationships.

Erica Steiner, 8, created a dolphin project. Listening to the theme music of "Flipper" playing in the background of Erica's project, her father, Ross, was impressed by how absorbed involved she had become in creating the project.

"Doing a project like this has a dual purpose in that it is geared to your personal taste so you're able to customize it to something that you inherently have an interest in," Ross Steiner said. "When she comes home and turns on the computer instead of a TV . . . there's a deeper sense of accomplishment."

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