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VALLEY ROUNDUP | Sherman Oaks

Students Compile 3 Science Books

September 09, 2000|IRENE GARCIA

Griffin Frazen, an eighth-grader at Millikan Middle School, is only 13, but he's practically an expert on exotic creatures.

He'll tell you that a dik dik is a small, crossbred deer with no antlers and that an angwantibo, similar to a lemur, is known for its large eyes and lives in the African forest.

"The kiwi is one of my favorites," Griffin said. "It's a bird with no wings that lives mainly in Indonesia."

Griffin extensively researched the exotic creatures for a series of science books he and 33 classmates put together last year.

The project, which took a year, was the idea of Millikan science teacher Carlos Lauchu.

"They started off as biology reports that were exceptionally good," Lauchu said. "They were so extraordinary that we decided to conglomerate them into books."

The three books--titled "Biology 1," "Biology 2" and "Human Anatomy and Physiology"--are each 250 pages long with color photos and diagrams as well as in-depth text on subjects ranging from colon cancer to physics to the nervous system.

On Friday, the school honored the students who worked on the books, which resemble professionally written textbooks.

On hand were Los Angeles Unified School District Supt. Roy Romer, school board member Julie Korenstein and Assemblyman Tony Cardenas (D-Sylmar).

Each student was presented with a plaque and copies of each book. After the ceremony, the students were treated to pizza.

"I thought we were never going to get done," said Leah Zarin, 13. "It started off as a seven-page report and we worked long hours, including weekends, to put these books together."

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