On 25 June 2009, UCB graduate student Brad Balukjian and students of the Primary School in Pao Pao presented the results of their scientific studies to the Minister of Education and other distinguished guests. The year-long "GK-12" program (2008-2009) was a partnership between UC Berkeley (Prof. Rosemary Gillespie) and the Ecole Primaire de Pao Pao, together with the U.S. National Science Foundation, Moorea Biocode Project, and Association Te Pu Atitia. While carrying out his thesis research at the Gump Station, Brad also taught two classes a week in the local school and helped the children explore their island's biodiversity. The students learned about science directly from a researcher while Brad developed his ability to communicate with a broader audience - an increasingly important skill for scientists. The experience was judged a great success and plans are being prepared to continue the program next year and if possible to expand it.
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