Fifty Middle School Students Gear Up for Week of Scientific Exploration as Fourth Annual Summer Science Week Is Launched
Fifty middle school students from nine Central New York school districts joined Assemblyman William B. Magnarelli and representatives from Honeywell and the Milton J. Rubenstein Museum of Science & Technology (MOST) to kick off the 2009 Honeywell Summer Science Week at the MOST. The students will study and explore the Onondaga Lake watershed and engage in unique hands-on learning, including bug collecting, water testing, GPS sampling procedures and geology.
Created by the MOST, Honeywell Summer Science Week is made possible by a generous grant from Honeywell Hometown Solutions. The program will run from July 13 through July 17.
Syracuse University’s Distinguished Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering Charlie Driscoll participated as a special guest educator. Driscoll is known for his studies of the effect of acid rain and mercury on lakes.
“Honeywell’s partnership with the MOST is an exciting program that engages local students in their environment and inspires them to pursue careers in science and technology,” said Honeywell Syracuse Program Director John McAuliffe. “Honeywell Hometown Solutions is committed to providing students and teachers with programs and experiences that bring science to life in memorable, life-changing ways.”
MOST Exhibits Project Manager Dr. Peter Plumley said “Young people’s interest in the environment and science continues to grow. This program provides students with a hands-on and unique experience,” said Plumley. “The young scientists will explore the clean headwaters of Onondaga Creek in Tully Valley, and then witness and sample the various inputs from natural, rural and urban environments. The program involves them in the natural and environmental processes taking place in their own backyards. It brings science home.”
Students will participate in a combination of activities at the MOST and various field locations, while applying an interdisciplinary approach for investigation, discovery and resolution of environmental issues facing Onondaga County. Field activities include collecting water samples throughout the Tully Valley and the Onondaga Lake watershed, touring Onondaga Lake and conducting experiments at the Shrub Willow Farms. Local organizations participating as workshop presenters include the Montezuma Audubon Center, the U.S. Geological Survey, the State University of New York School of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY-ESF) and Onondaga County Department of Water Environment Protection.
“In the future, these students will manage community assets and environmental resources, and it is essential to provide them hands-on education in science and technology,” said MOST President Larry Leatherman. “The MOST is dedicated to providing these opportunities for Central New York middle school students and we are fortunate to partner with Honeywell for the fourth year. The program has been successful because it gets young people excited and passionate about science and their environments.”
The MOST will host Honeywell Discovery Day on Wednesday, July 22, 2009. During this event the students will make presentations to parents and teachers. The students will also be given certificates of participation and awards for notable accomplishments.
Academic partners include middle school teachers from the participating school districts, as well as faculty and graduate students from Syracuse University and SUNY-ESF.
For more information on the Onondaga Lake cleanup, visit www.onondaga-lake-initiatives.com.