Summer Science Week Class Reunites for Discovery Day and Examines Data from Week-Long Excursion Through the Onondaga Lake Watershed
Fifty-five students put on their Honeywell Summer Science Week at the MOST t-shirts one last time and discussed their days of rigorous science and serious fun as they reunited on Wednesday morning for a final exploration of Onondaga Lake. In the afternoon, family members, teachers and Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney listened as they reported on their experiences and the data they collected last week.
“Onondaga Lake took a dramatic turn during the course of its cleanup because of what people learned about how to clean the lake,” said Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney. “These are the kinds of things we need you to continue to study in order to help us make a positive impact on the environment. I want to thank you for participating and ask that you take your great scientific minds, continue the work you are doing, and with your degrees in science and engineering help us continue to make this a better place to live.”
The students’ final science expedition Wednesday morning was an Onondaga Lake boat tour on the Mid-Lakes Navigation’s Emita II. Students were joined by Syracuse University’s Distinguished Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering Dr. Charles Driscoll. Driscoll is known for his studies of the impact of acid rain and mercury on lakes and has contributed to the study of the Onondaga Lake remediation.
With notebooks in hand, the students spent the Honeywell Summer Science Week exploring the Onondaga Lake watershed. They spent an afternoon geocaching on an Onondaga Creek walk, visited Heiberg Memorial Forest and examined the geology of Clark Reservation.
Summer Science Week activities also included a visit to the Shrub Willow Farm in Camillus. The students learned about Onondaga Lake bird life from Montezuma Audubon Center Director Frank Moses. They also received hands-on experience in hydraulic testing, GPS usage and how to conduct an insect survey. MOST Exhibit Project Manager Dr. Peter Plumley and State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry graduate students served as the young scientists’ tour guides throughout the week.
One of the students’ favorite activities was learning about plants along Onondaga Creek on Tully Farms Road. “It was really interesting and I liked learning about different plant life,” said Morgan Nichols from Camillus Middle School. “I think the whole experience was interesting. It was fun learning how to make rope out of plants,” said Madelyn Kelly from J.T. Roberts Middle School.
At the end of the day, student-scientists received completion certificates and became MOST Associates. The title of MOST Associates grants each student a one-year museum pass.
For more information on the Onondaga Lake cleanup, visit www.onondaga-lake-initiatives.com.