Eighth-Grade Field Scientists Sample Local Creeks and Become Environmental Stewards; Program Instills Confidence in Science and Math
Sixty-three middle school students from 13 Central New York school districts completed Honeywell Summer Science Week last week. Now celebrating its 11th year, Honeywell Summer Science Week, which is organized by the Milton J. Rubenstein Museum of Science & Technology (MOST) in Syracuse, has inspired more than 600 students through hands-on science exploration in the Onondaga Lake watershed.
The program brings science to life as students become field researchers learning from scientists, engineers, professors, and college students about the watershed and associated environmental sciences. Honeywell Summer Science Week helps motivate students by improving their science aptitude and confidence, and encourages them to work toward careers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).
“This is an outstanding program that reaches students at the age when many lose interest in science,” said MOST President Toni Martin. “We need today’s students to have a good grounding in the sciences so they can understand complicated issues when they become tomorrow’s leaders.”
Throughout the week, students participated in a variety of activities while learning an interdisciplinary approach to investigation, discovery, and resolution of environmental issues facing Onondaga County. Field activities included collecting water samples throughout the Tully Valley and the Onondaga Lake watershed, touring Onondaga Lake, and exploring Clark Reservation, Onondaga Creek, and Nine Mile Creek.
“Honeywell Summer Science Week provides our students field experience through hands-on investigations,” said MOST Chief Program Officer Peter Plumley, Ph.D. “The program introduces them to scientific methodology and observation of the natural world. Many students go on to successfully compete in the Central New York Science & Engineering Fair, earning merit scholarships for college.”
“Honeywell Summer Science Week inspires the next generation of scientists and engineers through hands-on experiments in the Onondaga Lake watershed,” said Honeywell Syracuse Program Director John McAuliffe. “This innovative program increases students’ interest in science and math and teaches them an interdisciplinary approach to resolution of environmental issues.”
Honeywell Discovery Day
The students reunited one last time on July 20, during Honeywell Discovery Day, to discuss scientific findings. During the day, students presented their observations and watched a video from Congressman John M. Katko about the importance of science education.
Local organizations and individuals participating included: Montezuma Audubon Center, U.S. Geological Survey, OBG, Parsons, Anchor QEA, Onondaga County Department of Water Environment Protection, and faculty and graduate students from Syracuse University and the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry. The program exposes students, who are about to enter high school, to real scientists and university professors preparing them for future studies and possible STEM careers.
Honeywell Summer Science Week is sponsored by Honeywell Hometown Solutions, the company’s corporate citizenship initiative that focuses on five areas of vital importance: Science & Math Education, Family Safety & Security, Housing & Shelter, Habitat & Conservation, and Humanitarian Relief. Together with leading public and non-profit institutions, Honeywell has developed powerful programs to address these needs in the communities it serves. For more information, please visit http://citizenship.honeywell.com/hometown-solutions.
For more information on the Onondaga Lake cleanup, visit www.lakecleanup.com.