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Students Unlock the Secrets of Onondaga Lake’s Watershed at Honeywell Summer Science Week at the MOST

Syracuse, NY – July 16, 2007 – Beginning July 16, 55 middle school students from the Syracuse City School District, West Genesee Central School District and Solvay Union Free School District will embark on a week-long exploratory investigation of the Onondaga Lake watershed as part of the 2007 Honeywell Summer Science Week at the MOST. Created by the Milton J. Rubenstein Museum of Science & Technology (MOST) in 2006, the week allows students to visit a variety of locations stretching from the Tully Valley to Onondaga Lake, while learning from scientists, engineers and professors about water quality and the environment. The exploration runs through July 20.

Honeywell Summer Science Week at the MOST is made possible by a generous grant from Honeywell Hometown Solutions, the company’s community relations initiative. The science week’s overwhelming success in 2006 led Honeywell and the MOST to expand the program to reach twice as many students and teachers in 2007.

“Honeywell is proud to partner with the MOST to inspire young people to pursue careers in science, math and engineering,” said Honeywell Syracuse Program Director John McAuliffe. “Honeywell Hometown Solutions’ support for science and math education programs reflects the basic premise that science and math are the building blocks of societal innovation and individual development. We are committed to providing Central New York middle school students with programs and experiences that bring science to life in memorable, life-changing ways.”

According to MOST Exhibits Project Manager Dr. Peter Plumley, the project coordinator, “The general concept is for the students to experience the clean headwaters of Onondaga Creek in Tully Valley, and through the week, witness and sample the various inputs by natural, rural and urban environments as the water makes its way through the Onondaga Lake watershed.”

Throughout the week, students will participate in a combination of activities at the MOST and various field locations, while learning an interdisciplinary approach for investigation, discovery and resolution of environmental issues facing the citizens of Onondaga County. Field activities include observing Onondaga Lake’s environment through an introductory boat cruise; collecting water samples throughout the Tully Valley and Onondaga Lake’s watershed; and touring Syracuse University’s Center for Environmental Systems Engineering Lab, the Metropolitan Syracuse Wastewater Treatment Plant (Metro), and Honeywell’s Willis Avenue Groundwater Treatment Plant.

MOST President Larry Leatherman added, “We know from countless studies that the future of our community, both environmentally and economically, will in large part be determined by the children of today who become well educated in the sciences and technology. That’s a driving reason why the MOST is dedicated to turning kids on to careers in these fields. To that end, we regularly reach out to our young people-especially those in the Syracuse city middle schools-because we have a terrific opportunity to have an impact. And, of course, we can’t do it alone. We know we need partners. That’s why it’s so great to be working with Honeywell to present the 2007 Honeywell Summer Science Week at the MOST…and we hope it’s just the beginning of a long and productive relationship!”

Results gathered from the week will be presented by the students at Honeywell’s Discovery Day at the MOST on September 22, 2007.

Academic partners include teachers from middle schools in the participating school districts, as well as faculty and graduate students from Cornell University, Syracuse University and the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry.