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SUNY ESF kicks off "Summer of Science week" with local students

Group of eighth grade graduates in the Summer of Science week posing with ESF mascot Acorn and camp leaders.
John Smith / WAER News
Group of eight graders in the Summer of Science week posing with ESF mascot and camp leaders.

Recent eighth grade graduates from area schools are taking several field trips this week to explore the environment and future careers.

The SUNY ESF Summer of Science week began at the campus as professors and professional staff gave them a tour around the campus.

The program is designed to get students interested about science concepts through their own observations and by participating in interactive field settings.

Associate Professor of Chemistry Neal Abrams says there are plenty of activities on day one.

“We have some excellent facilitators that are going to be taken them through to see our green roof, our combined heat and power or CHP plant. They’re also going to be seeing how we manage storm water, and some of the great kinds of sustainable and renewable energy things that we have here at ESF,” Abrams said.

Students were taken to a small forest nestled between buildings by Distinguished Teaching Professor Donald Leopold.

His specialties are trees and plant identification. He quizzed students about the Maple which is the State’s Official Tree.

“Very valuable for food. Yeah, pancake syrup... can’t beat. Excellent for furniture, outstanding fall color and it’s about 1/5th of all the trees in New York State in the forests over the whole state, is that single tree. We have over 180 trees to New York,” Professor Leopold said.

After visiting ESF’s forest, student Owen McQuiston from Jamesville DeWitt Schools had these thoughts to share.

“Environmental conservation efforts, ya know, they’re really ramping up on environmental activity the past few decades. I don’t know if the writings on the wall so many decades ago but, it's good to see that this is a major topic now,” McQuiston said.

McQuiston says the health of the planet is always important to him.

“Summer of Science Week,” students will also collect scientific data and give presentations at the MOST Downtown at the end of the week about what they learned regarding nature and our local environment while they explored.