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Environment & Science

CNY 8th Graders Conduct Real Research During Honeywell/MOST Summer Science Week

Scott Willis

About 50 Central New York eighth graders are spending the week conducting experiments and other field work as they learn about the region’s watershed.

Wednesday, they spent time on the Onondaga Creekwalk near the Inner Harbor…

"Towards the center, you can see bubbles flowing in the water.  About six feet out, there are three huge dark spots.  They're actually carp, and they're just sitting here waiting for food," said one of the counselors pointing to where Onondaga Creek flows into the Inner Harbor.

Onondaga Creek and Lake are a big part of the Honeywell Summer Science Week camp organized by the Museum of Science and Technology.  Tuesday, the citizen scientists hiked in Heiberg forest and Labrador Hollow near Tully…

Credit Scott Willis / WAER News

"We saw a lot of macro invertebrates, invertebrates, salamanders.  We also saw a lot of beetles, water striders, crayfish.  A lot of those things cannot exist in a more polluted environment.  So that shows that the water is quite clean, and it's an area they can thrive and live in," said Lucas, who's going into 9th grade.

"I love science, and when I get older, I want to be a botanical chemist and work with plants and flowers," said another student.

"This is really cool to learn how to identify these flowers and plants, and how to identify the birds and fish.  And really getting my hands dirty picking up salamanders and little beetles."

Credit Scott Willis / WAER News

Lead counselor Gretchen Messer says, though, that not every student at camp is asexcited about science.  She says some might actually fear it because they think it’s too difficult.  Messer says the hands-on camp aims to break the fear factor and make science interesting and fun.   

"They get to do things that don'tg really happen in the school atmosphere, and don't really happen at typical summer camps.  This is strongly science based and data driven to see how true data leads to bettter decision making."

More than 800 students have gone through the program in the past 14 summers.

Credit Scott Willis / WAER News