Science Camp at the MoST Engages Middle Schoolers With Onondaga Lake

Jul 8, 2014

Honeywell Summer Science Week at the Museum of Science and Technology, or the MoST, is underway this week.   It began with water sampling and plant and wildlife monitoring, with a special boat navigating the waters of Onondaga Lake.

Middle schoolers take a cruise of Syracuse's Inner Harbor and Onondaga Lake as part of Honeywell's Summer Science Week at the MoST.
Credit Sarah Brechbill / WAER News

 “I’m happy to be with you today for the Honeywell Most Summer science week. I’m going to help you identify birds today.”

70 middle schoolers from around the area were on board the boat… identifying birds…

 “look at him! Look out for the ostrich and the eagles”

Getting close and personal with some of the fish…

 “If he flops it will be ok…”

And asking questions about the state of the lake…

“The mercury in the fish, is that threatening any of the bird populations?”

But why is this boat just so special? Well, Honeywell Syracuse Program Director John McAuliffe hopes that he’s carrying a boat of 70 future scientists.

"We want our students to learn about the sciences going on in Onondaga Lake so they get enthusiastic about pursuing careers in science and math and continuing to study science and math in school."

On board was 13-year-old Jeffrey Bush. He wants to be an environmental engineer.

"PH has always fascinated me and the pH has a lot of what’s to do here in the cleanup of Onondaga Lake."

Honeywell Syracuse Program Director John McAuliffe narrates the boat tour.
Credit Sarah Brechbill / WAER News

When it came time to learn about the Onondaga Lake Clean-up Project, the kid’s ears perked up…

" I want to be able to swim in the lake and to have our generation’ children swim in the lake and be able to fish in the lake and have our lives be around the lake." 

"If they learn what caused the contamination issues in the past they can work to prevent that kind of thing in the future and become environmental stewards coming forward."

Exhibit Project Manager at the MoST Peter Plumley is also looking toward the future for these kids … but in the more short term.

"These kids are going into 9th grade and it’s the first grade where they need to pass to advance… that’s one of our goals to get these kids through high school."

This is the 9th year for Honeywell’s Summer Science Camp. The camp runs through the end of the week.