Educating Rising 9th Graders in Syracuse on Sustainability & Climate Change
Learning about sustainability and developing ways to combat climate change locally is at the heart of a week-long camp for rising ninth graders in Onondaga County.
The SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) and The Milton J. Rubenstein Museum of Science & Technology (MOST) have joined forces for SUNY ESF Summer Science Week from Monday, July 25 to Friday, July 29.
“At ESF, we believe in getting our students in the lab and out in the field as soon as possible to get them actively engaged in their studies,” said Dr. Neal Abrams during the camp kick-off Monday on the ESF campus. Abrams is interim director of ESF’s Open Academy and Associate Professor in the Department of Chemistry.
Starting more than a decade ago, this camp is not a new structure for the MOST. Begun as a program to highlight the cleanup of Onondaga Lake and the surrounding watershed, Summer Science Week has evolved into the premier opportunity for eighth-grade graduates to get hands-on fieldwork experience and exploration of environmental science concepts, practices, and careers before entering high school.
“The goal of this camp is to enable students to be more capable and confident contributors in secondary school programs by helping them develop skills in inquiry, observation, and problem-solving in classroom, laboratory and field settings,” said Lauren Kochian, MOST President. “We are grateful to partner with SUNY ESF on a camp that fulfills both of our missions.”
SUNY ESF Summer Science Week empowers students through hands-on experiential learning and personal ownership of scientific data. Gathering, analyzing, and reporting personally collected data allows the students to become familiar with scientific language and units of measure, better understand and explain fundamental concepts, and gain a deeper appreciation of nature and their local environment.
Students will visit ESF’s Heiberg Forest and outdoor classroom in Tully, the OCRRA Amboy Compost Site, Clark Reservation State Park, and other sites throughout Onondaga County to learn about sustainability and its connection to climate change.
“A lot of the things you did when you were little were really you doing experiments,” Abrams told the campers. “Maybe it was ‘what happens when I throw a pebble into the water’ or “what happens to the sand when I get it wet?’ You did those things because they were fun, but you were also applying concepts of observation and data collection – and you were having fun.”
Students will showcase their final sustainability projects to parents, guardians, and friends during the closing ceremony from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, July 29 at, the MOST.
About SUNY ESF
The SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) is dedicated to the study of the environment, developing renewable technologies, and building a sustainable and resilient future through design, policy, and management of the environment and natural resources. Members of the College community share a passion for protecting the health of the planet and a deep commitment to the rigorous application of science to improve the way humans interact with the world. The College offers academic programs ranging from the associate of applied science to the Doctor of Philosophy. ESF students live, study and do research on the main campus in Syracuse, New York, and on 25,000 acres of field stations in a variety of ecosystems across the state.
About the MOST
The Milton J. Rubenstein Museum of Science & Technology (MOST) is a hands-on science and technology museum for all ages. The MOST hosts numerous STEM education programs and community outreach events annually and is home to 35,000 square feet of interactive permanent and traveling exhibits. The MOST’s vision is to be a preeminent science and technology center, inspiring all generations through hands-on education and entertainment.
The MOST is open from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. For hours and pricing, visit most.org or call 315-425-9068.