2003-04 NSF/ESF Science Corps Undergraduate Fellows

The ESF Science Corps

Summer 2003 Environmental Science Program: Understanding and Appreciating Our Environment

The ESF Science Corps has implemented a unique, five-week Environmental Science–based summer program that blends inquiry-learning techniques with basic scientific principles. The ESF Science Corps, comprised of four ESF undergraduate students and the summer program participants, who reflect the wonderful diversity of an urban population, will be exploring many areas of the environment, ranging from Biology and Ecology to Chemistry and Paper-Science Engineering.

The summer program activities take place in three urban Syracuse City parks, Schiller, Burnet and Elmwood, the Centers for Nature Education at Baltimore Woods and ESF’s Heiberg Forest, Tully, NY; giving the program participants the opportunity to see and understand that nature, science and environment are everywhere.

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Joan asking the group about the origins of the natural ingredients of chocolate chip cookies

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Julie & students discussing how humans use plants

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Meet the Undergraduate Fellows

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Elmwood Park
"It was the last day of the camp. I wish I could do it longer. It was really fun!" - Roberts 9th grade student

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During a nature walk at Elmwood Park, students look for organisms underneath a log
"Today we went in the stream and found macro-invertebrates. I found out that the stream is fairly clean because the organism s I found were pollution intolerant. I am proud of myself. I did a college lab and I understood it. - Roberts 9th grade student

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Students taking a tour of Heiberg Forest at Tully, NY
"We learned about how the better an animal is at camouflaging, the better it should survive. Also, we learned how changes in the environment affect animal numbers." - Roberts 7th grade student

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Nature Centers of Baltimore Woods. Heather talking to a group of students about the defining characteristics of an Eastern White Pine tree ( Pinus strobus )

ESF Science Corps Partners in the Summer Environmental Science Program

Roberts School (K-8) and the Syracuse City School District

Students from science CorpsThe J.T. Roberts School (K-8) is a three-week exploratory Environmental Science program for incoming 7th, 8th, and 9th grade students. At Roberts School, the ESF Science Corps undergraduates are teaching and exploring with the students the wonders of the environment in Elmwood Park, the home of the 2003 "Bioblitz."

Using the park as their main teaching tool many of the activities will demonstrate that Elmwood Park is an invaluable resource in their urban community. Several of the programs featured in this environmental curriculum include:

  • Stream and Pond Habitat Comparison Ethnobotany
  • Food Chemistry Paper-Making

The Centers for Nature at Baltimore Woods hosts Brighton Family Center, Southwest Community Center and Citizens United to Rebuild Neighborhoods (CURN)

The Brighton Family Center, Southwest Community Center, and CURN bring children of all ages to The Centers for Nature at Baltimore Woods in Marcellus, New York for 5 weeks to explore the wonders of the environment.

The ESF Science Corps undergraduates carefully selected environmental science topics and activities that include exciting games and hands-on activities allowing each child to explore, learn about and understand the environment. Some of the activities selected for these groups include:

  • Population Dynamics Nature Survival Techniques
  • Wildflower Identification Properties of Water

Syracuse Parks and Recreation Services

The NSF/ESF Science Corps is working with Syracuse Parks and Recreation Services for five weeks at two city parks, Burnet Park and Schiller Park. ESF Science Corps undergraduates are teaching an environmental science program using many exciting games and hands-on activities helping the children to explore, learn, understand and appreciate their natural urban environment. Some of the activities selected for the children, representing a broad range of ages, include:

  • Urban Nature Search Plant and Tree Classification
  • Bird and Insect Bingo
  • Animal Adaptation and Survival

Paper Making

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Children adding paper to blender
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Children blending old paper to make pulp
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Forming the hard sheet of paper
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Removing excess water from finished product


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