7th graders from ES-M study Onondaga Lake cleanup

Onondaga Lake

A group of about 100 seventh graders from the East Syracuse-Minoa School District came to Onondaga Lake Park Friday to learn about the past, present, and future of Onondaga Lake.

These students were able to talk with Honeywell International to get an economic perspective, as well as a group of Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) Native Americans who offered their input on what the future of the lake should be.

These seventh graders were also able to speak with park staff about the benefits the lake has to the community, citing swimming, fishing, and boating as possible uses for the lake going forward.

On October 31 the students will present their own plan for the future of Onondaga Lake. Information from their trip Friday will be used in their presentation.

Daniel Steinhauer was on of the seventh graders out on Friday at the lake. "It's been really fun, it's the second field trip we've been on in a while. It's kind of been around Onondaga Lake and the history of it, it's been fun," says Steinhauer.

Brandon Murphy was alongside these kids from the SUNY-ESF outreach program. "We're really getting to hit in a very short period of time very different ecosystems from the birds to the bugs the macro invertebrates to the fish so they're really getting to see a whole ecosystem," says Murphy.

Sara Hughes is a teacher at East Syracuse Minoa. "This is what we work to do all year long is to integrate these twenty first first century skills and the real life experiences -- authentic learning to get kids out in the community and hope to give something back," says Hughes.

Some of this giving back will be when the kids present a presentation later this month from today's program offering their input on the future of the lake to everyone they met today.

"A bunch of kids thought adding a beach would be cool but some kids thought it wouldn't be good to add all the sand because it would take away the natural part of it," says Steinhauer.

Teachers with the district say it was great to be able to combine science, math, and social studies all in one program.