Current 7th- and 8th-graders in the Norwalk Public Schools can apply now for a free week of fun explorations of our marine world this summer at The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk.
Up to 50 youth can participate in the 2017 Mayor’s Student Engineering & Science Program, presented as part of The Maritime Aquarium’s summer camps. Half of the students will participate June 26-30; the other 25, July 31-Aug. 4.
It’s a free opportunity – of significant value – for the selected students. (The price of summer camp programs at The Maritime Aquarium ranges from $350 to $670 a week, depending on the age group and program.)
Applications are available now from 7th- and 8th-grade science teachers in the Norwalk Public Schools, as well as from those at All Saints Catholic and Side by Side Charter schools. Teachers also may recommend that certain students apply, although a teacher recommendation does not guarantee selection.
Completed applications are due back to designated science teachers on Fri., May 12. Students must be in good academic standing and will be chosen based on need, their interest in engineering and/or marine sciences, and other criteria.
This will be the third summer of the Mayor’s camp program. Initial funding came from money raised in energy-efficiency evaluations available to Norwalk homeowners, through a program begun in 2014 by the Mayor’s Energy & Environment Task Force (MEETF). The 2017 summer-camp programs will be funded by generous contributions from Bankwell and other local corporations.
Norwalk Councilman John Kydes, chairman of the MEETF, called the camp a great opportunity for 7th- and 8th-grade students.
“The demand for acceptance into the program has dramatically increased over the years so I recommend to parents that you get your child's application in before May 12,” Kydes said.
Mayor Harry Rilling praised the program.
“This camp is a wonderful experience for our students as it helps them to develop an awareness of, and an appreciation for, Long Island Sound,” Rilling said. “I wish to thank The Maritime Aquarium and Councilman John Kydes for bringing this opportunity to our students.”
Norwalk Schools Superintendent Dr. Steven Adamowski called the camp “an important summer learning opportunity for middle-grade students who learn best through 'hands-on' exploration activities.”
“It is a wonderful example of what leadership through partnerships can accomplish in our asset-rich city,” Adamowski said.
Dr. Brian Davis, president of The Maritime Aquarium, cited the camp as a positive connection between the Aquarium and the Norwalk community.
“In an obvious way, through interactions with live marine animals and our local environment, this program will be eye-opening to many of these students,” Davis said. “But we want it to also be eye-opening as they discover opportunities here at the Aquarium – perhaps as a volunteer, or the amazing things happening with high school students in our nationally recognized TeMPEST program. We want them to see themselves here for years beyond one week this summer.”
In the Mayor’s summer program, Maritime Aquarium educators will lead students in such activities as: building and testing a hydrophone; learning about SCUBA diving from the Aquarium’s Dive Team; participating in a hands-on study cruise aboard the Aquarium’s state-of-the-art new research vessel; creating “enrichments” to keep the Aquarium’s river otters engaged; and making discoveries about marine animals during an exploration at Calf Pasture Beach.
The programs will meet from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Aquarium, with pre- and post-care available to help working parents. Lunch is included, but transportation to and from the Aquarium is not.
The Mayor’s Student Engineering & Science Program is just one of many youth programs offered this summer at The Maritime Aquarium. To learn more about the Aquarium’s summer-camp programs for ages 6-15, which start the week of June 19, call (203) 852-0700, ext. 2206, or go to www.maritimeaquarium.org.