For the fourth consecutive year, 50 Norwalk students are participating in the Mayor’s Summer Science & Engineering Program at The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk. This unique week-long summer experience is the result of an ongoing partnership between the City of Norwalk and The Maritime Aquarium.
“This camp is a wonderful opportunity for our students to learn about and develop an appreciation of Long Island Sound and all of its inhabitants and unique qualities,” said Norwalk Mayor Harry Rilling. “This program is a wonderful partnership between the city and The Maritime Aquarium, and would not be possible without the generous support of Eversource and other organizations. Thank you to everyone who helped make this program possible for Norwalk students.”
Norwalk students can attend the program free of charge thanks to contributions from local businesses and organizations. The 2018 program is funded by generous contributions from lead sponsor Eversource, and other organizations including First County Bank, GGP, King Industries, and Bankwell.
“The Mayor’s summer program is really powering the possibilities for our youth,” said Eversource President of Corporate Citizenship Rod Powell. “We’re excited to help give back to students who may not have had the opportunity to dive deeper into the subjects of science, engineering, or conservation this summer. We’re proud to be a sponsor of this wonderful program.”
The first session took place June 25–29, 2018. The second session starts today, Monday, July 30 and runs until Friday, August 3. Mayor Rilling will visit the Aquarium on Wednesday, August 1, at 2:15 p.m. where he will participate in a workshop where students will create a shoreline model and demonstrate erosion.
Each day of the 2018 camp has a different focus: marine technology, conservation, resilience, ecosystems and animal care. Activities include: building hydraulic arms and simple submarines; encountering live fish, crabs and other animals during a beach exploration and out on Long Island Sound aboard the Aquarium’s research vessel; designing “enrichments” for the Aquarium’s octopus; examining plankton under microscopes; going “behind-the-scenes” to see how the Aquarium operates; and more.
“We thank the city and all the business sponsors who make this unique program possible,” said Tom Naiman, the Aquarium’s director of Education. “For the students, we want them to have a fun and exciting week, but also to discover the special opportunities here throughout their years in high school. Our free after-school TeMPEST program will support their academics and prepare them for life after graduation. And our Volunteer program can give them more connections with marine animals, poise at speaking in public, and community-service hours for their college applications.”
Initial funding for the Mayor’s program came in 2015 from money raised through energy-efficiency evaluations available to Norwalk homeowners, in a program begun by the Mayor’s Energy & Environment Task Force (MEETF). Council President John Kydes, who also chairs the MEETF, Norwalk Public Schools Interim Chief Academic Officer Craig Creller, and Assistant City Clerk Irene Dixon were instrumental in putting the program together.
“We continue to get great feedback from the students who have participated in the program,” Kydes said. “This collaboration between the City, Board of Education and Maritime has successfully achieved the goal of making learning fun with this great summer program.”
The Mayor’s Student Engineering & Science Program is just one of many camps offered this summer at The Maritime Aquarium. To learn more about all of the Aquarium’s summer programs for ages 6-14, call (203) 852-0700, ext. 2206, or go to www.maritimeaquarium.org.