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Inspiring students to solve environmental issues and pursue STEM careers; Maryland Delegate Adelaide Eckhart praises students' conservation efforts
MORRIS TOWNSHIP, N.J., July 19, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- More than 70 gifted and talented students, grades 6-10, worked alongside top scientists and researchers collecting and analyzing data on the health of the Chesapeake Bay. The two week summer science and environmental program ran July 6 to July 19 and was hosted by Honeywell (NYSE: HON) at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science's Horn Point Laboratory in Cambridge, Maryland.
The Honeywell Institute for Ecosystems Education (HIEE) started in 2010 and is coordinated through the Maryland State Department of Education's Gifted and Talented Summer Center. The program uses the Investigating and Evaluating Environmental Issues and Actions (IEEIA) method, which operates on the belief that students learn best by choosing subjects of interest and fully immersing themselves into that subject matter.
Maryland Delegate Adelaide "Addie" Eckhart, a longtime advocate for education and the environment, praised the 73 students and 15 teachers for their active participation in local conservation efforts. "The Chesapeake Bay is an integral part of our community's well being, and we thank Honeywell for their ongoing commitment to our students, teachers and community," she said.
"By engaging students in the issues and sciences that are of critical importance to our state, the Honeywell Institute for Ecosystems Education program ensures that we have both local and global stewards to safeguard our environment for years to come," she added.
Honeywell's goal is to increase students' awareness in environment issues in ways that will inspire them to contribute to environmental changes in their community, work with local scientists, influence local politicians and pursue careers in environmental science, math, technology and engineering (STEM) education. The program is aligned with Next Generation Science Standards, a national benchmark for STEM.
"I participated in Honeywell Institute for Ecosystems in 2013 and it was at that moment that I realized I had the power to change my environment," said Sincere Chandler, an HIEE alumnus from Dorchester County. "It was here working with scientists that I realized that I want to do this as a career." Chandler is now pursuing his education to be an environmental researcher and activist.
"We strongly believe that getting students fully immersed in these subjects helps them to better understand the environment and sustainability concepts," said Tom Buckmaster, President, Honeywell Hometown Solutions, the company's corporate citizenship organization and sponsor of HIEE. "Students not only learn about local and global environmental issues, they are also practicing critical thinking, problem solving and research techniques. These life skills can serve them well throughout their school years and beyond."
The program trains teachers on how to use the successful IEEIA method in their classrooms to engage students and jump-start their interest in environmental issues. They also learn how to identify gifted and talented students in their classrooms.
"This is a one-of-a-kind professional development program," said Lisa Antunes, a science teacher from Deep Creek Middle School in Baltimore County. "I plan to reinvent my teaching to become more student-driven, bring students outdoors to investigate their world and make connections that will inspire them to solve environmental problems in the future. I am confident that this teaching technique will have a ripple effect that will inspire hundreds of my students to become our next-generation biologists, physicists and soil engineers," Antunes added.
"This partnership with Honeywell allows our scientists to work side-by-side with students and teachers," said Dr. Michael Roman, director of the Horn Point Laboratory. "Together, the scientists, teachers and students gain a lot out of this program, which is a win-win for all."
"Honeywell has been a strong partner in our drive to offer educational opportunities to Maryland's teachers and students," said Stephanie F. Zenker, Specialist in Gifted and Talented Education, Maryland State Department of Education. "Through Honeywell's commitment, we are able to educate students on local environmental issues and inspire them to pursue STEM subjects."
Since 2010, 382 gifted and talented students and 89 teachers from Maryland have participated in this program.
Honeywell International (www.honeywell.com) is a Fortune 100 diversified technology and manufacturing leader, serving customers worldwide with aerospace products and services; control technologies for buildings, homes, and industry; automotive products; turbochargers; and performance materials. Based in Morris Township, N.J., Honeywell's shares are traded on the New York, London, and Chicago Stock Exchanges. For more news and information on Honeywell, please visit www.honeywellnow.com.
About Honeywell Hometown Solutions
Honeywell Hometown Solutions, the company's corporate citizenship initiative, focuses on five areas of vital importance: Science & Math Education, Family Safety & Security, Housing & Shelter, Habitat & Conservation, and Humanitarian Relief. Together with leading public and non-profit institutions, Honeywell has developed powerful programs to address these needs in the communities it serves. For more information, please visit http://citizenship.honeywell.com/.
About Horn Point Laboratory
The Horn Point Laboratory, located on the banks of the Choptank River on Maryland's Eastern Shore, is part of a network of University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science laboratories across the state that conduct cutting-edge research into today's most pressing environmental problems and train the next generation of environmental scientists. Horn Point's researchers are widely respected for their interdisciplinary programs in oceanography, water quality, restoration of sea grasses, marshes and shellfish and for expertise in ecosystem modeling, with ongoing research programs spanning from the estuarine waters of the Chesapeake Bay to the open waters of the world's oceans
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