Marshmallows and toothpicks help break ice

Students kicked off the 2009 Science Horizons Program sponsored by Bristol-Myers Squibb by participating in an icebreaker activity during orientation at Syracuse University.

In order to foster teamwork, students from middle schools throughout Onondaga County had to build a tower using marshmallows and toothpicks. The tower had to stand on its own and the tallest tower won.

The 17th annual Summer Science Adventure ran from July 6 to 10 at Syracuse University. The student selection criteria included interest in science, academic achievement, openness to new ideas, cooperative attitude, the ability to work with others and the potential to benefit from the program.

Fully funded by Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) and hosted by University College of Syracuse University, the program gives local seventh and eighth grade students an opportunity to learn from highly technical and innovative scientists while experiencing a variety of scientific adventures. Science Horizons students take part in hands-on activities, attend presentations and discussions, and go on field trips. Planned activities include exploration in the fields of engineering, geology, chemistry, meteorology, technology as well as a tour of the Bristol-Myers Squibb facility. This exploration is designed to pique curiosity and establish a long-lasting interest in the sciences.

Science Horizons is staffed by experienced science teachers, Syracuse University students, and Science Horizons alumni from area high schools. Faculty and staff from Syracuse University, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, SUNY Upstate Medical University and other organizations also serve as lecturers and field trip hosts.

(From left) Emily Hinman Denniston of Durgee Junior High School in Baldwinsville and Francine Yanchik of Grant Middle School in Syracuse work together to build their marshmallow and toothpick tower.

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