Chestnut Hill students tour Onondaga Lake as citizen scientists

Laszlo encouraged his students to apply classroom learning to the field.

"It fits into our life-science curriculum," he said "There are some things like we talked about adaptations of different species and the different habitats that they live in-all that kind of stuff. The other thing we can push on them is the impact that man has on the surrounding habitats and how related this all is to the lifeblood of the lake and the watershed."

The teacher, who started teaching in 1975, won the grant from Honeywell after applying jointly with sixth-grade teacher Jennifer Cohen from Long Branch Elementary in Liverpool. Her class will be going on a boat trip at a later date, Laszlo said.

Both were among fifteen teachers who took a HIEE workshop last year. The deadline for this year's Honeywell grant is June 17.

Teacher's can apply online at honeywell.com/Citizenship/Pages/habitat-conservation.aspx.

The students seemed to enjoy the excursion, though some didn't think they would take up birdwatching as a hobby, they enjoyed the time out of the classroom. One of them, Matthew Leonard, said he found it interesting.

"I liked the variety of all the birds," he said.

"It was pretty cool," said Kristin Aanonsen, another student. "I liked being out on the water."

In the mean time, the adults continued to encourage the students to learn more about the lake and its wildlife during their out-of-class time. "You guys can all make a difference," Moses told them.

Laszlo agreed with that sentiment and was grateful to the organizations involved for providing his students with the chance to see the lake from a different perspective.

"I really appreciate the fact that they are interested in increasing the knowledge base of the population so that in the future when decisions have to be made they going to be a little more informed," he said. "These kids still have the possibility in their life time of seeing some positive things out of Onondaga Lake."

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