Minoa East Syracuse Minoa Central School District students benefit greatly from rewarding partnerships with the SUNY College of Environmental Science & Forestry (SUNY ESF) and the village of Minoa’s Cleanwater Educational Research Facility (CERF). The District honored both at a “Partnership for Learning” recognition on May 15.
“In the outside world, they want to see your performance. They want to see if you can apply what you know and do what will make a difference in the field that you choose. We are honoring two partnerships that allow our students to do that while they are still in high school,” said Dr. Donna DeSiato, ESM Superintendent.
This four year relationship involves two of ESM’s college classes entitled SUNY ESF: The Global Environment and Alternative Energy. These 3-credit courses stress a hands-on, systems approach to evaluate problems and potential solutions as well as the critical role of energy in many of the environmental challenges facing the world.
ESM students conduct on research projects at the CERF, collecting and compiling data for the village of Minoa. Students, for example, have worked four years on a compost project to determine what materials generate the most energy in a compost pile and how to use the compost to heat water and gylcol as well as radiantly heat a shed to grow plants in the winter.
“It’s a wonderful hands-on learning experience that has real application given our 21st century focus,” said ESM science teacher and SUNY ESF Alum Pamela Herrington.
The reach of the partnerships extends beyond the high school. Students at both Minoa and Woodland Elementary sort their cafeteria waste so it can be used in the compost pile at the CERF and for the high school students to experiment with while at CERF. While reducing the waste-stream in their school, students are helping the environment.