Engineering & Science Program Announced for 7th & 8th Graders this Summer

Mayor's Engineering & Science Program for 7th & 8th Graders
Posted on 03/05/2015
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Up to 50 7th and 8th grade students will be selected for the Mayor’s Student Engineering & Science Program, to be held this summer as a new element in The Maritime Aquarium’s summer youth programming.

Current Norwalk 7th and 8th graders can apply soon for a free week of fun, intensive explorations of our marine world this summer at The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk, funded by city residents’ enthusiasm for becoming more energy efficient.
Half of the students will participate June 29-July 3; the other 25, Aug. 10-14.

The program will be free for 7th and 8th graders in the Norwalk Public Schools, thanks to $20,000 raised by the Norwalk Energy Efficiency Challenge. The challenge was started last year by the Mayor’s Energy and Environment Task Force (MEETF) and continues in 2015. The Norwalk Energy Efficiency Challenge encourages Norwalk homeowners to complete a $99 Home Energy Assessment. With every completed Home Energy Assessment, the homeowner will receive $1,000 worth of services and save a minimum of $250 on their annual energy costs. Plus, for each assessment, up to $75 will be donated to the MEETF.

“This is truly a win-win for Norwalk,” said Councilman John Kydes, chairman of the MEETF. “City residents are saving money on energy costs, and the reduced energy demand is better for the environment. And donations are fully funding a program that will educate and inspire our city’s young teens.”  

Maritime Aquarium educators will explain details of the program – and how to apply – to students at the city’s four middle schools later this month. 

Students must be in good academic standing and will be chosen based on need, their interest in engineering and/or marine sciences, and other criteria. Applications, which will include a hand-written essay, will be available from middle-school science teachers. They’re due May 1.  

Curriculum was designed by the MEETF, which includes Tamre-Diane Mockus, K-12 Science & Health Instructional Specialist for the Norwalk Board of Education; Tom Naiman, the Aquarium’s Director of Education; and Ann Marie Lisi, the Aquarium’s In-House Programs Manager.

Planned activities include building and testing a hydrophone; learning about diving and SCUBA equipment from the Aquarium’s Dive Team; participating in a hands-on study cruise aboard the Aquarium’s state-of-the-art new research vessel; creating “enrichments” to keep the Aquarium’s river otters engaged; designing pollution filters; and making discoveries about marine animals during an exploration at Calf Pasture Beach.

Programs will be led by Maritime Aquarium educators. They’ll meet from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Aquarium, with pre- and post-care available to help working parents. Transportation is not included.

“We’re very excited about this new summer program, which we see as just one of many community partnerships to develop,”  said Dr. Brian Davis, president of The Maritime Aquarium. “While The Maritime Aquarium is a regional resource for environmental education, we believe one of our strongest obligations and opportunities is right here in Norwalk.” 

To learn more about the Norwalk Energy Efficiency Challenge and to schedule your Home Energy Assessment, please call 1-877-WISE-USE (947-3873) and mention the Norwalk Energy Efficiency Challenge. 

The Mayor’s Student Engineering & Science Program is just one of many youth programs offered this summer at The Maritime Aquarium. To learn more about the Sound Science programs for ages 6-15, which begin June 22, call (203) 852-0700, ext. 2206, or go to