Honeywell and New Jersey Audubon Partner with Jersey City Public Schools to Make Science Come Alive in the Classroom
September 22, 2016
Twenty Jersey City teachers said goodbye to their summer vacations in late August to learn urban sustainability lessons through the Honeywell Institute for Ecosystems Education (HIEE), an innovative four-day summer institute that combines classroom instruction with diverse outdoor experiences.
HIEE, a partnership between Honeywell and New Jersey Audubon, works in cooperation with Jersey City Public Schools to help teachers inspire their students to identify and address local environmental issues, create more sustainable communities and become scientists, inventors or engineers.
During HIEE, teachers engage in experiments and observations that utilize Jersey City's environment to learn about sustainable and unsustainable actions. By looking at runoff in an urban parking lot, teachers develop an understanding of land use and land cover and their relationship to ecosystems and habits. At a local park, the teachers learn about wetlands, birds, plants and soil by observing factors that affect ecosystem health. During a visit to a former reservoir they developed an environmental audit of plant diversity and an understanding of community resources.
In June, more than 80 Jersey City students showcased their sustainability projects learned during hands-on lessons taught by last year's HIEE teachers. The Jersey City Student Forum provided a unique opportunity for the students to share and learn from each other. They presented projects that ranged from window screens to improve a school's air quality, to the use of a hydroponics system to grow herbs and other crops for use by a school cafeteria.
“While many environmental education programs drive kids out to wetlands and nature preserves far from home, HIEE is different because we want students invested in local communities where they live,” said Dale Rosselet, Vice President of Education for New Jersey Audubon. “Honeywell and Audubon have developed a unique partnership that provides teachers new lessons about urban sustainability, strategies and curriculum for engaging students, and connections with community resources, so that they can inspire their students to be the next generation of scientists and engineers while improving the conservation of their communities.”
“The Honeywell Institute for Ecosystems Education represents an investment in the sustainability of our schools and our communities,” said Mike Bennett, President of Honeywell Hometown Solutions. “In addition, we want to help students prepare for jobs and work that will keep our country competitive and make a real difference in people's lives. HIEE provides Jersey City students with the opportunity to make an impact in their school and community while developing a passion for sustainability; urban conservation; and science, technology, engineering, and math education.”