Baldwinsville Jill Gravante, an Earth Science teacher at Durgee Junior High School, has been awarded a $500 Honeywell Institute for Ecosystems Studies Grant. The grant was open for application to all participants in last summer’s Honeywell Institute for Ecosystems in Education program, conducted at Onondaga Lake in partnership with the National Audubon Society.
After attending last summer’s program, Gravante started a science club at the junior high school in September. She applied for the grant to expand projects that the newly formed club has been working on throughout the year.
Club members have been researching local invasive species of birds on the school grounds. On their own time, students regularly observe and record information on the bird species that visit the bird feeders and houses located on school property. Funds from the grant will enable the club to purchase the materials necessary to build and maintain more feeders and houses, as well as for environmental projects.
The club sponsored an Earth Day cleanup of the district campus on April 20, and later in the spring club members will be working on removing water chestnuts from the Seneca River.