The following segment originally aired on WPTZ February 12, 2020


ESSEX, N.Y. — Fifth through eighth-grade students with interests in the STEM field gathered in Essex on Wednesday to learn about environmental impacts.

The Watershed Science Fair, hosted by Lake Champlain Sea Grant’s Watershed Alliance and CFES Brilliant Pathways, offers an interactive experience for learning about local waterways.

Education Specialist Nate Trachte, who works for Lake Champlain Sea Grant’s Watershed Alliance, says it’s never too early to teach youth about taking care of where they live.

“They’re the generation that is going to really feel the effects, both negative and positive, of the decisions that are made here in the basin,” he said.

Students explored new technologies and tools in breakout sessions.

A remotely operated vehicle, named Gary, caught the attention of most of the students, as they got to operate the underwater camera themselves. Students explored footage of Lake Trout and Lake Champlain. The device can determine the temperature of the lake and the depth it’s submerged under water.

In the breakout sessions, students learned about other things such as indicator species, pollution and erosion.

Sixth-grade student Celton Dupuis says he and his fellow students have a duty to learn about and take care of their environment.

“We need to protect the future,” he said. “If we don’t really start learning more about our environment and how to help it, it might just start to fall apart.”

This is the first watershed science fair since the Lake Champlain Sea Grant’s Watershed Alliance and CFES Brilliant Pathways established their partnership.