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Norwalk, Aquarium Partner To Host Students For Free Summer Program

Fifty Norwalk students will have the chance to attend a free weeklong summer educational experience at the Norwalk Aquarium.
Fifty Norwalk students will have the chance to attend a free weeklong summer educational experience at the Norwalk Aquarium. Video Credit: Jay Polansky

NORWALK, Conn. — A select group of up to 50 students will watch an IMAX movie at Norwalk's Maritime Aquarium and cruise the waters of Long Island Sound this summer — all while learning how to be good stewards of the environment.

The city of Norwalk is accepting applications for two free weeklong summer programs. They are open to current seventh- and eighth-graders at Norwalk’s public schools as well as those from All Saints Catholic and Side by Side Charter schools.

The program, which is in its second year, truly engages students in marine science, according to Norwalk Mayor Harry Rilling.

“It was amazing to see the looks on their faces, the interest and how excited they were to learn something that they wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity to learn if it wasn’t for the program,” Rilling said.

The program is instrumental in instilling a true appreciation of Long Island Sound and its ecosystem, he said.

Tamre-Diane Mockus, a Norwalk K-12 science and health instructional specialist, said the program is intended to be an authentic learning experience that instills a sense of stewardship in the students.

Kids who wish to apply to the program can fill out an application that includes a student information section and a written response. They must be in good academic standing and interested in engineering or the marine sciences, Mockus said.

The city is accepting applications until March 31. Students will find out whether they earned a slot in the program by mid- to late April, Mockus said.

Half of the students will participate in the program July 4 to 8, while the other half will participate Aug. 1 to 5. Both sessions are scheduled for 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the aquarium.

Pre and post-care is available for students, but transportation is not included in the program, which was funded by a donation by a home energy audit program. It is run as a partnership between the Mayor’s Energy and Environment Task Force, the city and the aquarium.

For more information on the Maritime Aquarium, visit its website here .

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