Conserve Wildlife Blog

Soaring with STEAM highlights conservation careers for middle schoolers with live wildlife, special guests, and Falcon Cam

December 13th, 2019

by: Alison Levine, Communications Coordinator

The third year of ‘Soaring with STEAM’ (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) educational programs in Union County and the Linden Public Schools is a great success thanks to program sponsor Phillips 66 Bayway Refinery.

Conserve Wildlife Foundation and the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders are honored that  Phillips 66 Bayway Refinery, located in Linden, New Jersey, sponsored a third year of educational programs at Linden Public Schools with a donation of $25,000. This sponsorship brings no-cost wildlife education events to administrators, teachers, students, and families in Linden and other locations in Union County, New Jersey.

Students in Linden were treated to the thrill of rare wildlife in an urban setting. This year’s program offered Linden middle schools a free assembly with live birds of prey, handled by Alexander Braunstein of the Tenafly Nature Center, to introduce students to the natural world all around them.

Assemblies also featured special guests who discussed diverse careers in wildlife and the environment, offering role models in STEAM-related fields for the middle school students. On October 28, Marc Rogoff, NJDEP Environmental Education Specialist addressed students at Soehl Middle School, and on November 4, Kim Case, NJ STEM Pathways Network Manager, spoke at McManus Middle School.

All third-grade students, at each of the eight elementary schools in the Linden Public Schools district, attended interactive programs that engage students with hands-on demonstrations of the peregrine falcon’s flight techniques and live viewings of CWF’s Union County Falcon Cam. The free Cam broadcasts rare peregrine falcons – the fastest animal on earth – that nest on the roof of the historic 17-story Union County Courthouse Tower, located in the bustling center of midtown Elizabeth.

Soaring with STEAM also provided free professional development workshops at Trailside Nature and Science Center in Mountainside for 20 Union County teachers and administrators. CWF Director of Education Stephanie DAlessio and Habitat Manager Ben Wurst delivered educational ideas, presentations, and the chance to interact with live wildlife so they can bring exciting and memorable curriculum back to their classrooms.

Back row, left to right: Stephanie DAlessio, Director of Education, Conserve Wildlife Foundation; Nancy Sadlon, Manager, Public Affairs, Phillips 66 Bayway Refinery; Alexander Braunstein, Public Engagement Coordinator / Environmental Educator, Tenafly Nature Center; Mary Phillips,Community Relations Coordinator, Phillips 66 Bayway Refinery; Kim Case, NJ STEM Pathways Network Manager.
Front row: Students from Linden’s McManus Middle School.

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