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Westchester Students Getting a River of Knowledge With Con Edison Grant

Emely Gutierrez and Jayden Jones got an unforgettable lesson in mapping, ecology and history recently all within the time it took them to visit the Hudson River Museum as part of Con Edison’s STEM Days Out program.

Emely and Jayden, sixth-graders at Museum 25 School in Yonkers, were beaming after their visit, which also included seventh-graders from Palisade Preparatory School.

“The Hudson River has been a resource to us for a long time and we want it to stay that way, so it’s important that we keep it clean,” said Jayden, describing his most important lesson from the tour.

Emely said she enjoyed peering through binoculars and looking across the iconic waterway from the museum’s Riverama room. “You could see the beauty of what nature has made,” she said.

Con Edison’s STEM Days Out provides $25,000 grants to each of nine cultural institutions in New York City and Westchester County. The museums use the grants to enrich young people’s knowledge of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

Students who visit the Hudson River Museum as part of STEM Days Out see how Native Americans made canoes, learn the history of mapping the river, and view exhibits on the river’s place in the ecosystem. In the museum’s planetarium, they see the wonders of astronomy.

“You see the excited looks on the faces of the children who visit the museum and you just know they’re fascinated and curious,” said Hilary S. Ayala, director of Strategic Partnerships for Con Edison. “The museum and its wonderful staff give these young people the chance to experience the sights and sounds of the Hudson River, one of our area’s most famous and important resources.”

The museum has a long history as an important cultural institution in Westchester. It was founded in 1919 and includes art collections, Glenview (a restored 19th-century home), a 450-seat amphitheater and other features.

STEM Days Out events are held the first Wednesday of each month through May 2016. Title I public middle school classes are visiting:

  • Wave Hill and the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx,
  • The Brooklyn Children’s Museum,
  • The American Museum of Natural History, the National Museum of Math, and the Intrepid in Manhattan,
  • The New York Hall of Science in Queens,
  • The Staten Island Museum and
  • The Hudson River Museum in Westchester.

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Con Edison provides more than $10 million in financial and in-kind contributions to students and nonprofits in New York City and Westchester that enhance STEM education. Funding includes support for scholarships to students majoring in STEM fields, as well as program support for summer internships and year-round programs benefitting underprivileged and minority students.