Project ECS@ESC is an innovative approach to STEM education that combines professional learning, instructional technology, and experiential STEM learning for PreK-12 students and teachers across New York City. The project provides educators with the tools and support needed to teach project-based science lessons rich in literacy and inquiry across all grade bands. Units of study are designed to focus on non-fiction text as a vehicle to support STEM instruction. The units are developed collaboratively between literacy, library, and science teacher teams with support specialists at the New York City Department of Education. Each unit of study is aligned to appropriate Literacy Common Core Learning Standards (specifically nonfiction/informational texts) as a springboard to enhance and support STEM instruction, as well as information literacy skills culled from the Empire State Information Fluency Continuum.
The NEW YORK CITY SCHOOL LIBRARY SYSTEM (NYCSLS) / OFFICE OF LIBRARY SERVICES is a New York City Department of Education program office that is a state-funded network of 42 New York State school library systems. The Office of Library Services offers an array of professional learning opportunities, tools, and services designed to support librarians, content area teachers and library programs in the very important work they do -- enabling our students to become independent learners.
At all grade levels, librarians help students grow as individuals by fostering a love of reading and learning; teaching students the critical thinking, technology, and literacy skills to ask good questions and investigate the answers; offering equitable access to resources and technology; and helping students make sense of the information they find to develop new understandings.
Libraries help students develop information skills so that after graduation they can enter the workforce or go to college armed with the skills of learning and inquiry that they will need to be successful. These skills are built continuously from kindergarten to 12th grade through library instruction, and are aligned to the Common Core Learning Standards.
The GENOVESI ENVIRONMENTAL STUDY CENTER (GESC) offers rich and engaging experiential environmental science programs for students and teachers at all grade levels. Nestled in the Bergen Beach section of Brooklyn, this 7,000 square foot learning center, sitting on over an acre of beautiful grounds, is home to over 200 living organisms, four dynamic learning labs (Flora, Fauna, STEM and a fully equipped biotechnology lab), an outdoor learning space with pond habitat and a greenhouse laboratory.
As a premier informal science destination space, GESC’s mission is to deliver hands on environmental science and STEM instruction. Through targeted standards-based enrichment programs, GESC’s highly trained staff encourage students to explore the urban habitats around them and become stewards for the environment. GESC engages students and teachers in experiences that challenge them to think critically about real-world contexts and issues from which STEM concepts and skills can be learned. GESC programs are age and grade appropriate, aligned to the NYC Science Scope and Sequence and the Common Core Learning Standards.
GESC has two unique learning labs dedicated specifically for plant (flora) and animal (fauna) investigations and research. Flora has four grow labs that provide GESC with a steady supply of plants to study. Flora also serves as a learning lab for our Hydroponics, Pondaponics and Aquaculture classes. The greenhouse is an active lab for botany instruction including numerous Hydroponic and Aquaponic systems. Fauna is home to over 100 Bess Beetles, Hermit Crabs and Fire-belly Frogs. Students and their teachers can participate in a variety of classes that include observation and interaction with these animals and many more mammals, reptiles, birds, amphibians, insects and marine life. GESC’s biotechnology lab provides students and their teachers the opportunity to work with professional, high-grade equipment. Our labs include DNA extraction, running gel electrophoresis, DNA fingerprinting and barcoding. Each lab is outfitted with a class set of microscopes and triple-beam balances.