Paper No. 12
Presentation Time: 8:00 AM-12:05 PM
The National Science Foundation Teaching Fellows in K-12 Education (GK-12) program, sponsored by Brooklyn College, promotes relationships between scientists in graduate education and inner city public schools. Working with underrepresented minority students in Brooklyn improves the Fellows’ teaching and communications skills while enriching the Earth Science Regents Curriculum for the students of S.T.A.R (Science Technology and Research) Early College High School. The Prospect Park-as-a-Lab project was designed to introduce students to authentic, research-based experiences in which they collect data and perform geospatial analysis using GPS and GIS. The study, conducted over the course of one academic year, focuses on the effects of climate on trees, soils, and water systems of Brooklyn’s largest public park. Students are able to examine how these systems interact with each other and change throughout the year, particularly in the context of nutrient transportation among the interrelated systems. GK-12 Fellows visit the schools twice a week, collaborating with the teachers to tailor the project to: 1) meet National and NY State science standards; 2) provide the appropriate academic rigor for K-12 students; and 3) find relatively inexpensive and sustainable tools and resources. The fellows’ dedication to inquiry and placed-based education has already improved students grades and interest in science as they build relationships with Brooklyn College faculty. This project also aims to provide a sustainable public project that can be used in the future in Prospect Park, in other parks around the country, and globally.