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UMCES helps bring science into New York classrooms

October 31, 2014
Science Integrator Simon Costanzo speak at the Billion Oyster Project kickoff at New York Harbor.

The University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science is helping to bring science in the classroom in New York City as part of the Billion Oyster Project (BOP) in New York Harbor, a National Science Foundation project aimed at delivering environmental restoration education to New York City public schools. The Integration and Application Network will develop a state-of- the-art digital platform that will provide a portal for students and teachers to access and analyze real-time water quality data and view the growth of oyster gardens via underwater cameras.

A three-year, $5 million grant project led by Pace University's School of Education will be implemented by a consortium of partners including New York Harbor Foundation, New York City Department of Education, Columbia's Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory, New York Academy of Sciences, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, Good Shepherd Services, New York Aquarium, The River Project, SmartStart ECS, and others.

New York Harbor School students show off oysters they're learning how to grow and measure.

“UMCES is basically using tools we’ve developed to help monitor the health of the Chesapeake Bay and applying them to this project that brings students and teachers together in restoration-based education,” said Science Integrator Simon Costanzo. “It’s an interesting project that hopes to be a model for other school districts across the country.”

The grant will create an accredited math and science teacher training program at Pace University, an interdisciplinary Harbor Literacy and marine STEM-C curriculum for NYC schools, and develop afterschool STEM mentoring through the New York Academy of Sciences, museum and aquarium.

UMCES’ Integration and Application Network will develop a state of the art digital platform that will provide a portal for students and teachers to access and analyze real time water quality data, view progress of restoration efforts via underwater cameras, and access the newly developed curriculum.