Grade 7 Studies New York’s Resilient Neighborhoods During Ecology Residency

During a five-day residency at The Brizendine Center for Ecology, Grade 7 students used their math, history, art, science and English skills to explore how and why New York is a resilient city. 

To more deeply consider this concept, students spent one day visiting various neighborhoods and educational centers and participated in several interactive, hands-on experiences around the city. One group visited Rocking the Boat, a community-based organization on The Bronx River that teaches unique and lifelong skills in water restoration, boat building and sailing. Spence students also learned about the importance of keeping water clean and free of bacteria, litter and waste, on both a local and global level. They then collaborated to conduct a water quality assessment on the river and a design-a-water-filter challenge using paper coffee filters, cotton balls and an assortment of gravel and rocks. 

Other group excursions included a trip to the New York Historical Society to study immigration from 1609 through the 20th century, and a trip to the Center for Architecture to better understand neighborhood design and zoning. 

Back at 412, Grade 7 students participated in project-based learning to conceptualize sustainable urban planning, public health and community gardens. The residency culminated in a mock City Council presentation where students referenced information they acquired during the week to develop policy proposals addressing New York City-specific climate change.