FIRST Tech Challenge Game Released

Season Kickoff: FIRST® RELIC RECOVERYSM Presented by Qualcomm® Incorporated
Experience the thrill of discovery in the 2017-2018 FIRST® Tech Challenge season: FIRST® RELIC RECOVERYSM presented by Qualcomm. This season, an estimated 60,000 students from 25 countries will design, build, program, and operate robots to play the adventure-themed game. During their expedition, students will form alliances, practice engineering principles, and develop STEM skills.

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NYC Department of Education 2017 Energy Challenge

The Office of Sustainability, in coordination with Solar One, invite New York City DOE Schools to participate in the first ever DOE-wide 2017 Energy Reduction Challenge. The Challenge will start on October 2nd and end December 1st, 2017.


The Challenge will be based on student and staff-based efforts to promote energy conservation in the classroom and enhance school-wide involvement in energy conservation efforts. Each participating school will be required to submit a report of activities performed during the challenge (see Challenge Overview for more information). School reports will be given points based on activities conducted during the challenge. The top five (5) schools that earn the most points during the 2-month event will each be awarded $10,000, to be transferred to the Principal’s Galaxy Budget for use on sustainability related projects during FY18. For more information on the Challenge and how to participate, see the Energy Challenge Overview.

To enroll your school in the Challenge, register HERE by 5 PM on Friday, September 29th.

For questions contact Lisa Williams, Energy Coordinator, at 718-349-5790.

Water Ecology & Engineering Field Trips

All 5 NYC Boroughs For School Groups Grades 2-12

NYC H2O offers free Water Engineering and Ecology Field Trips in all 5 boroughs.
Our field trip sites are: Central Park Reservoir, Manhattan Silver Lake Reservoir, Staten
Island Baisley Pond, Queens Lemon Creek, Staten Island Ridgewood Reservoir, Brooklyn Jerome Park Reservoir, Bronx High Bridge, Bronx & Manhattan Plumb Beach, Brooklyn Reservoirs:  Each reservoir has its own dramatic story.

NYC H2O’s talented team engages students in hands-on outdoor activities that show how reservoirs were constructed for NYC’s water system. Students learn how parks and trees protect reservoirs as part of experiencing these seldom visited, public ‘natural’ treasures.

Wetlands: NYC H2O’s field trips to Lemon Creek, Staten Island, and Plumb Beach, Brooklyn, give students the opportunity to explore fresh and salt water wetlands and discover the crucial role these environments play in supporting harbor ecology and mitigating storm surges. The field trips are free; reservations require a $50 deposit, refunded once a class goes on a field trip. Reserve your school’s field trip.

This program is sponsored in part by NYC DEP, Catskill Watershed Corporation, Aggreko,
Turtle & Hughes, United Electric Power and Skanska.


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How to Do a Science Fair Project

This five-part video series from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) guides students in grades 3–12 through the process of developing a successful science fair project from start to finish. Featuring input from a JPL scientist, an engineer, and an educator, the videos help students learn to ask testable questions about the things they observe in the world around them and mold the observations into viable science inquiry investigations. The videos address topics such as how to choose a science fair project topic, how to conduct research and design an experiment, and how to examine the results and communicate the experiment. PDF transcripts of each video are also available.

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Climate Change Research Initiative for Educators

Climate Change Research Initiative
The NASA GISS Climate Change Research Initiative (CCRI) is a year-long STEM engagement opportunity for STEM educators to work directly with NASA scientists, lead research teams, and develop STEM curricula for their current classes. Educators participating in this opportunity will become associate researchers at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies and STEM education experts who will integrate NASA education resources and content into their classrooms while improving STEM education within their communities.
During the fall and spring terms of CCRI, the research team will consist of NASA Principal Investigators who will lead graduate level interns and high school educators to become immersed in a NASA science research area related to climate change. High school and undergraduate students will join the teams during the summer session.
Participating high school STEM educators will develop an Applied Research STEM Curriculum Unit Portfolio that integrates components of their research into a comprehensive unit plan that utilizes NASA education resources and aligns NASA Science and STEM curricula to the Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards. The teachers will then incorporate the STEM curriculum into their classrooms and also provide community outreach STEM engagement events related to their NASA research study. The fall and spring term will not conflict with the educators’ primary schedule, roles or responsibilities at their school sites.
For graduate student interns, this opportunity will not conflict with coursework and class schedules during the fall and spring. It is considered to be a part-time position that supports the graduate student’s major area of study that will not exceed 10 hours per week
During the summer session, the primary research team will add an undergraduate intern and high school intern to the CCRI research team. The entire team will work collaboratively on a full-time basis to complete the research project, deliver a PowerPoint presentation, and create a scientific poster that will be presented at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies and the CUNY CREST Summer STEM Symposium. The final symposium will include participants from other government agencies, such as the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the United States Department of Education (USDE), and the United States Department of Defense (DoD).
CCRI Research Opportunities for 2017-2018
I. Volcanoes Impact Climate on Local to Global Scale Through Their Emissions
Location: NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies
Dr. Allegra LeGrande
II. Climate Change in the Hudson Estuary — Past, Present, and Future
Location: Columbia Univ. Lamont–Doherty Earth Observatory (Palisades, NY) and NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies
Dr. Dorothy Peteet
III. West African Monsoon Climate Modeling
Location: NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies
Dr. Matthew Fulakeza
IV. Urban Climate Adaptation Research: New Technologies, Materials & Thinking
Location: NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies
Dr. Stuart Gaffin
Applicants should reside within a 50-mile radius of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, located at 2880 Broadway, New York, NY 10025.
Educators:: Please submit the following materials in your application to Mr. Matthew Pearce at the address listed below:
+ Completed application form.
+ Resumé including cover letter and curriculum vitae. Also, indicate the research opportunities for which you would like to be considered.
+ Two letters of recommendation from a supervisor (Principal, Assistant Principal, Department Chair).
+ Copy of State or Federal Photo ID
Educator applicants must be currently employed as full time STEM educators and also be US citizens in order to participate in this opportunity. The closing date for applications is September 21, 2017.
For more information, please dowload and read the educator recruitment posting (PDF).
Graduate Students: To review specific details about the research opportunity and to submit applications, visit the NASA OSSI: One Stop Shopping Initiative website at (On the OSSI site, click on the Search Opportunities tab and select GISS in the Center/Facility location field.)
Grad student applicants must be currently enrolled in a graduate level program of study or higher that aligns with the research project they are applying to. Travel, housing and relocation expenses are not provided.
Applications are evaluated upon receipt, and applicants are encouraged to apply early. The closing date for applications is September 21, 2017.
For more information, please download and read the grad srtudent recruitment posting (PDF).
High School and Undergraduate Students: Application information for high school and undergraduate student interns to participate in the CCRI summer 2018 session will be posted on the NASA OSSI website when it becomes available during winter 2017-18.
Please address all inquiries about the Climate Change Research Initiative to:
Matthew Pearce
Education Program Specialist
NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies
2880 Broadway
New York, NY 10025

Celebrate Science & Math w/ Nat Geo & Win $400,000 in Cash & Prizes!

The Breakthrough Junior Challenge is a global initiative to develop and demonstrate young people’s knowledge of science and scientific principles, generate excitement in science and math, support STEM career choices, and engage the imagination and interest of the public-at-large in key concepts of fundamental science.
To take part in the Challenge, students aged 13 to 18 must submit a 3-minute video on a theory or concept in math, physics or the life sciences. All entries must be received by October 1st, and the winner will also be invited to the internationally broadcasted 2017 Breakthrough Prize ceremony at NASA Ames, where the prize will be awarded in front of the superstars of science, Silicon Valley, and Hollywood.
The prizes are spectacular: The student winner receives a $250,000 college scholarship, their school gets a new $100,00 science lab, and their teacher wins $50,000.
Please contact with any questions.

Trips, Partnerships and PD opportunities at ESC


Service in Schools Service-Learning Institute
K-12 teachers in all content areas are invited to apply for the Service in Schools Service-Learning Institute, an exciting opportunity to participate in three full-days of professional learning focused on implementing service-learning in their classrooms and building a culture of service in their schools. The Service-Learning Institute will be led by international service-learning expert Cathryn Berger Kaye and will take place in Midtown West Manhattan on Tuesday, October 17, Tuesday, January 9, and Wednesday, April 18. Session topics include: the foundations of service-learning, developing a unit of study with service-learning integration, and creating a schoolwide culture of service, with a focus on connecting service to classroom curriculum and leading students through action that helps the community. Teachers selected to participate are required to attend all three days of the Institute. Click here for more information and click here to apply. For questions, email are due by Wednesday, September 20, 2017.

ESC is hosting CTLE approved professional development for classroom teachers of grades K, 3 and 5. Applications will be released on October 17, 2017. Any teacher in grades K, 3 and 5 interested in applying should email to be added to our distribution list.


Single Class Field Trip Registration

The Environmental Study Center is now accepting trip registrations for field trips through December 22, 2017.  Our programming is open for teachers and their students in grades K through 12th grade.  Please click here to register for a class.  We cannot wait to see you!


Multi-class Hydroponic, Aquaculture, and Aquaponics Registration


Elementary Hydroponics (Grades 4-5):

In small groups, students will set up, maintain, monitor, and harvest leafy greens and herbs in their own mini hydroponic system. Students will learn about water chemistry, plant nutrients, healthy eating, data collection, and photosynthesis in action.

Hydroponics (Grade 6-8):

ESC offers partnership opportunities for middle schools in our state-of-the-art Hydroponics, Aquaculture, and Aquaponics Learning Lab. In small groups, learners will propagate seeds, continually monitor water chemistry, collect data on plant growth, and finally harvest and enjoy their bounty. Not only will learners be fully immersed in the scientific aspect of hydroponics, they will have the opportunity to connect hydroponics to the real-world. As part of this program, students will develop a research question, and set-up their system to complete their investigation. This six-week partnership program is recommended for highly motivated middle school classes.

Hydroponics, Aquaculture, and Aquaponics (Grades 9-12):

ESC offers two different partnership opportunities for high schools in our state-of-the-art Hydroponics, Aquaculture, and Aquaponics Learning Lab. Hydroponic technology allows plants to grow in a nutrient rich solution without soil, while aquaponics integrates hydroponics with aquaculture to raise tilapia alongside leafy greens in a symbiotic environment. Learners will set up and maintain a variety of hydroponic and aquaponics systems. Learners will propagate seeds, continually monitor water chemistry, collect data on plant and fish growth, and harvest and enjoy their bounty. Not only will learners be fully immersed in the scientific aspect of aquaculture, they will have the opportunity to connect hydroponics to real-world business and marketing. This six-week partnership program is recommended for research classes, AP Environmental Science, AP Biology, and Living Environment Regents classes.


Any teacher interested in applying for a multi-class partnership with ESC should click here.

Environmental Study Center

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Accessibility Day at the Central Park Zoo

Dear Educators,
Welcome back!  The education staff at the Central Park Zoo are pleased to announce that we are hosting a family Accessibility Day at the Central Park Zoo on Saturday, October 7, 2017.  Families of children with special needs can explore the zoo an hour before the gates open to the general public!  In addition to early access to the zoo, families will also enjoy Wildlife Theater performances, a scavenger hunt around the zoo, and up-close animal encounters.
I have attached a flyer with more information about this great family experience.  Please share it with your staff and students. If you have any questions, please feel free to email me or call 800-433-4149 (follow the prompts for Central Park Zoo Education). 

Science over Everything

Founded by Cincinnati educator and science writer Chris Anderson, this blog analyzes current events in science and makes the content relevant to students. Recent posts highlighted issues such as the future of the Environmental Protection Agency, microplastics in the ocean, and the tantalizing potential of the Hyperloop, a new proposed transit mode that aims to be as fast as a plane, cheaper than a train, and continuously available in any weather—all while emitting no carbon from the tailpipe. The blog content is most appropriate for the high school level (grades 9–12),though teachers of any level who love to learn about how science affects our daily lives will likely be intrigued by it. Use the posts as conversation starters in the classroom, or click on the Teacher Resources section to access “Explainers,” short explanatory documents about challenging topics such as Natural Selection and Types of Chemical Bonds.

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#ProjectPhenomena and the NGSS

Want to learn more about phenomena-based instruction in Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) classrooms? At the website, teachers can access an annotated database of more than 50 science phenomena, including Mercury’s Transit Across the Sun; An Ocean Predator’s Travel Patterns Across the Pacific Ocean; Magnet Interactions; The World’s Fastest Runners: Slowed Down and Up Close; and other engaging occurrences or events. Each entry features a brief description of the phenomenon, suggestions for classroom use, key Disciplinary Core Ideas, and a targeted grade level (among grades 3–12). The website also presents the criteria required for selecting phenomena useful for NGSS instruction. Once teachers are familiar with the criteria, they can submit additional phenomena to the database.


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