Our Upper Grades students had a fantastic Expeditionary Thursday ET fieldwork today as part of their Science classes.
Green Engineering - Modeling the NYC Electrical Grid
Students constructed a model of the New York City electrical system. First, they watched a video and read anchor texts about the NYC blackout to understand the importance of the electrical grid. Students then formed groups based on their interests as either engineers, model builders, or exhibit designers. Groups submitted sketches of their proposed plan/scale, drew/created a schematic, learned soldering, and built their models with given materials.
Biology - Studying the Perils of Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria
Students are in the midst of their expedition "Bacteria: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly." Students engaged in a lab using a variety of antibiotics (Tetracycline, Streptomyocin, Chloramphenicol, Ampilicillin, and Penicillin). They also watched the Frontline documentary "Hunting the Nightmare Bacteria" to learn more about the perils of "super bugs" (antibiotic resistant bacteria) - the documentary features three storylines about patients in India, NYC, and Maryland. Students discussed why drug companies don't want to invest in antibiotics which is exacerbating the situation. Students reflected on what makes the super bugs "ugly" in connection with their expedition theme.
Physics - Conducting Public Opinion Polls about US Military Research Spending
Students conducted brief polls at various locations about the guiding question "Should we invest in military research?" In class, students have been studying how military research/spending has become a "big business," and how politicians can be influenced by the wealthy. Students made inferences about whether there is a correlation between salary and how much a person thinks the US should spend on the military. Students engaged in public opinion polls in the streets of Brooklyn, then returned to school to share their data and construct a model to make a prediction about military research spending as a country.
Climate Change - Mapping the Effect of Hurricane Sandy on Red Hook
Students headed out into Red Hook to map the course of Hurricane Sandy through the neighborhood. First, they met as a whole group at the waterfront to discuss sea level rise and talk about the impact of Hurricane Sandy. Then the class divided into two groups and were each given a specific area of Red Hook. Students partnered up and took measurements within their map section, including elevation, flood levels, and what type of buildings were affected. The guiding question for the case study is "How can cartographers analyze and show the effect that Hurricane Sandy had on the Red Hook neighborhood?"
Chemistry - Researching Air Quality Risk Factors in four Brooklyn Neighborhoods
Students assessed four different neighborhoods (Red Hook, Gowanus, Sunset Park, and downtown Brooklyn) for potential air quality risk factors and plotted them on maps in their journal. Students collected and analyzed the amount of particulate matter present in these locations. Then students surveyed residents within their designated neighborhoods to determine the amount of people that suffer from respiratory issues.