Polytechnic University of Valencia Congress, Third International Conference on Higher Education Advances

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Researcher, PI and CEO - Managing a Large Scale Environmental Restoration Project in New York City; Creating Expectations, Establishing Structure, Protocols and Realistic Outcomes
Lauren Beth Birney, George Diamantakos

Last modified: 30-05-2017



Research consistently shows that children who have opportunities to actively investigate natural settings and engage in problem-based learning greatly benefit from the experiences? This project developed a model of curriculum and community enterprise to address that issue within the nation's largest urban school system. Middle school students will study New York Harbor and the extensive watershed that empties into it, as they conducted field research in support of restoring native oyster habitats. The project builds on the existing Billion Oyster Project, and was implemented by a broad partnership of institutions and community resources, including Pace University, the New York City Department of Education, the Columbia University Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, the New York Academy of Sciences, the New York Harbor Foundation, the New York Aquarium, and others. The project model includes five interrelated components: A teacher education curriculum, a digital platform for project resources, museum exhibits, and an afterschool STEM mentoring program. It targets middle-school students in low-income neighborhoods with high populations of English language learners and students from groups underrepresented in STEM fields and education pathways. This paper explores the management of this large-scale project and provides insight with regard to the governance of the various project components.


Key words (project-based learning, environmental restoration, educational technology)

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