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2017 Top-Rated Nonprofit

New York Sun Works Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Education, Elementary & Secondary Schools, Literacy, Primary & Elementary Schools, Secondary & High Schools

Mission: NY Sun Works is a non-profit organization that builds innovative science labs in urban schools. Through our Greenhouse Project Initiative we use hydroponic farming technology to educate students and teachers about the science of sustainability. We envision a generation of environmental innovators, empowered to create solutions to global resource challenges.

Results: NY Sun Works is an EPA, NAAEE and HBSCNY award-winning organization, and maintains a platinum rated status on Guidestar and a Top Rated status on Great Non Profits. By September 2017 school start there will be 70 Greenhouse project Labs up and running in the New York and New Jersey, and many more in development! To see a map of where we work, and the projects in development please visit our website at http://nysunworks.org/projects/ NY Sun Works has trained 300 + teachers in how to implement themes of Sustainability Science into the classroom. We have also trained specialized Greenhouse Project lab teachers at each partner school.

Target demographics: We teach students and teachers about Science and Sustainability.

Direct beneficiaries per year: In the last year we helped build 23 additional Greenhouse Project Labs, bringing our total reach to 70 schools with a population of 50,000 plus students. Our labs have the potential of growing 61,000lbs of fresh vegetables every year

Geographic areas served: New York and New Jersey

Programs: We grow and farm plants and fish year round and provide science curriculum to promote healthy and sustainable minds for us and the environment. Every year we host a youth conference for students at partner schools to share their knowledge and scientific research. We hold 3 annual 36-hour DOE accredited teacher training seminars on how to bring themes of sustainability into the classroom.

Community Stories

56 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Client Served

Rating: 5

In November 2016, the innovators at New York Sun Works (NYSW) joined forces with us at Insurgo Project to host civic leaders, philanthropists, teachers, and families for a gothic themed gourmet dinner at the Cathedral St. John the Divine. The evening launched a new high school curriculum developed by our teams that merges technology, sustainable food production, and culinary ethics.

In conjunction with the Cathedral's Value of Food program, the dinner fused education and sustainability as a community of chefs and nonprofits presented guests with fall harvest dishes cooked and served by local students from the Urban Assembly for Green Careers (UAGC) that also featured greens grown by NY Sun Works. The student led dinner was hugely successful and not only provided a paid internship for participating students, but also generated enough funding to further the launch of our new curriculum into several schools in Manhattan and Brooklyn.

Donor

Rating: 5

I have known the work of NY Sun Works since their Barge on the Hudson River. Over the years, my admiration and appreciation for their work has only grown. As a high school dance teacher at Frank Sinatra School of the Arts, I understand the importance and impact of their program on students. I believe that a healthy environment is a prerequisite for nurturing young people regardless of what path they choose to pursue in the future.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

As a new employee at NY Sun Works, I continue to be impressed with the level of commitment and enthusiasm evidenced by the team members. It is clear that the mission of imparting the knowledge of science and sustainability to inner-city public school students is of critical importance to the organization. The team is also revitalized as they witness the hydroponic labs giving kids a fun way to learn about science and sustainability using hands-on experience and enjoying the fruits (vegetables and flowers) of their labor.

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

This organization has grown steadily embarking on a journey to bring quality ecological education to as many students in NYC as possible. Growing an idea into a reality, they are forever open to thinking anew about the ways ecology, sustainability and education connect to many aspects of our everyday life - fashion, architecture, art, politics, food, technology, and grass-roots movements. Their consistent efforts and exemplary work have stirred excitement in educators and students alike, empowering them to gain understanding of the world and play an active role as environmentalists.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

NY Sun Works has provided my children and the other students at their school to learn about not only science, but to also interact with the environment in such a positive way. My daughter absolutely loves science because she has had numerous opportunities to participate in Sun Works activities. Thank you, Sun Works!

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As a new member of the NY Sun Works team, I'm so inspired by what they've established in the school community. The integration of environmental science curriculum, reaching all aspects of the learning experience K-8 through the greenhouse labs, is so impressive. And important! The experiential aspect of the learning experience is invaluable. The way the program ripples out to the community is yet another priceless byproduct of the greenhouse lab.
I'm completely thrilled to be part of it.

Donor

Rating: 5

A few short years ago, NY Sunworks was a concept that promised to be big. It has not fallen short of those expectations; in fact, it has exploded in its far reach to educate children, inspire adults, and motivate leaders to act locally with global reprecussions. Thanks to the excellent and conscientious works of the organization what started as a few greenhouses on school rooftops has now turned into an urban movement. Kudos to the NY Sunworks staff and management for guiding a concept into a necessity.

Donor

Rating: 5

This is an absolutely professional organization run by professional and dedicated people!!

Donor

Rating: 5

This is an incredible initiative and such a pleasure to see how it adds to quality education for children in grade school. I have been following this project for years and am a huge fan!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I first heard about NY Sun Works while working at an aquaponic startup company based in NYC. When they invited me to tour their flagship greenhouse at PS 333, I was blown away by the scope of their programming. Not only do students learn about health, the environment, biology and chemistry, they learn practical job skills like project development, team management and critical thinking and cooperation. Seeing all of the heartfelt signs posted by students filled me with joy too.

They are a great team doing awesome work that is badly needed.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

New York Sun Works is doing vital work in connecting children to the sources of their food and giving them the means for a hands-on experience in learning how food plants are grown. The links between the science classroom, the adjacent greenhouse, and the school kitchen provide a practical way to learn science.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been working with N Y Sun Works for almost a year in their corporate fundraising initiative. The management has shown great intelligence, flexibility and creativity in their search for funding. They are thorough and extremely well-informed. The organization runs an extraordinary academic program in sustainable urban gardening for NYC public school children.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

New York Sun Works has helped me become a better educator. The depth of engagement on the part of the students is incomparable.

1 Ignacio S.

Donor

Rating: 5

I´m a proud supporter of New York Sun Works and its star program The Greenhouse Project since 2008, when the first greenhouse science lab was built atop a public school in Manhattan. The idea was to create a laboratory facility in which public school children could learn the sciences, including environmental science, through a hand-on approach and through experimentation. Today, many more greenhouse labs have been completed in all 5 boroughs to the benefit of over four thousand children, and hundreds of teachers have received DOA-approved training on how to better utilize these lab facilities. NYSW is well on its way to reach its goal of building 100 Greenhouse labs by the end of the decade.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

NYSW does a great job of helping this generation of students learn and understand the importance of sustainability in our food production systems. Their model of student engagement in their greenhouse labs, coupled with classroom work and actual food production, is one that that I wish could be emulated in metro areas in other states.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have the utmost respect and admiration for the leadership of NYSW and their mission to bring Sustainability Education into the classroom to inspire children to find solutions for our Global Climate crisis.
When they asked me to join the board without hesitation I said yes. I am so happy it is possible for more and more schools to have the Hydroponic Systems. It is clear there is a growing desire from more and more schools to expand their curriculum so the children can stretch their minds and learn a skill set that will serve the planet well . This inspires me to find ways to continue to help NYSW grow

Donor

Rating: 5

Picked up from the NY Sun Works barge in the Hudson River by one classroom mother and developed, together with another classroom mother, into an elementary school science laboratory, in less than four years the Greenhouse Project has made hands-on urban farming a part of the learning experience effectively integrated not only into the curriculum of 15 of New York’s elementary schools but also into the lives of the children. The children will take with them a personal knowledge of the fundamentals of sustainable development and pride in the production of a healthy food supply.

Client Served

Rating: 5





One of our goals this year was to focus on the importance of Science learning across the school. Our science vertical team consisting of teachers, parents and our partners with NY Sunworks and Urban Advantage have organized and planned three important Science events: Science Symposium, Science Fair and the “NY Sun Works Youth Conference @ MSC: Discovering Sustainability Science.

At the Science Sustainability Symposium, 5th-8th students were charged to complete a long-term investigation greenhouse project demonstrating their knowledge and scientific creativity of sustainable science. Students presented their projects on “Discovering Sustainable Science.” They demonstrated their mastery of our environmental Science curriculum, which was developed in partnership with NY Sunworks. During the Science Sustainability Symposium, students and staff and guest evaluators assessed project-based learning and challenge based module projects and shared comments based on a rubric that was designed by students and the Science team. Projects were then chosen and students of those projects will have opportunity to audition to be a presenter at the “NY Sun Works Youth Conference @ MSC: Discovering Sustainability Science on June 13th.

Our goal and mission of Science Fair 2014 was to showcase student work in Science that concentrates on science investigation through the Science curriculum.
K, 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th grades: Created classroom sustainable science project completed in the greenhouse
5th grade: Designed investigative Science Projects developed during science instruction in the greenhouse
6th graders: Shared original designs of sustainable buildings built during the Sustainable Cities Sustainable Solutions module. The creative buildings address the environmental issues confronted by our growing population.
7th graders: Presented original designs of original hydroponic systems, with an operations manual based on their research of hydroponic farming during the Hydroponic Games module. Another group presented their action plans as solutions to raise awareness and to significantly cut energy use at our school, resulting in financial savings and reduced environmental impact. This energy teamwork is working in partnership with the Pathways of the Eco-Schools USA program.
8th Graders: Presented solutions to combat threats to our ocean during the Conserving Oceans module. They shared explanations with the goal to address the impact of this problem on other organisms and the how it affects the state of the ocean in future years if this problem continues. Another group from the We are What You Eat module presented their research of the current food system and ways to educate our school and local communities about the food system and how they can change it for the better. They also shared their educational ad campaign about their solutions as a national platform to bring countrywide attention to this problem. (8th grade projects will also be presented at the Urban Advantage expo at the museum of natural history in June).

Client Served

Rating: 5

My school has a NY Sun Works greenhouse and I think it is great. We learn a lot about sustainability and studying food systems. We also design and build our own farming systems which is really interesting. We have also done fun video campaigns about health to try to convince younger students at the school to make better choices.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

NY Sun Works does an amazing job of incorporating every aspect of STEM learning using their hydroponic and aquaponic systems to their fullest. Whether biology, chemistry, earth sciences, or physics, their grade-appropriate lesson plans combined with the hands-on labs add a depth to the material being taught. Not only does it allow kids to really grasp and work with the concepts in a way that just isn't possible in a typical classroom, but it teaches the students that they have the ability to change the world.