My Nonprofit Reviews
Review for New York Sun Works Inc, New York, NY, USA
I audited a 12-week class at NYSW's hydroponic greenhouse in the Manhattan School for Children (MSC). The course, entitled "Waste, Water, Energy," was a sustainability PD course for K-12 teachers taught by MSC's science teacher and NYSW educator Shakira Castronovo. Shakira is a great teacher who is herself completely devoted to sustainable living and environmental education, and has a clear command of the subjects she teaches. She is also the person who maintains the hydroponic greenhouse, so part of the class involved her teaching us about the elements of hydroponic greenhouse maintenance including measuring Ph, nitrates and ammonia levels in the water. This was very interesting. She introduced the three topics of the course - Waste, Water, Energy - to participants in a very natural way through PowerPoints, discussions, and hands-on activities that included making your own vertical gardening kit and your own vermi-composting bin. Some of the classes included visitors from organizations like NYC H2O, Solar1, Food Fight, and MSC's own Sustainability Coordinator Jen Prescott who spoke about the topics being addressed in the class. They each brought interesting elements to our discussions. The course also required teachers to complete projects and design curriculum prototypes that they could bring back to their classrooms. There was also a fair amount of peer review and feedback given on these projects. It was fascinating to see the evolution of the teachers in the class over the 12 weeks. I would say that a majority, if not all, came away with a clearer understanding about the many aspects of sustainability education, the need to educate students about the issues that will impact their future, and the ways in which it can be done. I wish all teachers could take this kind of training.
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