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Review for CityScience, Brooklyn, NY, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

I have seen the work done by CityScience and it is very impressive. CityScience reached out to a school in Brooklyn, NY that was damaged by Hurricane Sandy in October 2012. Thor Snilsberg, the Executive Director of CityScience, went to meet with students and teachers and together (I believe) they designed an academic unit that taught and explained how a natural disaster (Sandy) affects and changes the environment. In the process students learned about local physical geography, rocks and minerals, physical changes that take place in nature, moons and tides. Students took a trip to inspect the damage, designed maps, built models, and drew their own conclusions about what, where and why as far as Sandy's impact is concerned. This is by far the best way to learn science: by active exploring, inquiring, asking questions and, in fact, coming in direct contact with the subject matter. It was also very personal. The school was evacuated for a while due to hurricane damage. These students were active learners. I am positive that the experience forever changed the way they learn science. Thor Snilsberg is the powerhouse of ideas. He seeks out projects that will benefit the science students the most, by making science relevant as a subject and linking it to New York City. Thus, students who learn science with CityScience become more conscious of their living environment, and hopefully will grow up caring and protective of it. CityScience's office has some equipment, some supplies that they bring to the schools
in order to teach science, work on projects. However, what they currently have is a far cry from what they actually need. In order to reach more students in the city who are in need of a solid help with science curriculum, I believe, CityScience needs more volunteers and more technology to be available. Portable Reflective Telescopes would be nice, I think. Organizing a Star gazing night with students can introduce a unit in Basic Astronomy and Light pollution in the city. I recommend any public school Science teacher to reach out to CityScience if they need help bridging science with real life learning.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I would try to get the word out about its existence to general public. This is an excellent cause to support, especially, for New Yorkers.

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Role:  General Member of the Public