Dispatches from New York City students and teachers studying - and savouring - the urban environment.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Bronx School of Science Inquiry and Investigation Stages Organic v. Industrial Farming Debate

Ben Muir, a Teaching Fellow at Teachers College's Urban Science Education Center reports that over 100 6th graders at the Bronx School of Science Inquiry and Investigation staged rousing debates over the relative benefits of industrial farming and organic. The debates, part of teacher Steve Monaco's science class and a component of the LiFE food education program overseen by USEC, provided kids with a chance to see food systems from the perspectives of participants who don't normally make an appearance in city markets.

Taking the podium were cows, ladybugs, family farmers, truckers and food bank presidents all with their own interests. Although students started the debate reading from worksheets they had prepared in advance, "about halfway through something clicked," writes Muir. "Students realized they were supposed to be arguing with each other to try and show why their side was the best. . . . Things really got heated, but in a postive way with learning happening."

For more information about the debate and samples of the materials used, contact muir_ben@yahoo.com.

High School for Environmental Studies Creates Wetland

This just in from the Wallerstein Collaborative for Urban Environmental Education at NYU: If you can get yourself three aquarium tanks, a cadre of college kids from the University of Vermont and at least one intern from NYU, you too can create a living wetland in your classroom.

The justly renowed High School for Environmental Studies added this impressive activity to a whole roster of events, including the creation of rain gardens and an employment fair, in honor of last month's World Water Week. For more information, contact Jessica Jones at the Wallerstein Collaborative - jnj221@nyu.edu.

What Is the GO WILD IN NEW YORK CITY blog?

Good question. This blog is an offshoot of GO WILD IN NEW YORK CITY NEWS, published in honor of National Environmental Education Week, April 16-22. In compiling that newsletter, we found so many amazing educators involved in such a wealth of wonderful urban environment projects, well, we just kind of ran out of space. And so the GO WILD IN NEW YORK CITY blog was born.

We will be posting information as we receive it from educators and students of all stripes from everywhere in New York City. If you have material to submit, or any questions about the blog or GO WILD IN NEW YORK CITY, fire off an email to info@gowildnyc.org.