Brooklyn Academy of Science and the Environment

2007–09 Fellows: Natasha Nadler, Suzanne Tamang

During the fall semester, the freshmen of the Brooklyn Academy of Science and the Environment (BASE) High School tested water quality in Prospect Park. Every week in Field Studies, students measured water at specific sites, recording temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen, chlorine, nitrate, and phosphate levels. In the spring semester, the students searched leaf packs placed a various locations throughout the Prospect Park water system, counting macro-invertebrates.

Posters presented at 2008 Brooklyn College Science Day:

Posters presented at 2009 Brooklyn College Science Day:

2009–11 Fellows: Kendall Eskine, Anna Petrovicheva

Target Classes: Sophomore Science Research, Animal Behavior, Marine Biology, Living Environment, AP Biology, Field Studies

Project Themes, and Questions and Outlines: Environment and stress levels. Green space exposure and environmental awareness. Green space exposure and immune system. What are the effects of the environment and green space on stress levels? What are the effects of green space exposure on environmental appreciation and concern? What are the effects of green space exposure on immune system strength? Students will survey other students about their environmental experiences with green space and assess their stress levels. Based on the data collected, students will use Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Google Earth and other mapping software to plot their distances and commuting routes through green space. They will then correlate this data with their stress assessments. Using their green space data from the previous study, students will develop and administer questionnaires that will assess environmental awareness, interest, and appreciation. The data will be correlated to determine the relationship between green space exposure and environmental concern. Students will collect data about their childhood exposure to green space and their health using questionnaires. Using their data on green space and stress in addition to this data they will determine the effect of exposure to green space on immune system strength and allergy resistance.

Other Project Themes: Place-based Project Themes: Mapping/identifying invasive tree species of Prospect Park. Ethnobotany and food culture. Parakeet nesting behavior. Non-verbal mating behavior in human and non-human primates. Effects of taste perception on person perception. Art appreciation and body movement. Relationship between green space exposure, and self-perceived stress. Social norms, classroom environment, and classroom behavior.

Science Self-efficacy and Science Interest Assessment: We also explored the effects that GK-12 Fellows have on students’ understanding of science as a conceptual domain. After working one-on-one with Fellows, do they feel more confident in their science abilities and recognize themselves as having more scientific interests compared with students who have not had experience with GK-12 Fellows? We developed tools to assess some of these questions.

Spatial Thinking: As part of the Brooklyn College GK-12 community, we were interested in helping students develop their spatial thinking through place-based learning. Did students understand mapping better if they are situated in their own communities? What were the effects of GIS/MyWorld software on spatial thinking when compared with simpler tools (e.g., paper, pencils, rulers)? We incorporated these questions into some of the aforementioned projects.

Posters presented at 2010 Brooklyn College Science Day: poster 1 (PDF)poster 2 (PDF)poster 3 (PDF)
Posters presented at 2011 Brooklyn College Science Day: poster 1 (PDF)poster 2 (PDF)

2011–13 Fellows: Greg Barord, Lilja Nielsen, Tashana Samuel

Goals were to:

  • expand high school students’ definitions of science,
  • connect high school students, teachers, and university researchers for future collaborations,
  • incorporate authentic field research methods into high school science elective courses,
  • develop students’ literacy skills and spatial thinking ability, and
  • present student research at Brooklyn College Science Day and the BASE Science Fair.

Target Classes: Sophomore Science Research, Junior Science Research, Senior Science Research, AP Biology, Marine Biology, Chemistry in the Community

Project Summaries
1) Comparative Water Quality Studies

  • Water chemistry analysis of drinking sources at BASE (Sophomore Science Research)
  • Brooklyn wide water quality comparison of water sources (Sophomore Science Research)
  • Prospect Park water system chemical analysis in relation to everyday life in Brooklyn (Chemistry in the Community)

2) Greenspace Exposure and Perceived Anxiety Levels (Sophomore Science Research)

  • Student self-perceived anxiety levels in relation to daily greenspace exposure
  • Effect of caffeine on aquatic invertebrates/goldfish

3) CO2 Emission and Tree Sequestration (Junior Science Research Class)

  • Comparative analysis of CO2 emissions at BASE and It Takes A Village Academy (ITAVA)

4) Animal Behavior Lab (AP Biology)

5) Introduction to Developmental Psychology (Junior Research)

Brooklyn. All in.