Thursday, May 22, 2014

Meet the Scientists

Two Scientists Visit Upper Grades on May 22nd...

Murray Lantner, Environmental Engineer, US EPA, helped 4th graders understand how pollution enters our waterways--with a power point presentation..

and a cool model.

Thanks Murray.


Robert Pincus, Atmospheric Scientist, explained to the entire 5th grade why he chose to study clouds...

what's weather...and what's climate
and what is climate change by having students roll some dice!

By the way...both scientists did have a chance to meet each other.

An email:  

"Thank you for coming! The kids really enjoyed your presentation, and clearly learned a lot! Your pictures were great, and the model was wonderful. I think the model really helped the kids gain a  clear understanding of the sewer system, and the way rainwater run off contributes to water pollution. I was interested in learning how a sewage treatment plant works, I had no idea how it operated, and I was glad you explained the basics. Kids had asked me, and I couldn't answer so  I am happy to have had it explained! Just as an aside, my family was not at all happy tonight when I told them they should hold off using water when it was raining. They told me to please stop learning things. (But they did postpone their showers.) 

Thanks again for making the time to come in and share your knowledge with us. I look forward to seeing you again next year."
Cora ( 4th grade teacher) 

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

BNS Sustainability Program DRAFT Needs Your Input

This entry was prepared for the Eco-Schools Sustainability coordinators meeting.  It will be published as part of the general BNS Ecorama Blog statement.  Please send comments and additions.   Deletions too!


Full-time sustainability and science coordinators who work closely together with classroom teachers and other staff, children and their families, to plan, implement and innovate. 


Students do authentic work as environmental stewards, scientists, farmers, cooks, and recyclers, political activitists.  


Science, social studies and sustainability are linked together and reinforced throughout the curriculum.  Some examples:

  • Pre-K students figure out what makes playgrounds fun for them; they add plants to the playground area.
  • K students study pigeons and other birds.  They make feeders for birds in the winter.
  • First Graders study green space and farm at BNS to make it greener.
  • Second Graders study bridges and other structures and make structures using natural materials.
  • Third Graders make recycled paper as part of their study of China's inventions.
  • Fourth Graders study stormwater runoff and flooding and work in our tree pits to make them more like "wetlands."
  • Fifth Graders care for pollinator beds as they study monarch butterflies and climate change.


We reach out to other parts of the community to collaborate with us including Added Value, Gowanus Canal Conservancy, Edgemere Farms and GLOBE.


Our students are out in nature on a regular basis including daily recess, pigeon hunts, Plumb Beach and Gowanus Canal greening projects, bug hunts, gardening...


As a community we believe that our efforts can make a difference.  We can have a voice. We will be heard.  We can be part of building a sustainable future.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Fourth Graders Volunteer to Work

Under the direction of the Gowanus Conservancy staff and volunteers, the 3 fourth grade classes will help green the Canal area.
Heling to keep stormwater runoff out of the Canal and the surrounding sewers...

by planting wetland plants

adding compost to tree pits and other areas around the Canal.

Another day, another group...

Alternate Energy Source

Kindergarten students discover that wind can power their pinwheels.

Failing that...they make their own wind.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Airbnb BNS Style

Bug Hotel Rooms Being Refurbished By Johanna and First Graders

Meanwhile, other students are looking for insects in their permanent homes--cracks between cobblestone pavers.

Can you spot the ant "door" way?  Lots of first graders did.

Eventually each first grader will have a chance to work on the bug hotel, look for ants...and see the world through a compound lens viewer.

Farmers Take a Break

Farmers use go-carts that they built at  Construction Kids.  After all of those chores, they deserve some time off.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Art, Science and History All Come Together in Andrew's Class

Students are studying technology in different time periods...which involves

taking apart inventions...

and sculpting with the parts.


Springy Hair Band

Spotted on a Kindergartener...

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Cole Street Beds Are Ready For Planting

Where is Cole Street?  Well if you are facing BNS's Main Entrance, it is on your left. (Rapeleye Street is on your right!  )  

Thanks to parents Louis, Anthony, and Amy John.  Staff Members:  Johanna, Hank, and Dave.  And grants from Grow to Learn and Eco Schools. 

AND ALFIE...future BNS student!