Budding Scientists-The Urban Ecosystem 2018-19 Application

The NYCDOE’s Department of STEM’s Budding Scientists-The Urban Ecosystem Program brings elementary school (K-5) teachers and their students together to explore NYC’s urban ecosystem.

Professional development for teachers will focus on three strands: investigating science through reading and writing, exploration of the urban ecosystem through authentic, hands-on inquiry, and designing and incorporating long-term ecological investigations into the elementary school science classroom. In addition to five day-long professional development sessions, the program will also provide teachers with two class field trip vouchers to visit a science-rich cultural institution to extend students’ learning beyond the classroom, and will culminate with students' presenting their findings at the Culminating Event in June 2019.

Program Features

Each participating teacher and his/her class(es) will investigate urban ecology and/or the built environment through inquiry-based investigations that build on prior knowledge and strengthen the natural links with reading and writing so that students more effectively develop their own questions, access and interpret research, and integrate data and findings to clearly communicate and present what they have learned. Students will apply these skills to design, carry out, and present results of an open-ended scientific investigation into urban ecology.

Teachers will be placed in one of 3 urban ecology themes (urban terrestrial; urban aquatic; and urban design solutions); themes will be assigned based on teacher preference and availability. Teachers in the urban terrestrial theme will focus on land organisms in NYC. Teachers in the urban aquatic theme will focus on water in and around NYC. Urban design solutions will focus on coming up with solutions for urban design issues (e.g. green infrastructure).  

Teachers will be supported in implementation of the Budding Scientists-The Urban Ecosystem Program through five professional development sessions, which will focus on the development of authentic inquiry-based activities and the building of students' scientific literacy skills. Attendance at all PD days is required, and the Budding Scientists program will pay for the cost of a per diem substitute on these five days.

The Principal’s Role

Principals do not have to be involved in the day-to-day operations of the program, but are expected to support the teacher in successful implementation and in leveraging school-level resources (materials, space, etc.) as needed. Additionally, principals (or a designee such as an assistant principal) are encouraged to attend the Culminating Event in June 2019.

A signed Principal Letter of Acknowledgment and Support is required to complete this application. The Principal Letter of Acknowledgment and Support should be emailed to CitywideScience@schools.nyc.gov with the subject line Budding Scientists-The Urban Ecosystem Principal Letter of Support.

2018-19 Program Timeline
Friday, September 28: Teacher Application Deadline
Tuesday, October 2: Principal Letter of Support Deadline
Tuesday, October 16: Acceptance decisions sent out
Thursday, November 1: Day 1 of Budding Scientist PD
Tuesday, November 27: Day 2 of Budding Scientist PD
Tuesday, January 8: Day 3 of Budding Scientist PD
Thursday, February 7: Day 4 of Budding Scientist PD
Thursday, March 7: Day 5 of Budding Scientist PD
November 2017-April 2018: Students and teacher plan and carry out BSUE investigation
November 2017-May 2018: BSUE teachers and students attend field trips
June 2019: Culminating Event

Questions? Email CitywideScience@schools.nyc.gov

Please enter the following information about your school: 

Question Title

* 1. Please enter the following information about your school: 

Please provide the following information about yourself:

Question Title

* 2. Please provide the following information about yourself:

Are you a classroom or a cluster teacher?

Question Title

* 3. Are you a classroom or a cluster teacher?

Are you a tenured teacher? 

Question Title

* 4. Are you a tenured teacher? 

How many classes will be participating in the Budding Scientists-The Urban Ecosystem Program?

Question Title

* 5. How many classes will be participating in the Budding Scientists-The Urban Ecosystem Program?

Approximately how many students will be participating in the Budding Scientists-The Urban Ecosystem Program? e.g., 32, etc.

Question Title

* 6. Approximately how many students will be participating in the Budding Scientists-The Urban Ecosystem Program? e.g., 32, etc.

Can you commit to the full length of this program from early-November 2018 to June 2019? This includes attending five PD Days, the Culminating Event in June, and organizing the implementation of this project both inside and outside of your classroom.

Question Title

* 7. Can you commit to the full length of this program from early-November 2018 to June 2019? This includes attending five PD Days, the Culminating Event in June, and organizing the implementation of this project both inside and outside of your classroom.

By clicking the boxes below, you are confirming that you can attend all five PD days (including the Culminating Event in early June)

Question Title

* 8. By clicking the boxes below, you are confirming that you can attend all five PD days (including the Culminating Event in early June)

In one to two paragraphs, describe how the Budding Scientists-The Urban Ecosystem Program will strengthen and complement the science instructional programming in your classroom(s) and/or school. We encourage you to articulate ways that you would link this program to your curriculum and/or the K-5 Scope and Sequence.

Question Title

* 9. In one to two paragraphs, describe how the Budding Scientists-The Urban Ecosystem Program will strengthen and complement the science instructional programming in your classroom(s) and/or school. We encourage you to articulate ways that you would link this program to your curriculum and/or the K-5 Scope and Sequence.

In one to two paragraphs, share an example of a time that you incorporated an interdisciplinary project into your curriculum. How did you carve out time in your curriculum to work on this project? What was successful and/or challenging about doing so? How did you make this project complimentary to ELA and math?

Question Title

* 10. In one to two paragraphs, share an example of a time that you incorporated an interdisciplinary project into your curriculum. How did you carve out time in your curriculum to work on this project? What was successful and/or challenging about doing so? How did you make this project complimentary to ELA and math?

In one to two paragraphs, describe any ways that you have incorporated literacy strategies and inquiry-based activities into your science instruction. What has previously been successful and/or challenging about incorporation of these initiatives? How would you like to grow your skillset in incorporation of these initiatives to support your students’ science investigations?

Question Title

* 11. In one to two paragraphs, describe any ways that you have incorporated literacy strategies and inquiry-based activities into your science instruction. What has previously been successful and/or challenging about incorporation of these initiatives? How would you like to grow your skillset in incorporation of these initiatives to support your students’ science investigations?

Imagine that it is the morning of your second and last Budding Scientist field trip. You have completed all the necessary arrangements – e.g. collected all permission slips, confirmed with parents/chaperones, and confirmed a bus– but, unfortunately moderate to heavy rain is in the forecast. Your principal just emailed you stating that you should cancel your field trip due to the inclement weather, since part of your trip will be outside. What steps would you take to try and change her decision? Why would you take these steps?

Question Title

* 12. Imagine that it is the morning of your second and last Budding Scientist field trip. You have completed all the necessary arrangements – e.g. collected all permission slips, confirmed with parents/chaperones, and confirmed a bus– but, unfortunately moderate to heavy rain is in the forecast. Your principal just emailed you stating that you should cancel your field trip due to the inclement weather, since part of your trip will be outside. What steps would you take to try and change her decision? Why would you take these steps?

In order to provide you with the most effective support possible, you will be placed in 1 of 3 themes during the Budding Scientists-The Urban Ecosystem program. Your investigation, and all of the corresponding research/projects (i.e. field trips) will be within that theme. Please rank the following themes from 1 to 3. 1 being your most preferred theme to work within. We will do our best to group everyone according to their preferences.

Question Title

* 13. In order to provide you with the most effective support possible, you will be placed in 1 of 3 themes during the Budding Scientists-The Urban Ecosystem program. Your investigation, and all of the corresponding research/projects (i.e. field trips) will be within that theme. Please rank the following themes from 1 to 3. 1 being your most preferred theme to work within. We will do our best to group everyone according to their preferences.

Please explain why you chose the above theme as your #1 choice.

Question Title

* 14. Please explain why you chose the above theme as your #1 choice.

If chosen to participate in the Budding Scientists program, you will be asked to investigate a question relating to your theme with your students. What is one idea that you have for you and your students to specifically investigate? You may share an idea from either your first or second choice theme listed above. Your response should include the question that you wish to investigate, as well as your hypothesis for this question.

Question Title

* 15. If chosen to participate in the Budding Scientists program, you will be asked to investigate a question relating to your theme with your students. What is one idea that you have for you and your students to specifically investigate? You may share an idea from either your first or second choice theme listed above. Your response should include the question that you wish to investigate, as well as your hypothesis for this question.

Check any and all of the DOE or science/STEM programs in which you currently participate or have participated in in the last five years.

Question Title

* 16. Check any and all of the DOE or science/STEM programs in which you currently participate or have participated in in the last five years.

How did you hear about the Budding Scientist-The Urban Ecosystem program? Please check all that apply.

Question Title

* 17. How did you hear about the Budding Scientist-The Urban Ecosystem program? Please check all that apply.

T