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Fellow Profile: Christina Filep

By admin
November 20, 2015

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School:

PS/MS 188. We are called the Island School, but we are not certain as to why. We are one of three schools that share the building. We are a Community School, which means that we offer a lot of services for our students from 7am- 6pm during the week and on Saturdays as well. This includes sports programs, counseling, after school programs that support academics but also seek to meet the interests of the students and display their innate talents

Where is your Restoration Station located?

Lower East Side Ecology center, along the East RIver

Grade & subject you teach:

6-8, Spanish, but I also support Science learning

In which of your classes are you implementing BOP curriculum and restoration field science? What does this look like?

I am co-teaching with Ms. Dhar the science teacher and we will be implementing the BOP curriculum with one seventh grade class. This class meets with us twice a week, once is a double period or 90 min on Fridays. We hope to do field work in this time frame.

Background:

I was originally certified as Foreign Language teacher, in both Spanish and French. Then I received my MS in Literacy. I have been teaching at the same school for 13 years. I have been collaborating with the Science and Technology teachers for a few years as I am interested in supporting STEM learning in other subject matters, as well as my personal passion for environmental causes.

Have your classes had a field trip to The River Project’s BOP display and lab? If so, please tell us about your experience.

We went in June 2015 to visit the River Project wet lab and the students saw, touched, felt the creatures that live in the waters below. We also did oyster dissection and studied the anatomy of the oyster. Students were so excited to have hands on activities and use tools. They really wanted to get to the water and pull up samples and do more action/research about what they could find.

What are your students getting out of this experience? 

I feel that they will gain so much from this experience on so many levels, but I will focus only the top three. 1) They will learn about science through action and finally feel that they are “real scientists”. 2) They will understand more about the water that they see everyday, the East River and feel more connected to natural part of their surroundings. 3) They will develop deeper scientific understandings which they will carry with them for the rest of their lives.

Would you like to share a short anecdote or highlights relating to BOP or any field science experiences with your classes?

We visited the Harbor school and many of our students were amazed that there was a NYC public high school located on Gov. Island and focused on all types of careers and issues related to the waterways. Many of them were so interested in applying in the future. I think that this serious environment would offer many of them an unique and serious career path.

Anything else you’d like to share that is relevant to the BOP CCE-RS project and your Fellowship?

I think that this a great program that will go down in the history of environmental science in NYC. It will change the water, how people relate to the water and the natural environment around us. I think that we will reap the rewards for generations to come.