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Fellow Profile: Andy Ross

By admin
November 20, 2015

AR 2

School:

Hunter’s Point Community Middle School is located in Long Island City, near Hunter’s Point South Park. Our school’s culture is built around the three core values of Scholarship, Creativity and Community. Being so near to the East River, water and the metaphor for students of finding their right flow is an integral part of our school community.

Where is your Restoration Station located?

Hunter’s Point South Park

Grade & Subject you teach:

7th Grade Mathematics, General and Special Education

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

Because our school is so close to our restoration station, all HPCMS students (usually during their science periods) are able to frequently meet with “their” oysters. They do data collection and explore the impact their combined efforts are making. Interdisciplinary lessons and school-wide projects are starting to be developed so that student interaction with the oysters and the effects of their work don’t end as students walk out the door of their science classrooms.

Background:

After a fulfilling career in graphic design culminating in a creative director position at an advertising agency, I deciding I wanted to focus on making a more marked difference in the world. I returned to school to get my master’s degree in adolescent mathematics education and subsequent New York State certification in math and and special education. HPCMS was an early partner with BOP, and as a founding seventh grade math teacher at our middle school, I worked with our science teacher, Bart Piscitello, to maintain the oyster cages and explore lessons with the students. Being part of the fellowship will allow us to work more closely together on the development of interdisciplinary curriculum. Our goal is to help students become responsible and avid citizen scientists, fully aware of their impact on the world around them, while honing their STEM skills.

Andy’s Students on Governor’s Island

Andy’s Students on Governor’s Island

What are your students getting out of this experience?

Students are not only developing scientific and mathematical skills from their work with the oysters. They are learning team-building, organizational skills, and problem-solving. The program inspires them to think more about their connection to the community and world they live in, starting with their own backyard, as they slowly develop into citizen scientists.

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

It was awesome seeing our students interact with other BOP-school students at the June 19 BOP Symposium on Governor’s Island this year. They were proud to share their knowledge and research with visitors and learn from other presenters.

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

The app development and use of tablets in the field not only facilitate a more accurate and efficient data collection process. They also allow students to work more closely with technology and develop those skills as well.