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Field Day Fellows Training

By admin
November 20, 2015

On an early Saturday morning in September, BOP Teacher Training Fellows met on Governor’s Island for a Field Training Day.  The September Field Training Day was the the final in a series of three skills-building training sessions that the BOP Fellows were a part of, aimed at readying the teachers to manage their own oyster restoration stations and equipping them with lesson plans, resources, and the technical knowledge to effectively teach their middle school students in the field.  Up to this point, the Fellows had built their own oyster restoration station cages, learned the ins and out of oyster biology and reef ecosystems, and mastered the proper procedures for oyster restoration monitoring and data collection.  At this final Field Training Day, the Fellows would receive their long-awaited spat-on-shell oysters for their school’s restoration stations.

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The day started off with brief summer recaps and goals for the school year from the inaugural cohort of BOP Fellows, the BOP Curriculum and Community Enterprise Restoration Science (CCE-RS) Title 1 middle school teachers committed to restoration field science, STEM-C education, and project-based learning in the form of oyster restoration in New York Harbor.  A review and discussion of oyster restoration field science protocols ensued, followed by practical application and beta testing of BOP’s newly released BOP Input App, created by the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science in collaboration with New York Harbor Foundation curriculum specialists and Columbia University scientists, on the Fellows’ new tablets!

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In addition to their new tablets, which will be used for student restoration station monitoring and data collection in the field, Fellows also received technical water quality monitoring tools, such as a Van Dorn Bottle (used for taking water samples at various depths) and Secchi Disk Tube (used for measuring the turbidity of a water sample), sieves for sifting through and identifying marine organisms, and various other tools (Dissolved Oxygen, pH, Salinity, and Temperature test kits) to effectively measure water quality around their restoration station.

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After receiving their tools and downloading the BOP Input App, the Fellows were asked to take their teacher hats off and participate in a trial-run version of the BOP Field Science and Restoration Station Protocols.  The group was divided into five sections, one for each of the protocols, and asked to input data on the BOP Input App for a resident oyster restoration station on Governor’s Island.

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Once the Fellows had effectively tested the app and protocols that they’d soon be leading their students through, they took a short walk down to BOP’s floating dock to collect and tag their very own spat-on-shell oysters!  Each Fellow returned to their restoration stations that day with 300-500 oyster spat (or baby oysters), ready to grow to adulthood and enjoy a lifetime of nutrient cycling and water filtering on their reefs in the New York Harbor.

 

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The Fellows convened again the following week for their sixth, in a series of nine, educational development meeting at Pace University, where they were presented with newly designed oyster-based curriculum to support restoration station fieldwork with students.

 

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Are you an NYC DoE middle school (grades 6-8) teacher in a Title 1 designated school and interested in the New York Harbor, oysters, restoration science, and project-based learning?  Learn more about the 2 year BOP Teacher Training Fellows program and how to apply here.  Applications are due November 30, 2015.

 

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