Education Programs

With a commitment to project-based and real-world learning, our school programming puts students at the center of the movement to restore oysters to New York City waters.

The Billion Oyster Classroom: Waterfront STEM

Grades K–12
Modular, up to four semesters (or two years)

This unforgettable introduction to STEM inspires engagement in school, encourages stewardship, provides opportunities to experience the outdoors, and demonstrates to students that their voice and work can make a difference.

Students enjoy working outside, and then when they start seeing the
animals near the Oyster Research Station, there’s a real energy,
engagement, enthusiasm you don’t usually see in schools.

—Teacher Erick Espin, participating in the Billion Oyster Project

Billion Oyster Project offers curriculum, supplies, teacher professional development, and a city-wide Annual Research Symposium at Governors Island.

The Billion Oyster Project school experience includes:

  • Up to 15 units, or 77 stand-alone lessonsimmersing students in scientific inquiry based on the city and nature surrounding them. Themes such as New York’s Urban Ecosystem, Oyster Tank Investigation, and Testing Water Quality both capture imagination and teach Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) skills—such as how to design and conduct an experiment, or how to conduct original research.
  • 2–3 waterfront expeditions centered on caring for a local Oyster Research Station provided by Billion Oyster Project (an 8 x 8 x 18 inch home for oysters in New York Harbor).
  • Student participation in an annual Research Symposium at the Harbor School on Governors Island.
  • 8 hours of initial teacher training and the option for an additional 28 hours of ongoing professional development, plus teacher networking opportunities and access to digital platform for sharing curriculum, data, and research.



Download Curriculum and Teacher Professional Development fact sheet.
View schools participating in Billion Oyster Classroom.
Questions? Contact

Industry Experience at Harbor School’s CTE Program

Grades 9–12
NYC public high school

Located on the iconic Governors Island, the Urban Assembly New York Harbor School prepares students for college and maritime careers. Students participating in the Harbor School’s Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs take on leadership roles in helping Billion Oyster Project to restore oyster reefs to NY Harbor—growing oysters, designing and building oyster reef structures, diving to monitor reefs, operating boats, performing marine biology research, and more.

As sophomores, all students enroll in one of seven CTE programs of study, leading to industry certification in marine science or technology. The experience includes a continuum of work-based learning. Freshmen are introduced to various CTE programs via Harbor Class. CTE courses include:

  • Aquaculture
  • Marine Biology Research
  • Marine Policy and Advocacy
  • Marine Systems Technology
  • Ocean Engineering
  • Professional Diving
  • Vessel Operations

Learn more.