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BOP Schools & Community Science

Get Involved!

BOP schools are satellite campuses for oyster research. After attending a basic training, teachers and community scientists receive an Oyster Research Station (ORS), basic monitoring kit, and BOP curriculum. BOP teachers and community scientists lead their students or teams on monthly trips to monitor oysters and collect scientific data on water quality, oyster growth, and biodiversity. All participating teams follow the standard BOP Field Science protocols and procedures. After conducting at least six months of field data collection, observations and inferences, BOP students are encouraged to carry out their own applied research projects and share their results with the wider BOP community of scientists, STEM professionals, and volunteers. BOP also holds an Annual STEM Symposium in which students, teachers, scientists and community members gather to share data, present, research, and celebrate the movement to restore NY Harbor.

Teachers use the Oyster Research Station as a means to engage their students in hands-on scientific research and stewardship. Classes take at least three field trips per year to monitor their ORS and collect scientific data on water quality, biodiversity, oyster growth, and mortality. The research goals are to better understand the factors affecting oyster survival, ecological services of oysters, and assess the health and ongoing restoration of NY Harbor.

Teacher Roles:

1. Adopt and monitor an Oyster Research Station on behalf of your school or organization (either individually or in collaboration with colleagues) for a period of one to two years.

  • Install your cage securely at your designated site
  • Communicate with your site manager in advance of installation and monitoring
  • Visit/inspect your Oyster Restoration Station at least once per month (12 visits per year).

2. Teach ORS field science and BOP curriculum in your classes

  • Download and use BOP lessons, activity guides, and projects in your classes
  • Take your students on at least three ORS monitoring trips per year 

3.  Participate in the community

  • Attend the annual BOP Symposium in June
  • Provide feedback on BOP curriculum and activities through the online forum
  • Attend other special events, conferences, or volunteer events

BOP Roles:

Provides Training and Research Station Kit including

  • Oyster Research Station
  • 10 tagged shell substrates with 100+ live oysters – and additional oysters as needed
  • Installation equipment
  • A basic monitoring kit with equipment and supplies to measure oyster growth, dissolved oxygen, pH, salinity, ammonia, temperature, biodiversity/ species richness.
  • Calipers for student groups to measure oyster growth
  • BOP Field Science manual and resources

Provides Training and Curriculum

  • Draft lesson plans and activity guides
  • Data sharing: Harbor wide ORS data collected by participating schools and organizations will be displayed online and made accessible in spreadsheets
  • Technical support: all participants will have direct access to BOP’s Education Team.

Creates Community

  • Access to a network of like-minded teachers, environmental scientists, and marine related professionals to support your curriculum, teaching practice and student learning outcomes.
  • Invitation to annual BOP STEM Symposium and ongoing communications
  • Links to other restoration related conferences, symposiums, and special events
  • Invitations to oyster restoration work days on Governors Island (monthly on Saturdays) and other related volunteer opportunities

Fee Structure: We offer a sliding scale (from $200) for both individuals and institutions. Our goal is to make BOP oyster research and curriculum readily accessible to all schools regardless of their available resources and funding. BOP is run by NY Harbor Foundation, a 501c3 Non-Profit. All donations above minimum costs are tax deductible.


Sign-up: To register for a basic training sign up through our digital platform


Participating schools

IS 285 – Meyer Levin School

IS 285 Meyer Levin is another outstanding, founding member of the BOP Schools network. The IS 285 oyster gardening program is led by mathematics teacher James Passintino. Their restoration and research site is located at the docks of the Sebago Canoe Club in Mill Basin, Brooklyn. The dockside gardening site is PERFECT for field classes in marine science and on-water recreation opportunities. We hope that IS 285 students will take full advantage of their awesome site and that Sebago Canoe Club will host for more gardens and perhaps even a nursery.

MS 88 The Peter Rouget School

MS 88 the Peter Rouget School is an original BOP middle school with four founding teachers representing more than 375 students. MS 88 is passionate about project based learning and environmental stewardship. Their oyster garden is currently installed at IKEA Waterfront Park and starting this September students will monitor the site at least twice a month.

Hunters Point Community Middle School

Hunter’s Point Community Middle School supports the well-being of every student and believea that all young people have unique talents and points of view that are developed fully within a rigorous and caring learning environment. HPCMS is a founding member of BOP schools and is helping to co-author BOP curriculum. Located on the waterfront in Long Island City HPCMS has a natural affinity to maritime studies and plans to infuse estuary and restoration curricula throughout across subjects and grade levels.

UA Institute of Math and Science

The Urban Assembly Institute of Math and Science for Young Women is designed to encourage and foster the achievement of young women in math, science, and technology. UA Institute is a founding member of the BOP middle schools. Led by science teacher, Adrienne Ballard, UAIMS scholars have one oyster garden installed at Brooklyn Bridge Park and have been monitoring monthly in partnership with the Park’s science educators.

MS 421 – West Prep Academy

West Prep Academy’s BOP restoration and research program is led by science teacher Natalie Harvey. Their oyster gardening site is located at the beautiful “La Marina” outpost on the shores of Hudson River. West Prep is a magnet school located in upper Manhattan with a strong reputation for academic excellence and achievement. BOP looks forward to continuing our partnership with West Prep and training more teachers to implement curriculum in class and restoration research at La Marina.

Landmark High School

Landmark High School has a natural affinity with Harbor School on Governors Island. The school is located in lower Manhattan. There is an olympic size swimming pool in the basement. The school is developing a swim and SCUBA program and already has an after-school sailing club. As a result of this connection their oyster restoration and research site is Pier 101 on Governors Island. Harbor School’s 12th grade Aquaculture students host 55 Landmark students for their Fall monitoring event. We plan to continue this direct collaboration and encourage other schools in lower manhattan to do the same.


Get the Billion Oyster Project curriculum.

View Downloadable Curriculum Files