NYC Council Memebr Gale Brewer & Manhattan School for Children PS333 Celebrate Earthday with the groundbreaking of The Sun Works Center
Published on 29 October 2010
PS 333 (Apr 26 2010)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(New York, April 26, 2010)
NYC COUNCIL MEMBER GALE BREWER & MANHATTAN SCHOOL FOR CHILDREN P.S. 333 CELEBRATE EARTH DAY WITH THE GROUNDBREAKING OF THE SUN WORKS CENTER, A 21st CENTURY ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE LAB
A groundbreaking ceremony for The Sun Works Center for Environmental Studies, a 21st century environmental science lab, was held on Earth Day at the Manhattan School for Children P.S. 333 on West 93rd Street. This project heralds a new approach to teaching environmental science in New York City public schools. Council member Gale Brewer spoke to the crowd of 300 children, parents and teachers, followed by singing and storytelling. Brewer praised the project, saying:
“Congratulations on being the leaders, who [came] in on budget and…have done it exactly right. You are setting a precedent in so many different ways.”
The Sun Works Center will be built on the roof of The Manhattan School for Children P.S. 333. A public / private partnership between the P.S. 333 community, New York Sun Works, and the School Construction Authority, the Sun Works Center uses sustainable local food production as a tool for teaching environmental science, natural resource management, food production and nutrition.
Designed by urban greenhouse experts BrightFarm Systems and green architecture firm Kiss+Cathcart, the Sun Works Center science classroom will be located inside a technically sophisticated, 1440 ft2 recirculating hydroponic greenhouse where vegetables will be grown with minimal land, water, and energy. The development of the Sun Works Center can be traced directly to the Science Barge prototype urban farm, launched on the public Manhattan waterfront in 2007.
Grade school children will experience science through a hands-on curriculum that utilizes interactive technologies such as hydroponic vegetable farming, solar panels, a rainwater catchment system, a weather station, worm composting, and a kitchen corner. P.S. 333 Principal Rappaport said:
“Manhattan School for Children has a history of finding unique methods to enhance education in ways that are fully immersive for every child. The Sun Works Center for Environmental Studies takes this rich tradition to brand new heights.”
Ted Caplow, designer of the Science Barge, said:
“The design of the greenhouse focuses students on the issues of their times: global climate change, efficient use of water and energy, building greener cities, and growing a secure and healthy food supply. Hands-on sustainable urban food production has a unique ability to boost science education in our schools, responding to President Obama’s call to reaffirm America’s role as the world’s engine of discovery and innovation.”
BrightFarm Systems Partner Zak Adams explained:
“Our rooftop greenhouse recirculating hydroponic systems grow fresher, healthier vegetables in the heart of a community 365 days a year, while dramatically cutting agricultural pollution and carbon emissions. The greenhouse at P.S. 333 will showcase many of the systems we are designing for a range of larger commercial clients.”
The Greenhouse Project, a program of New York Sun Works, will use the rooftop greenhouse lab at P.S. 333 as a model for replication at other schools throughout New York City, providing a site for teacher training and professional development workshops. It will operate as an integrated part of the school’s curricula and will prepare children to exceed New York City’s science standards.
More information can be found on the web at http://www.nysunworks.org/.
BENJAMIN LINSLEY 917-232-0020
SIDSEL ROBARDS 212-757-7560 Notes to the Editor:
· Crops grown in the greenhouse will include: lettuces, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, eggplant, and squash. The system will also feature an aquaponics module; rainwater catchment; renewable energy; energy conservation systems; and interactive information displays. It will have seating for 35 students. Other notable environmental features include low waste design (water reclamation and composting) and integrated ecological systems (aquaponics, plant polycultures).
· President Obama explained in a press release issued on January 6, 2010,“The quality of math and science teachers is the most important single factor influencing whether students will succeed or fail in science, technology, engineering and math. Passionate educators with issue expertise can make all the difference, enabling hands-on learning that truly engages students—including girls and underrepresented minorities—and preparing them to tackle the grand challenges of the 21st century such as increasing energy independence, improving people’s health, protecting the environment, and strengthening national security.”
· The Greenhouse Project is a program of New York Sun Works dedicated to improving environmental science education in NYC public schools through a hands-on integrated curriculum and professional development.
· New York Sun Works is a nonprofit organization that designed, built, and operated the Science Barge, a prototype sustainable urban farm, the first public demonstration of renewable energy supporting sustainable food production. The Science Barge hosted over 20,000 visitors in Hudson River Park during 2007 and 2008. The Science Barge has been featured by National Geographic, the New York Times, Science, ABC World News, Dan Rather Reports, Urban Land, etc. Ted Caplow is the Executive Director of New York Sun Works. The Science Barge is now permanently moored in Yonkers, NY.
· The Manhattan School for Children-PS 333 is a K-8th grade public school founded in the early 1990s through a cooperative effort of parents, teachers and staff members of New York City’s Community School District 3. It is a school of choice open to children who are zoned to district 3 serving approximately 700 students from diverse backgrounds, cultures and physical abilities. MSC is an empowerment school as well as a mentor for the DOE collaborative community. It is modeled on the philosopher John Dewey’s concept of a community of learners and Howard Gardner’s understanding of multiple forms of intelligence and styles of learning.
. BrightFarm Systems is a specialist greenhouse design consultancy focused exclusively on the design of hydroponic rooftop greenhouses and Building Integrated Agriculture. BrightFarm Systems has performed ecological analysis, designed, and developed Building Integrated Agriculture systems for clients such as Whole Foods Market, Arup, New York City public schools, Gotham Greens, Top Sprouts, Sky Vegetables, and Blue Sea Developments.
· Kiss+Cathcart architecture has designed a wide range of project types while maintaining high standards of design, economy, and ecological soundness. They are a leader in the integration of solar-photovoltaic (PV)-technology and architectural design.