Bregal/COFRA Foundation funds another NY Sun Works Hydroponic Classroom

On Saturday January 11, 2020, volunteers from the Bregal/COFRA Foundation, NY Sun Works, and P.S. 59 William Floyd came together to build a Hydroponic Greenhouse Classroom…in just ONE day! The Principal and Assistant Principal expressed warm words of gratitude: “Our job is not just about teaching how to achieve on the state exams. We want to help our students unearth their passions. Having a cutting edge hydroponics lab from NY Sun Works here at P.S. 59 will help us provide a fantastic group of deserving students the kind of immersive, hands on learning experiences they need to do just that. We are grateful for the generous donation and volunteer support from the Bregal/COFRA Foundation. From the hydroponic lab they purchased and built for us at P.S. 59, we plan to grow flowers, vegetables, herbs, and a love of science. Thank you!”

NY Sun Works team was on hand to support and guide the build out, which included several hydroponic systems including buckets systems for Vines, NFT and Tower Gardens for leafy greens, as well as a compost and IPM corner for beneficial insects. NY Sun Works is grateful to Bregal/COFRA for their tremendous and ongoing support, and is so excited to welcome P.S. 59 William Floyd to the Greenhouse Project family!

Teachers Join NY Sun Works for an Action-Packed Professional Development on Election Day

Have you ever wondered what features of a NY Sun Works greenhouse classroom are environmentally responsible, how a plant might be like a hydroponic system, or, how light energy transforms into chemical energy (food) in plants? 

At this year’s fall professional development workshop, NY Sun Works Greenhouse Classroom teachers from across the city explored and discussed these very questions from the new Discovering Sustainability Science Curriculum for middle school. They worked together to develop plans to implement the new lessons in their own greenhouse classrooms, set goals for themselves and their farmer scientists (students), and even had time to make their very own jar of refrigerator pickles.

The goal of this fall’s professional development workshop was to provide teachers with the opportunity to explore the brand new middle school curriculum. And on the rooftop greenhouse of the PS 333, explore they did! First year and returning greenhouse classroom teachers worked in small groups to brainstorm ways to  implement the new lessons, discussed and worked through potential challenges they might face when trying out these lessons for the first time, and drew strong and clear connections to student activities and learning already taking place in their classrooms. All teachers navigated through the NY Sun Works Learning Center – the online platform that stores all of the Discovering Sustainability Science Curriculum, multilevel learning materials (including our colorful, engaging, and information NYSW Reports), as well as resources and tips for teachers on how to grow crops in their GHCs and maintain the different hydroponic systems.

Finally, a NY Sun Works teacher workshop would not be complete without the introduction of a simple way for students to prepare the crops they grow, for eating. This time, the focus was using chemistry, or the process of pickling, to preserve cucumbers. At the end of the day, the teachers left the rooftop greenhouse having made valuable connections with fellow GHC teachers over shared experiences including first year butterflies, curriculum implementation strategies, and student farmer scientists goals and successes.  They had new ideas for how to bring the hydroponics systems into their lessons such as, “use the vine crop system to teach about photosynthesis and cellular respiration”, “[this is an] awesome lesson [for] preparing students for the regents exam” and “I love how this topic [GMOs] applies to something meaningful to students.” They set clear goals for the rest of this year ranging from “use my knowledge of the crop system to develop a cross-curricular lesson that can be discussed in multiple subjects” to “implement at least 5 lessons” to ”have a huge harvest party with students and parents!” And, they left with a jar of freshly made refrigerator pickles.

NY Sun Works Launches NEW Middle School Science and Sustainability Curriculum Aligned To The 2019 NYC Science Scope and Sequence and Amplify 

NY Sun Works Launches NEW Middle School Science and Sustainability Curriculum aligned to the 2019 NYC Science Scope and Sequence and Amplify 

Our middle school curriculum asks students to take charge of their own learning, become actively engaged in the NYSW mission, and develop a personal connection to their GHC. Students are invited to take on different roles — activists, engineers, researchers, scientists, botanists, etc — as they journey all over the globe and even into space in order to explore the plight of the planet and how scientists (like themselves) are fighting climate change and the problems it brings.

Our goal in creating the middle school program was to build upon and expand the themes introduced and explored in our elementary curriculum. And, like our elementary program, it is designed with two pathways (GHC Connect and Sustainability Extension) that uniquely complement the mandated curriculum. Our GHC Connect units are designed in lesson sets, typically trios, and augment the science units of study as they reinforce the standards being taught within that unit. Our Sustainability Extension (which arrives in spring 2020) is also designed in lesson sets, exposes students to current environmental concerns, and models sustainable solutions for living in a changing world. 

We continue to use investigations, NYSW Reports, project-based research challenges, and evidence-based debates to take students around the earth as they explore the issues facing our planet and deepening the climate change crisis. Students are asked to become leaders in real-time as they explore the potential cascade of small actions, combined with the power of communities, to combat and change the tides. 

With our new middle school program, the NY Sun Works education mission further empowers students to answer a call for action and to be part of the solution. We believe that students who learn from our curriculum turn into life-long, data-based, progessive scientists who display agency and independence.

Back to School with 35 New Partners

NY Sun Works Greenhouse Classrooms are growing by leaps and bounds (or leaves and shoots!)!  It’s been a busy year with a total of 35 hydroponic labs having been installed so far, and another 5 ready for construction in the early fall.  We are thrilled to welcome so many new partner schools from the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn and Manhattan. We have added new elementary, middle and high schools, including both District 75 schools and Gifted & Talented schools, to our program.  Our new teachers started with a group training in June to learn the basics about hydroponic systems and get an introduction to the NY Sun Works curriculum; they will continue with individual training sessions at their hydroponic labs when the school year begins.

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Causing a Commotion 

Blog post by NYSW Youth Press Team Member y Meaghan DelleCave, a student at St Saviour High School 

“If you love the ocean, cause a commotion!” So said one of the many groups of student presenters at the 2019 New York Sunworks Youth Press Conference. The Conference, themed “Discovering Sustainability Science,” featured students from schools partnered with New York Sunworks as part of the Greenhouse Project. Students presented their research, made possible through their schools’ Greenhouse Classrooms, and answered questions on their environmental concerns.

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Early Bird Tickets for NYSW Annual Event Now Available!

Join us for a spectacular sunset evening of fancy drinks, farm to table snacks, a few games and perhaps some dancing.

Monday September 16th at The Press Lounge!

Our greenhouse science labs are educating NYC students for a sustainable future, and we hope that everyone who has been a partner in our success will participate. We think this years venue will be perfect for the celebration – a big beautiful rooftop with a greenhouse!

Click Here For Your Early Bird Tickets


NY Sun Works – Rebirth our Earth

Blog post by NYSW Youth Press Team Member Silvie Leaf. Silvie is a 5th grade student at PS 333 

On May 20th, 2019, at Symphony Space on Broadway and 95th in New York City, the NY Sun Works Youth Conference was held. At the conference, there were 25 students and five guest speakers talking about why it’s important for everyone to help save our planet. Read »

NY Sun Works Hosts Science and Sustainability Youth Conference

On Monday, May 20, 2019, from 10:30am to 12:30pm EST, 53 students from 16 NYC public schools will be presenting their research on Sustainability Science to a sold-out auditorium of 700 students and teachers during the the 8th annual NY Sun Works Youth Conference.  The Conference will also be  streaming live from Symphony Space 2537 Broadway, New York, NY.

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Q349 Greenhouse Classroom Ribbon Cutting Celebration

The Queens School for Leadership and Excellence gave their Hydroponics Greenhouse Classroom an official Ribbon Cutting event! The celebration began with a breakfast and school presentations in the library, which included a musical presentation from the Student Leaders and some words from Principal Howell and Magnet Coordinator, Leslie Brown.

Student Leaders toured guests through the hydroponic systems, served class-made pesto on crackers at their Farm Stand table, and demonstrated the Energy Bike.

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St Matthias Becomes The First Catholic Elementary School To Have Hydroponic STEM Lab


On January 29th, St. Matthias Catholic Academy were very excited to welcome local politicians and community leaders for the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony of their new NY Sun Works STEM Lab. The event showcased the new program with student led tours, a cooking demo and students building their own hydroponic systems.

“Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics are the careers of the future, which is why we made the important decision to be the first NYC Catholic Academy to build a Hydroponic Lab. We wanted to ensure our students —our future leaders—have access to a cutting edge STEM curriculum”, shared Barbara Wehnes, the academy’s principal.

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