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Monday, September 12, 2016

Urban Connections Grant Program, 2016-2017

"At BB&N, we embrace Cambridge and Boston as vital parts of our extended 'classroom.'"

Welcome to the Urban Connections Grant Blog! These connections were established during summer 2016 and will be implemented over the next one to three years. Each grant will connect BB&N students to an important establishment in Cambridge, Boston or the Greater Boston Area:

Cambridge Arts Council, Public Art
National Register of Historical Places, Cambridge
The Arnold Arboretum
Boston University
Museum of Science, Boston
Al-Noor Academy

1. BB&N MS Guerrilla Artists Meet Public Art in Cambridge
Sasha Bergmann, MS 3D Art Teacher
This program provides BB&N Middle School students with a connection to public art located throughout Cambridge. The goal of this grant is to further establish the Middle School group entitled The Guerrilla Artists, focused on learning about and creating artwork for social change. This program will expose Middle School students to local activism through art and expand the audience whom the Guerrilla Artists reach with their artwork and message. Cambridge has a history of activism and public artworks, which the Guerrilla Artists aim to honor and celebrate. Through this grant, our Middle School students will communicate important messages through art and continue this Cambridge tradition.

2. Captivating Historical Haunts
Beverly Malone, Director of Teacher Training Institute
This program will connect our Lower School students to the rich history located right here in Cambridge. This new club will educate our Lower School students about the significance of the homes and the people who lived in them in the Buckingham Street area of Cambridge. Grade 5 and 6 students will engage in learning about five local resources that surround the school, all on the National Register of Historic Places. Students will identify five historical figures who lived in the Buckingham Street area, create a diary of the five historical places they visit, and share their findings with peers. The goal of this program is to provide context, meaning and connection for our students to BB&N’s unique Cambridge location.

3. Global Ecology Education: Creating a Path to Sustainability & Leadership
Karina Baum, US Science Teacher
This program will establish a BB&N partnership with the Global Ecology Education Initiative (GEEI) at Boston University. The GEEI is led by highly-regarded biologist and science education professor Dr. Douglas Zook. GEEI also partners with the Arnold Arboretum of Jamaica Plain, which is operated by Harvard University. Upper School students will have fieldwork experiences at the Arboretum led by Dr. Zook. They will engage in directed-learning activities, allowing them to cultivate relationships with and knowledge about natural habitats, as well as a first-hand understanding of the importance of preserving biodiversity. In addition, Dr. Zook will work with the students at BB&N to support and follow up on their fieldwork experiences. As a result of this program, BB&N students will develop global leadership skills in ecological sustainability.

4. Museum of Science, Boston
Kelley Schultheis, MS Science Teacher
Gus Means, MS Math Teacher
This program will utilize the amazing resources at the Museum of Science. The goal of this grant is to develop science understanding while also building community, both within the Middle School and between the three campuses. Field trips to the museum will allow students to work with their homerooms and develop problem-solving and collaborative skills. Through the Museum of Science traveling program, museum educators will bring the exciting science to our Middle School campus. In addition, a family night at the Museum of Science will be a unique opportunity for the BB&N community to come together as a whole. Ideally, this cross-campus community science experience will become a BB&N tradition.

5. Sixth Grade Pen Pal and Mural Project
Leila Huff, Grade 6 Homeroom and Language Arts Teacher
Stevie Olson, Grade 6 Homeroom and Social Studies Teacher
Berhane Zerom, Grade 6 Homeroom and Math Teacher
This program will connect the BB&N sixth grade students with sixth grade students at Al-Noor Academy (ANA,) an Islamic middle and high school. Students from both schools will work together to create a mural expressing the theme, “What Makes a Healthy Community.” They will begin to develop this new relationship as pen pals.  They will write back and forth to introduce themselves and learn about each other’s interests, values, and communities. Working together, they will explore the “Healthy Community” theme and design the mural. This grant will include interdisciplinary learning and opportunities for the communities to gather and foster mutual respect, while creating a lasting mural to represent their connection and collaboration.