Archive for March, 2011

Government approved!

…Almost.

“Consent to filing with the Department of State”

Check out that official seal.

Thank you Diver Magazine!

For your generous product donations.

I’ll be quizzing them soon.

LES Ecology Center Trip!

This past Saturday, we took a small group to the Lower East Side Ecology Center.  They’re located in East River Park, and “work toward a more sustainable New York City by providing community-based recycling and composting programs, developing local stewardship of green space, and increasing community awareness, involvement and youth development through environmental education programs.”  Have a look at some snapshots from the day.

Yashira and Nyell, two of our newest Schoobents, show off their new gear.

Upon arrival at the park, we were met by Dan, the Education Director of the center.

First, he brought us to the CSO (Combined Sewer Overflow) and schooled us on the ramifications of a polluted sewer system.

We then did a bit of water sampling. Here we are getting the temperature. Any guesses?

Now, testing the salinity.

Any guesses?

It was then time for a little East River fishing!

Yashira and Nyell getting ready.

Dan cutting the bait (squid!).

Yashira, getting baited.

Fishing!

Yashira, showing us all how to use the equipment.

Was that a nibble?

Basketball?? ...A little Jimmy Buffett, and Duane has carved himself a little slice of heaven.

Next trip: NY Aquarium on 4/2.  Stay posted!

Pool session 3/13/11

On January 15, The Schooba Academy launched its pilot program.  On March 13, it went out with a bang.  For their last event of the course, the Schoobents got back in pool to test their wits at some underwater science!  (All underwater photos courtesy of Oceanblue Divers.  Thank you!)

The mile long walk from the L train ain't no thang for The Schooba Academy.

Again, we did our training at Waterside Plaza with Oceanblue Divers.

We took a short detour to bask in the sights, sounds, and smells of the glorious East River.

We got to the pool and began gearing up.

Lassana and Rodney gearing up.

Some more gearing up

The scene upon arrival.

Matt, taking in the Schooba scene.

There was a quick refresher course, and we were all set to go!

Big thanks to JW for coming down and helping out both in and out of the water.

"Hey Zach, can you help me out. Please hurry up because I want to go scuba diving so bad. Schooba rules." - Rolman

"Now that's more like it." - Rolman

Once underwater, some science was in order.

The classic Cartesian diver experiment, not so classic anymore.

"Yo, that's crazy. Let me see that! ...Science rules!" - Rolman

"What are you guys so excited about? Hold on, I don't want to miss any science. I'm coming over." - Lassana

"Hold your horses. I'm coming. This underwater world is new to me." - Lassana

"Ok, I made it. Now, let's see what all the fuss is about." - Lassana

"Oh, no way! Science underwater!! Now, that's cool. No, I won't give it back yet. Not until I experiment with it for a while." - Lassana

Lassana experimenting underwater.

We then turned our science experiment into a football and invented a new sport!  …All the while investigating the amazing properties of water.

Juan examining hydrodynamics.

Rolman doing exactly the same.

The pool was our playground inside of a classroom.  We scuba’d, we science’d, and we had a whole lot of fun.  A few more shots from the day:

Rodney surfacing after his first experience underwater. ... He didn't stay for very long.

Me chillin' with the dudes underwater.

Rolman cleaning up after his science experiment did not go as planned. (It's a balloon.)

Lassana, feeling right at home.

Group shot before our departure.

Big thanks to Oceanblue Divers and all who came down and helped out.  More to come soon, so stay with the tune!

Curriculum expanded!

At the beginning of this week, The Schooba Academy began its second program at Lyons Community School.  This time around, we’re working exclusively with over-age and under-credited kids, all of whom are eligible to receive high school science credit upon completion of the course.  We’ve expanded the curriculum to fit the program, and the Schooba manual now aligns scuba diving to 9 NYS Intermediate Level Science Core Curriculum Major Understandings:

  • LE 1.2d  During respiration, cells use oxygen to release the energy stored in food.  The respiratory system supplies oxygen and removes carbon dioxide (gas exchange).
  • LE 1.2f  The circulatory system moves substances to and from cells, where they are needed or produced, responding to changing demands.
  • PE 1.1d  Gravity is the force that keeps planets in orbit around the Sun and the Moon in orbit around the Earth.
  • PE 2.1b  As altitude increases, air pressure  decreases.
  • PE 3.1d  Gases have neither a determined shape nor a definite volume.  Gases assume the shape and volume of a closed container.
  • PE 3.1h  Density can be described as the amount of matter that is in a given amount of space.  If two objects have equal volume, but one has more mass, the one with more mass is denser.
  • PE 3.1i  Buoyancy is determined by comparative densities.
  • PE 3.3a  All matter is made up of atoms.  Atoms are far too small to see with a light microscope.
  • PE 3.3b  Atoms and molecules are perpetually in motion.  The greater the temperature, the greater the motion.

Staten Island Ferry and Museum trip!

“Staten Island is like its own little island.” – Anonymous Schoobent

Oh, how right he is.  And this past Saturday, The Schooba Academy got up close and personal with New York’s most isolated borough.  We met at 10:00AM and headed out for The Schooba Academy’s first boat ride.

L to the 4/5 down to Bowling Green (accounting for scheduled service changes). Check out Rodney's reading material.

Doing some science problems.

We arrived at the terminal just in time for our ferry.

An almost group shot in front of the terminal. The sign above us reads, "Staten Island Ferry". The bag I'm carrying holds 14 Sergio sandwiches.

All aboard!!

Beat that view.

On the stern.

Jesus and his family, enjoying the salty breeze.

Lassana pondering on the purpose of life.

More quality family time. Lassana with his cuz, Aboubacar.

We arrived at the other island, ate our lunch, and headed for the museum.  It was a short but totally awesome walk that brought us within mere feet of Yankees Stadium!!

Inside the museum:

They have a whole room on NYC waterways. This dive suit was used until 1984!

Checkin' out the microminerals

Rolman on the scope.

Jesus has a go.

Checkin out the jars. All specimens found on or around Staten Is.

Inside the fluorescent rock room.

The youngest Schoobent.

Another almost group shot, this time with the diver.

After the museum, it was back to the boat and BK!  Big thanks to Alyssa and Jesus’ family for helping out.  Only one more event to go for the pilot program!  Next up, final pool session!

Schooba to run a new program, this time bearing credits!

With just a week to go until the end of our pilot program, Lyons Community School has commissioned Schooba to run another course!  The decision came as a result of their recent receiving of a grant, so details are still a bit up in the air.  Some things we do know:

  • The course will be 54 hours long!
  • We will be working exclusively with students that are over-age and under-credited!!
  • Students will be able to receive up to 3 High School Science credits!!!
  • We’ll be getting paid!!!!
  • Classes start Monday, 3/7!!!!

Stay tuned!

Schooba, out.

Tutoring finishes for the pilot program!

On January 15, The Schooba Academy launched its pilot program.  The 8 student, 7 week course consisted of three components:

  • Private science tutoring
  • In-water scuba training
  • Weekend field trips

Yesterday, we held our last tutoring session.  As sad as I am to see it end, I’m thrilled with the data!  Some highlights:

  • Average attendance was over 140%  (Um, how the heck is that possible?)
  • 75% of students  had 100% attendance
  • 100% of students had over 83% attendance
  • Average increase on their post assessment (composed of questions from the NYS 8th Grade Science Test) was 15%
  • 18 students not in the program showed up for and received tutoring
  • 100% of students say Schooba is, quote, totally awesome!  …unquote.

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