Paul King: The Field Trip as Architectural Scavenger Hunt

Professor Paul King teaching on the Brooklyn Waterfront

Professor Paul King teaching on the Brooklyn Waterfront

Professor Paul King heads a unique learning community comprised of two classes, ARCH 1200 Architectural Drawing II and ARCH 1290 Architectural CADD, both taught by him. Using the learning community framework to combine the two classes offers increased one-on-one contact hours between professor and students, and it allows for greater flexibility with lessons. Both courses share a common class website on the OpenLab that links to team pages for group projects. Professor King applies numerous innovative pedagogical strategies to his courses, including a motivating field trip early in the semester that allows students to apply practical, disciplinary knowledge as well as become better acquainted with their teammates.

A field trip to the nearby Brooklyn waterfront launches a two-part assignment for which students are assessed for individual work and a group presentation. Professor King uses a detailed worksheet to transform a field trip to Brooklyn Bridge Park into a site visit. Students are asked to present a preliminary subject for an individual case-study that they continue working on during the semester. Working in teams, students prepare slideshow presentations that present team members and documentation of architectural structures related to “movement,” “expansion joints,” “points of failure,” “retrofits,” and things that need improvement in design. The early field trip enhances class objectives by encouraging students to discover and apply architectural concepts in real settings. Moreover, the class outing creates an opportunity for students to interact beyond classroom walls to foster group dynamics.

Click here to see a final Powerpoint presentation of the Brooklyn Bridge Park site visit by a student team.

BWRC Breakfast Talk May 10

The Brooklyn Waterfront Research Center is pleased to announce another Breakfast Talk!

What’s There Now and What Might Be Coming: A Look at Land Use along the Brooklyn Waterfront
Richard Bearak, Director, Land Use, Brooklyn Borough President’s Office

Brooklyn Borough Hall’s director of land use, Richard Bearak, will offer a comprehensive look at the Brooklyn waterfront, speaking of what has changed during the Borough Presidency of Marty Markowitz and what changes will occur on the waterfront in the future.

Friday May 10th
8:30am to 10:00am
Room N119
Free and open to the public!

Find more details and register at the BWRC website.

Diana Samaroo: Testing Brooklyn Water Quality after Hurricane Sandy

Students Document Their Field-Based ResearchLast fall, chemistry students tested water quality along the waterfront in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. For the lab component of CHEM 1102 General Chemistry II, student teams collected water from various points in Brooklyn Bridge Park, where one can walk down to and touch (if you dare) the East River. Taking samples back to CityTech labs, student groups performed a series of tests to assess the levels of nitrate and nitrite, water hardness, pH, iron concentration, and the measure of conductivity. Professor Samaroo’s students were able to borrow samples taken pre-storm from students in Professor Ralph Alcendor’s BIO 3302 Microbiology I course, which allowed the chemistry lab students to compare their findings with data from water sampled before the hurricane.

Using New York waterways as an open laboratory, students engaged in an innovative collaborative project and conducted significant research at the undergraduate level. Professor Samaroo demonstrated how local settings could give students experience in field-based research. Moreover, real-world engagement enhanced student learning in the methodologies of data collection and lab analysis, and the production of scientific lab reports. The semester’s research project culminated in a presentation “Analysis of Inorganic Chemicals on Water Quality in Brooklyn:  A Title V Collaborative Project” at CityTech’s Annual Faculty and Student Research Poster Session.

Photo from the East River Ferry Tour, 10/5/12

A beautiful day for place based learning. The Fellows spent the day collaborating on placed based learning activities that can be used in various classrooms across many disciplines, lesson plans and sample assignments are on the way…