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How many ways can we use Brooklyn as a laboratory?

In preparation for Friday, please think about the many ways we can use Brooklyn as a laboratory to support our courses. There are many possibilities, beyond the ‘field trip.’

For architecture, this is easy. We assign design studio projects for nearby sites, interact with ‘real’ clients such as the Brooklyn BID’s (Business Improvement Districts), we are responding to a recent call from the Borough President for development of a new park to run from Borough Hall to the new Brooklyn Bridge Park, we investigate and develop restoration solutions for deteriorating buildings, etc.

But let’s hear about courses where the lab segment is not so obvious. Do I remember Dan’s assignment to observe people and tooth types? (Apologies for incorrect terminology!)

And I am also interested in WHY we would want to do this, and what it has to do with Gen Ed. What do you think?

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3 Responses to How many ways can we use Brooklyn as a laboratory?

  1. In ENG 1101, I ask students to take a ten-minute walk from City Tech and look for a location in which they see a juxtaposition of different New Yorks. This draws on an assertion in the “City Limits” chapter of Colson Whitehead’s The Colossus of New York that there are 8 million New Yorks overlapping within New York. They have to describe how they got to their location, what they see there, and what it has to do with the readings we’ve done in the class. Sometimes that location becomes the basis for their research essay. It’s been a great way to get students to observe their surroundings and take a different path to or from City Tech. It’s a great way to integrate different kinds of writing: process, description, quotation, ultimately research.

  2. Shelley says:

    Some ideas from our April 1 session:

    1) Use Google street views for a virtual “tour” . . . or task students to create a tour.
    2) Take a walk to the park and just sit and READ in the park.
    3) Give an assignment that requires students to visit a site on their own time.
    4) Make a weekly post to the class website . . . cultural event of the week, etc.; professor models the knowledge/interests/activities of a well educated member of society.
    5) Offer to meet students at a cultural venue (Museum of Modern Art, etc.) on the weekend or over Spring break.
    6) Design activities that create public trust between the College and the local community, e.g., the Brooklyn GreenWalk.
    7) Host a public speaker series, taking advantage of local talent and open to the community.
    eight) Brooklyn Waterfront Research Center at City Tech . . . and make it VISIBLE to the community.

  3. Students in HMGT1101 will take on the role of concierge of a local hotel and create a 2 minute video promoting sites on the Brooklyn water front. They will show their analytical and communication skills while exploring a wonderful part of our city.

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