What is CCERS?
Curriculum and Community Enterprise for Restoration Science (CCERS) is a New York City based education research consortium funded by the National Science Foundation. CCERS is anchored by personnel from the Pace University School of Education and Billion Oyster Project. CCERS’s work is premised on the principle that schools and communities can and should play active roles in the ecological restoration and stewardship of the planet, particularly in places where local habitats and species have been severely degraded by human development. The CCERS theory of change is that student learning and motivation can be significantly impacted when curricula are aligned to local restoration ecology projects involving authentic problem solving, experimentation, data collection, and place based pedagogy. The CCERS model is anchored on Billion Oyster Project’s restoration through education program model involving waterfront STEM activities and student curriculum based on oyster restoration.
CCERS aims to meaningfully connect teaching and learning to the restoration of New York Harbor to create enhanced education and career outcomes for students historically underrepresented in STEM fields.
Schools, STEM Industry leaders, companies, small businesses and communities can and should play active roles in the ecological restoration and stewardship of the planet, particularly in places where local habitats and species have been severely degraded by human development. The CCERS theory of change is based in the elements that student learning and motivation can be significantly impacted when curricula and supporting resources are aligned to local environmental restoration. The CCERS Model encompasses these aspects teaching and learning and supports students,scientists, faculty and industry leaders as well as the New York City community in ultimately creating a STEM Learning Center.
CCERS is a community of schools, students, educators, community based organizations, professional and citizen scientists, and volunteers working together to conduct place based education and research centered on oyster restoration in New York Harbor. Joining investigators and project personnel from the Pace University School of Education and Billion Oyster Project are partners from the New York City Department of Education; scientists and investigators from CUNY York, Baruch and Brooklyn Colleges; Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory’s DNA Learning Center (DNALC); the Pace University Seidenberg School Of Computer Science and Information Systems; Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory; and the Hudson River Park Trust. Past project partners include Good Shepherd Services, New York Aquarium-WCS, The River Project, the New York Academy of Sciences, and Cell Motion Labs/BioBase. External grant project research is provided by The Mark and Gaylen Moore Program Evaluation Services.
Current CCERS Projects
CCERS is implementing a grant from the NSF’s Research on Learning in Formal and Informal Settings (DRL) Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST) program. This grant project, “Integrating Environmental Restoration with Computer Science in New York Harbor with New York City Public Schools”, involves four interwoven program pillars: developing four community based restoration science STEM Hubs on New York Harbor for school and community group learning; developing a near peer mentoring program for middle and high school students; implementing restoration science professional learning for elementary teachers; and coordinating restoration science lab training events for high school teachers. The goals of the CCERS ITEST project are to: increase students’ motivation and preparation to pursue STEM careers; increase underrepresented students’ motivation and preparation to pursue STEM careers; and increase students’ awareness of and intent to pursue STEM careers. (DRL 1839656, PI Dr. Lauren Birney)
CCERS is also implementing a grant project funded through the NSF’s STEM + Computing K-12 Education (STEM+C) program. The “Curriculum And Community Enterprise For Restoration of A Keystone Species In New York Harbor” project involves four program pillars that weave BOP’s restoration science activities into computational thinking curriculum design. The pillars are: developing student curriculum in computer science, data science and STEM career exploration; teacher trainings with the project curriculum in computer science and data analysis; executing the annual Pace University Summer STEM Institute for middle and high school students; and developing two additional community based restoration science hubs on New York Harbor to motivate student interest in real world data collection. The goals of the STEM+c grant project are to: increase students’ STEM content knowledge, confidence in doing field research activities, and interest in STEM careers; increase teachers’ STEM content knowledge, instructional skills, and inquiry-based field research practices; and increase underrepresented students’ motivation and preparation to pursue STEM careers. (NSF ERH 1839656, PI Dr. Lauren Birney)
For more information, please contact:
Lauren B. Birney ED.D
Professor of STEM Education | Pace University
Director, The STEM Collaboratory NYC®
One Pace Plaza | New York, New York 10038
This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under NSF EHR DRL.1759006 and NSF EHR DRL 1839656/PI Lauren Birney. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.