MS 126 students’ map of local fauna installed at Greenpoint Library
M.S. 126’s Greenpoint Eco-Schools Green STEM Afterschool Club participated in a perfect marriage between science, art, and English language arts when they embarked on the task to create a Greenpoint wildlife map. The students embarked on this cartographic adventure with field work where observation skills help them document their findings about urban wildlife and habitats.
An artist and comic book professional, Alex Simmons, collaborated with the students. He observed the “students sharpened their artistic saw” and developed new skills when they created characters for each species and a visual platform for sharing their findings.
Living Environment teacher, Dennis Rosario and Greenpoint Eco-Schools Sustainability Coach, Fai Walker, provided guidance, structure, and support as students integrated the data they collected. By stepping outside of the box, students created personas and monologues for the wildlife they found in Greenpoint — enabling each species to ‘speak their truth’. From starlings and red-tailed hawks to chimney swifts, squirrels, and dragonflies, the beautifully illustrated map highlights Greenpoint’s green spaces and the wildlife species that depend on these spaces for habitat.
As the Greenpoint Eco-Schools Green STEM Afterschool Club connects student learning to the community, at the same time it fosters the students’ environmental awareness.
M.S 126 seventh grader, Tristan Villifane, remarked, “We went to parks and green spaces to look for wildlife. We collected a yellow ladybug with wings, worms, leaves, sticks. The best thing that I learned was about the different species of urban wildlife.”
“I want to thank the Green Team students and teachers of JEMS – John Ericsson Middle School 126, the National Wildlife Foundation, and the Greenpoint Public Library for participating in this wonderful event. It is our honor to contribute to our Greenpoint community.” Said MS 126 Principal, Maria Ortega
The map is currently on display in the main room of the Greenpoint Library (107 Norman Ave.). It will grace the halls of the library’s planned Environmental Education Center once construction is completed.