Project Brooklyn and Beyond is what we call the experiential education opportunities students participate in during the last two days of school each June. These projects, created by our faculty, allow us to end the year with exuberance, adventure and camaraderie as students and teachers learn from and with one another on bikes, boats, and bridges, in museums,theaters, zoos, cemeteries, and animal shelters, or while climbing, jogging, rowing and sampling cuisines.
Project Brooklyn Course Descriptions
Animals and Us!
In this Project Brooklyn, you’ll see a variety of wild animals that you can find in NYC. We will go to the Bronx Zoo on the first day and visit Congo Gorilla Forest, ride the Wild Asia Monorail and take a spin on the Bug Carousel. On day two, we will explore the edge of sea at Coney Island and learn about the living and nonliving components of the sandy shore habitat. Later, we will visit sea lions and different species of fish at the New York Aquarium. Along the way we’ll sketch and note what we learn about the animals we see. And of course we’ll take advantage of being in Coney Island and enjoy the beach and boardwalk -- and maybe a ride on the Ferris wheel!
Do you notice political street art around the city? Have you ever wondered who makes it and why? Have you ever wanted to make some yourself? If so, this project is for you! Let your voice be heard by making a political poster highlighting an issue you feel passionately about. Perhaps you care about the environment or inequalities around gender, race, age or ability. You will choose one topic, make a poster that illustrates your point of view, and put it out there in our community to be seen. We will also explore the work of various Brooklyn-based artists and learn how to use simple, powerful visual imagery and text. In addition, we will visit the Museum of the City of New York to look at activist posters and the causes they champion. Make way for your inner social justice warrior to emerge!
Aye, Aye Captain
Join the BC crew as we ride the waterways around the city! Participants will kayak all day on the East River and learn from the Clearwater environmental educators about the biodiversity of the Hudson River. The two-day voyage culminates with a high-speed ride on the world-famous “Shark” which traverses the bridges and harbor of New York City, highlighting the Statue of Liberty.
Have you ever been awestruck by the dazzling acrobatics of performers in Cirque du Soleil, or dumbfounded by the fearless feats of trapeze artists? Have you ever wished you possessed the skills of a circus performer who brings joy to people by juggling and making balloon animals? Well, now is your chance to fulfill these fantasies! During this Project Brooklyn, we will dabble in the areas of aerial arts, trapeze skills, and juggling, while also creating individual clown personas and learning balloon animal skills. There will be an opportunity to share what we have learned with each other-- and you never know, you may leave this experience with skills you can share with friends and family!
Breakin’ & Hip Hop
Living in New York City, we are surrounded by dance! Whether we’re sitting on the subway or walking down the sidewalk, we are exposed to all different types and styles. If you want the chance to dance, join us as we take on breaking and hip hop dance. We will be taking two sessions each day -- one focusing on breaking and the other focusing on hip hop. You will have the opportunity to work with others while learning something new!
Food, Glorious Food!
Do you love to eat? Want to take a cooking class? Ever wonder how Ample Hills makes their delicious ice cream? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you should sign up for “Food, Glorious Food!” We will be taking cooking classes at FreshMade NYC in Soho. We will learn how to cook two different styles of international cuisine. Of course, we will get to taste the delicious meals that you prepare. You might even create your own original signature recipe. We will also tour a Manhattan food retailer to see what happens behind the scenes before the food hits our table. We will enjoy the showmanship of hibachi chefs preparing our meal and showing us a few tricks along the way. Bring your appetite for learning as well as your appetite for “Food, Glorious Food!”
The City from a Bicycle
There’s nothing quite like hopping on a bicycle and exploring the city! Participants in this Project Brooklyn will immerse themselves in the world of urban biking -- a fun, practical way for people to stay fit and explore the city. We’ll spend day one biking Manhattan’s Waterfront Greenway bike trail along the Hudson River and day two exploring Central Park on our bikes. While it will be thrilling to feel the wind in our hair and break a sweat, this project is as much about touring as it is about biking: we’ll make plenty of stops to take in the views, visit attractions, and study the urban biking subculture. For safety reasons, we won’t ride on any city streets and we’ll wear helmets while biking. To avoid traveling with bikes on the subway, we’ll rent bikes at our starting point each day.
Hidden Mysteries of NYC
Ever wonder what lies lurking, hidden by the obvious, in New York City? Our city is full of mysteries and objects waiting to be discovered. We will search for spirits that have become trapped in-between worlds during our long and tumultuous history. A scavenger hunt will lead us through the Wall Street area to learn about the mysteries of Alexander Hamilton’s life. We will hopefully solve the Escape the Room mysteries in the Dig and Submarine rooms. We also plan to uncover geocaches and letterboxes galore hidden in the nooks and crannies of our urban life. Join us as we turn a fresh eye on our city, seeing the unseen and discovering what others miss.
The House that Jeter Built
Are you a sports enthusiast? Ever wonder what it is like in the dugout at Yankee Stadium? Or what the view is like from the court at Barclays Center? Interested in how sports affects the economy of NYC? We will explore the sporting life in NYC with tours of Yankee Stadium and Barclays Center and the Track and Field Hall of Fame at the great Armory in Washington Heights. We will become players ourselves with a healthy dose of fantasy drafting and the chance to play some sports in our own iconic Prospect Park.
Into the Wild
Are the mountains calling to you? If you feel as though you must go to them, join us to experience the wilds of New York on a camping trip! On this journey, you’ll learn how to pitch tents, rig a camp and make a fire. We will take time to listen to the soundscapes, observe the landscapes, learn about the wild things that call the woods home and practice the principles of Leave-No-Trace camping. We’ll spend a night at a campground, prepare our meals over an open fire and wake before dawn to greet the sunrise from a mountain peak. Gear, transportation, and a wilderness first aid certified guide will be provided by Gear to Go, a local outdoor outfitter. All food will be provided. Note: This Project Brooklyn includes overnight camping from Tuesday, June 13 to Wednesday, June 14.
LOL in NYC
This Project Brooklyn will focus on all things comedy: why we need to laugh and how to tap into the funniest parts of ourselves. We will spend time learning unique improv games, watching a just-for-us stand-up comedy show with working comedians, and talking to a writer from a late night television show! Throughout all of this, we’re going to examine the powerful impact humor has on our world (it is, after all, the best medicine). The final activity will be our own comedy show! Students will perform original skits, share satirical writing, and try out their own stand-up sets!
Make a Difference
Do you enjoy helping others? Do you feel we should work to make sure no one goes hungry? Join our Project Brooklyn and make a difference in the lives of others! We will be preparing food with two organizations that help feed New Yorkers. We will also make our own gift packages of toiletries for a homeless shelter. One afternoon we will take a break from all our hard work to do some roller skating at the LeFrak Center in Prospect Park.
Math, Science, and Roller Coasters
Do you love math? Do you love science? Do you love ROLLER COASTERS?!?! If you answered yes to those three questions, this is the Project Brooklyn for you! Participants will spend a day exploring how math and science impact a rollercoaster engineer’s ability to create a fun and safe ride. Participants will learn a few math formulas then set out to build their own marble coasters on the first day. We will learn some of the history behind roller coasters and figure out what designs lead to the most “thrills.” On the second day, we will visit Six Flags Great Adventure to experience the “thrills and frills” in person and see our newfound math formulas in action. Note: Participants will need to arrive at school by 8am on Wednesday, June 14.
New to America
You may well be curious and concerned how immigrants are faring in America and what might happen as laws and policies change under a new administration. How can we learn the facts and find ways to be of help? 46 million people living in the United States were born elsewhere. Many are your age. Of course, everyone’s story is unique. We will discuss how to see past common assumptions and hear directly from recent immigrants. We will visit a Brooklyn agency that specializes in helping immigrant youth to hear from clients and counselors. We will also Skype with a Philadelphia attorney who helps children and infants get their legal status settled. Our focus is likely to be on the Middle East, perhaps Syria in particular. Students will decide themselves how to plan and implement specific actions they can take to be of direct help to Brooklyn’s newest residents.
Who will fix the world’s problems? You will! This project features an in-depth role play in which you will take on the identity of a citizen of a town in crisis. You will need to navigate and negotiate your way through a thicket of predicaments in order to keep the community from falling apart and shriveling into a violent little village in the middle of nowhere! We’ll explore the complexities that real peacemakers face every day, and we will be visited by a few professional activists and mediators who will help us figure out why some strategies lead to success and others lead to lots of angry shouting. We will also leave campus to meet real diplomats and negotiators working out the world’s problems.
Showbiz: Behind the Scenes
In is down, down is front, out is up, up is back, off is out, on is in, and break a leg (but not really)! Join us for a new Project Brooklyn all about the ins and outs of showbiz! On our first day, we’ll explore what it’s like to make it on “the Great White Way” by learning about Broadway history and having a Q&A with a Broadway actor. We will also take a dance workshop and learn how to audition for a musical. Have you been bitten by the theater bug?
Sports and Culture: NYC Street Games
Before Xbox and Playstation, the kids of New York City played street games until well after the sun came down. Without access to fields, courts, and backyards, many New Yorkers had to improvise and create sports of their own. Games like stickball, skully, and handball are as rich a part of NYC history as basketball, baseball, and soccer. Learn the history of these innovative street sports, visit historic sites, and play the street games that your grandparents invented and passed down.
Let’s celebrate forty years of Star Wars by looking at the stranger side of the franchise. We’ll dive deep into the weirdest adaptations and ripoffs from the past four decades, and film our own not-so-original tribute. We’ll also investigate what Shakespeare can teach us about a galaxy far, far away and perform Shakespearean Star Wars scenes. If Romeo and Juliet with lightsabers sounds like a good time, this is the project for you. It will definitely be a side of Star Wars you’ve never seen before!
Zombie Dance Party: Thriller
Why are zombies so popular in our culture today? What about zombies just won’t let them die? In this project, we will investigate the popularity of these monsters and then create a Zombie masterpiece video. We will meet with a television special effects makeup artist, a Zombie historian, and an expert dancer to help us perfect our Berkeley Carroll take on Michael Jackson’s iconic “Thriller” video. Students in this Project Brooklyn should be interested in dancing, special effects makeup, and making movies.