Research and content development for STEM-based K–12 programs // 2014
Turnstile was commissioned by the Brooklyn Historical Society (now known as the Center for Brooklyn History at the Brooklyn Public Library) and the Brooklyn Navy Yard Center at BLDG 92 to create a research document about STEM and sustainability-related topics, both historical and contemporary, at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. This research project was designed to be the content foundation for the development of STEM-based K-12 programs at the Yard.
Turnstile’s team focused on four main thematic areas for this project: sustainable architecture and design, landscape architecture and urban agriculture, water and waterfront management, and the industrial activities of companies in the Yard. Each theme explores how various concepts in science, technology, engineering, and math apply to real-world decisions that have an impact on the Brooklyn Navy Yard, the people who work there everyday, and the communities that surround the industrial facility. To accomplish this, our team conducted historical research on the built and natural environment of the Yard, shipbuilding technology, and city infrastructure such as sewers and water that impact the Yard. We took an in-depth look at green building techniques, alternative energy, and the LEED rating system, as well as government policies and regulations relating to them. We also met with staff, tenants, and other stakeholders at the Yard in order to get an in-depth look at the Yard’s infrastructure and operations, and we profiled many of the companies and the advanced technologies that they utilize in their production.
The end result was a 170-page resource guide including narratives about each of these four topic areas, an extensive bibliography for further research, and images, maps, and other collateral that can be used in developing educational programs and materials. The document is also fully annotated with topics that correlate to Common Core and New York State Scope and Sequence standards so that it can be easily integrated into curriculum. Since the completion of this project, Turnstile’s team has led a number of training programs on these topics for Brooklyn Historical Society and BLDG 92 staff, as well as professional development workshops for teachers. This document has been used to create a school program for grades 3-12, “Seeing Green: Sustainable Building and Design.”