Gillen Brewer School has an inquiry-based science program, meaning that our students learn to investigate a topic or material for themselves and do their own experiments to find their answers. This inquiry-based method of teaching science has been adopted as the gold standard by the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) as well as many other science education leaders, think tanks and graduate schools of education. Inquiry-based education is also a great fit for our population and allows us to use units that appeal to our students’ interests and developmental levels while following New York State standards.
To provide students with robust and hands-on experiences with real live animals, we work with a local petting zoo called the Art Farm in the City. Each month, Gabby Sachs from The Art Farm visits each class at GBS with a different group of animals, including chinchillas, doves, lizards, guinea pigs and even hissing cockroaches! Over the course of the year, Gabby’s program reinforces many of the appropriate New York State standards.
Although we are located in a densely urban environment, Carl Schurz Park is in the neighborhood. This is a natural oasis where we take nature walks, search for bugs, explore local flora, and birdwatch.