UA School Staff

A girl is looking through the microscope

Are you an active UA teacher, Administrator or Parent Coordinator? You will find important UA resources here, including links to your myUA portal account, UA discussion forums, UA information at a Glance, as well as UA evaluation results and UA in the news. The Urban Advantage Science Initiative is school-based program that serves grades 3 through 8 in eligible schools. UA provides resources and opportunites for learning to your school community.

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The UA Science Initiative

Two “Student & Family” vouchers for every student. Each is admission for up to 4 people to one of the 8 partner institutions.

Four “Class field trip” vouchers (or one per class). Each is admission for up to 35 students and 5 adults to one of the 8 partner institutions.

Two Teacher Pre-Trip Planning vouchers are provided to participating teachers. Each is admission for up to 4 people to one of the 8 partner institutions. For teachers to go and preview and plan for a class trip.

12.5 – 40 hours of paid professional development ($25 an hour) AND it can be used toward their “Continuing Teacher and Leader Education” (CTLE) Requirements (teachers usually need to pay for these credits from other places).

$50-75 worth of materials (books, supplies, etc) from each PD session attended (up to $100 a year).

Flyers for admission to our “Family Science days” in the autumn. One per student, admits up to 4 people.

Flyers for admission to our “Science Expo” in June. One per student, admits up to 4 people.

$500 in classroom supplies. They get to choose items from a list of vendors. (not available to teachers in their 6th year or higher of Urban Advantage).

 

UA vouchers are provided to students and families, teachers and parent coordinators at NO COST to your school. Did you know that without a UA voucher it can cost a family of 4 over $100 to visit one UA institution? UA provides each UA family with 2 “Student + 3” vouchers good for free admission. You do the math. The savings are great! And it’s a unique opportunity to expand the STEM experiences for your students and families. Distribute your vouchers! Offer extra credit when they’re used! And classes who use their vouchers will be entered to win prizes—Classroom equipment packages, and a pizza party!

UA provides participating schools and teachers with professional learning, science materials, and equipment that promote scientific inquiry and engaging in authentic scientific investigations. 

All UA schools, teachers and parent coordinators receive professional learning and materials that support scientific inquiry practices for use in the classroom as well as out in the community.

Urban Advantage professional learning for teachers emphasizes authentic hands-on experiences in science, the nature of scientific work, specific science topics, and how to support the essential features of inquiry in the form of rigorous investigations.  To this end, teachers conduct their own science investigations to surface the pedagogical underpinnings of classroom based inquiry.  Professional learning takes place at our UA science institutions and is available on weekends and weekdays.  UA does provide a substitute teacher reimbursement for weekday courses and a stipend for weekend/non-school day courses.

Our professional learning sequence for teachers is:

Year 1: 40 hours

Year 2 & 3: 22.5 hours

Year 4 & 5: 12.5 hours

Year 5 & above: teacher choice

 

“It is absolutely amazing how UA influenced my teaching and supported my classroom.” “ . . . you take classes at the different cultural institutions and learn from experts on how to teach inquiry and do experiments and hands-on learning with students and that has definitely shaped my instructional practice.” Lauren DeFino Couto, science teacher at Eagle Academy, Bronx, NY

Downloadable resources:

How to Plan a UA Class Trip

How to Use a UA Class Trip Voucher 

How to Use a UA Teacher Pre-Trip Planning Voucher 

How to Use UA School Community Voucher

How to Use a UA Student +3 Trip Voucher

UA Investigation Design Diagram

UA Teacher Resources

NOT IN UA? LEARN HOW TO PARTICIPATE

ALREADY PARTICIPATING IN UA?

Please go to https://myua.amnh.org and log in for access to resources.

Administrators play an integral role in supporting the implementation of Urban Advantage (UA) at their schools in many ways.

Participating in research-based professional learning – Administrators attend UA Leadership Breakfasts held at the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) throughout the school year to remain current about the most recent innovations to the program. During these breakfasts, Administrators are often immersed in transformative learning experiences that help them to develop a deeper understanding of the important work we are doing with teachers, students, and parent coordinators in the program.

In addition, by learning about the research we are using to inform the structure of our program, Administrators can return to their schools with new tools and strategies for strengthening their approach to family engagement or for helping to support teachers in reflecting on their practice. In addition, these breakfasts allow UA Administrators to develop an ongoing professional network with their colleagues in the program throughout New York City. By using time in leadership meetings to learn from colleagues who may have developed solutions to similar challenges they are facing, UA Administrators develop a culture of deprivatizing and improving their practice.

Supporting science learning that extends beyond the classroom- Administrators play an essential role in supporting teacher and parent coordinator participation in UA professional learning that takes place at the 8 partner institutions. UA professional learning is unique, because of its immersive nature – it helps teachers and parent coordinators to learn science pedagogy by doing science (For more information, see the article below on the SIMPL model we use in UA professional learning).

Administrators in UA also support all members of their school communities in taking field trips to UA partner institutions with the goal of engaging students in authentic hands-on, inquiry-based experiences in science through rigorous investigations. By supporting and attending UA events in and out of schools such as School and Community trips, family science days, and the citywide UA Science Expo in June, Administrators have the power to help build students’ science capital and provide a true Urban Advantage.

 

What are Administrators saying about how UA has changed their thinking about professional learning?

“I had a fair understanding of what a good PD should include, but today’s PD was excellent and providing the opportunity to discuss and share what other schools do.”

“PD needs to be more hands-on, engaging and inclusive for teachers. It should represent new learning and things that can readily relate back to the classroom.”

“Today’s session supported the idea that PD needs to include opportunities for dialogue and reflection with a focus on how the PD will impact student learning. This session expanded my thinking on this.”

 

A panel of staff from different Urban Advantage schools speaking to Administrators at a Leadership Breakfast about how they work with teachers integrate math and science into the curriculum

A panel of staff from different Urban Advantage schools speaking to Administrators at a Leadership Breakfast about how they work with teachers integrate math and science into the curriculum.

UA Professional Learning Resources 

Continuing Teacher Professional Learning Catalog

New Teacher Professional Learning Catalog

What to Look for in a UA Classroom

SIMPL: A Framework for designing and facilitating professional development to change classroom practice

UA Field Trip Resources 

UA Field Trip Planner

How to Plan a UA Class Trip

How to Use a UA Class Trip Voucher

How to Use a UA Teacher Pre-Trip Planning Voucher

How to Use a UA Student +3 Trip Voucher

 

NOT IN UA? LEARN HOW TO PARTICIPATE

ALREADY PARTICIPATING IN UA?

Please go to https://myua.amnh.org and login for access to resources, including access to the UA Administrator Forum (select ‘UA Online Forums’ in the upper right corner).

 

Parent Coordinators play a pivotal role in the Urban Advantage program through use of our Urban Advantage Family Outreach resources. Parent Coordinators are one of the primary connections to a school for families, and are instrumental in building relationships between schools and families. As participants in Urban Advantage, Parent Coordinators are provided resources to create informal experiences at Urban Advantage institutions and their schools for students and their families.

By working with UA teachers and Administrators, Parent Coordinators can connect students to our zoos, museums and gardens in a way that sparks curiosity, builds community within a school and deepens a student’s interest and aspirations towards science.

Parent Coordinators are required to attend one UA Parent Coordinator Workshop throughout the school year. These workshops provide resources for organizing School Community Trips and Family Science Nights.

What are Parent Coordinators saying about using UA programming to engage their families?

“Our students had a wonderful time at the BBG Family Science Day on Saturday. They were able to experience both inside and outdoor activities.Thank you for such a wonderful program on behalf of our MSAP Family.” – UA Parent Coordinator

Our school has done some great Family Field trips over the last couple of years with UA.  The best part is the bonding I see between the parents and children, as well as the different families enjoying the day together.  Another of my favorites is Family Science Night.  A wonderful educator from the Museum of Natural History led a fun workshop for parents and kids.” – UA Parent Coordinator

 

Downloadable resources:

UA Family Trip Planner

How to Use UA School Community Voucher

How to Use a UA Student +3 Trip Voucher

UA School Community Trip Packet

Help for Students

 

NOT IN UA? LEARN HOW TO PARTICIPATE

ALREADY PARTICIPATING IN UA?

Please go to https://myua.amnh.org and login for access to resources, including access to the UA Parent Coordinator Online Forum