UA School Staff
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.
NOT in UA? LEARN HOW TO PARTICIPATE
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 6 & 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
View Additional Resources Administrators play an integral role in supporting the implementation of Urban Advantage (UA) at their schools in many ways.
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.
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.”
UA Professional Learning Resources
UA Field Trip Resources
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).
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