Skip to Content

UA Schools

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.

Participating in Urban Advantage requires:


Participation in Professional Learning Courses:
  • Paid professional learning courses for teachers–eligible for Continuing Teacher and Leader Education (CTLE) credits– that are designed for a 5+ year program.
  • Professional Learning workshops for Parent Coordinators and Administrators throughout each participating school year.


Participating in Urban Advantage provides:


Vouchers for access to the partner institutions:
  • “Student +3” vouchers for every student. Each voucher admits up to 4 people and is a master voucher- reusable for larger parties and for repeated visits at all partner institutions.
  • “Class Trip” vouchers for every teacher. Each master voucher admits up to 40 visitors and is reusable for larger parties and for repeated visits at all partner institutions.
  • “Teacher”, “Parent Coordinator”, and “Administrator” master vouchers are provided to participants. Each master voucher admits up to 4 people to one of the 8 partner institutions. These vouchers allow teachers, PCs, and administrators to go, preview, and plan for trips with students or families.


Family Engagement Opportunities:
  • Admission to our “Family Science Days” in October; flyers admit students and guests for as many FSDs as they like (each institution hosts an event).
  • Admission to our “Science Expo” in June; flyers admit students and guests.
  • A classroom supply budget for teachers in their first five (5) years of participation (Averages $500 per order, dependent on annual budget). Participating teachers choose items from a list of vendors.


View Additional Resources

UA provides participating teachers with professional learning, science materials and equipment, and access to UA institutions.

Urban Advantage professional learning for teachers emphasizes authentic hands-on experiences in science, the nature of scientific work, research-supported pedagogical approaches for teaching and learning, and using the science and engineering practices to scientifically explain natural phenomena. Professional learning takes place at our UA science institutions (some online courses are available) and is available on weekends and weekdays. UA provides a substitute teacher reimbursement for weekday courses and a stipend for weekend/non-school day courses.

Our professional learning sequence for teachers is below. Please review UA program information in the “UA at a Glance” document to get the latest information for the current school year:

Middle School Teachers:

  • Year 1: ~40 hours
  • Year 2 & 3: ~21 hours
  • Year 4 & 5: ~11 hours
  • Year 6 & above: teacher choice up to ~16 hours


Elementary School Teachers:

  • Year 1: ~25 hours
  • Year 2-5: ~17 hours
  • Year 6 & above: teacher choice up to ~17 hours


All UA teachers receive a stipend in their first five years to order materials that support scientific practices. Teachers also receive master vouchers to explore the institutions: Class Trip (for weekday trips with classes), Teacher (for planning and exploring with your own family or teaching team), and Student +3 (for distributing for student and family use). Vouchers can be reused for repeated visits and for larger groups.


“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:

Urban Advantage At-a-Glance

UA Voucher Guide

Continuing Teacher Professional Learning Course Catalog

Teacher Manual


ALREADY PARTICIPATING IN UA? Please go to and log in for access to resources.

View Additional Resources

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

Supporting science learning that extends beyond the classroom:

Administrators play an essential role in supporting teacher and parent coordinator participation in the UA professional learning taking 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.

By supporting and attending UA events in and out of schools such as School Community trips, Family Science Days, and the citywide UA Science Expo in June, Administrators have the power to help build students’ relationship to science and truly engage in using the city as an extension of the classroom.

Participating in research-based professional learning:

Administrators attend the four UA Administrator Breakfasts held throughout the school year to remain current about the most recent innovations to the program. These events immerse administrators in learning experiences that enable the development a deeper understanding of the work we are doing with teachers and parent coordinators in the program. This allows them to 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.

Forming a UA-supported community:

Additionally, 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.


UA Professional Learning Resources

Urban Advantage at-a-glance

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


ALREADY PARTICIPATING IN UA? Please go to and login for access to resources, including access to the UA Administrator Forum (select ‘UA Online Forums’ in the upper right corner).

View Additional Resources

Please review UA program information in the “UA at a Glance” document.

Parent Coordinators play a pivotal role in the Urban Advantage program. 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 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 introduction to our institutions, offer professional learning experiences that highlight informal learning, and offer resources and ideas 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.

Downloadable resources:

Urban Advantage At-a-Glance

UA Voucher Guide

Help for Students


ALREADY PARTICIPATING IN UA? Please go to and login for access to resources, including access to the UA Parent Coordinator Online Forum

Check to see if your school is already enrolled in UA

School Search

Use this search tool to see if your school participates in UA. You can also reach out to your child's science teacher or your parent coordinator. Enter your school borough initial (K= Brooklyn, X=Bronx, R= Staten Island, M= Manhattan, Q=Queens) and school number. Ex. X123


Learn how to apply to UA here