The Queensbridge Tech Lab is a branch of Queens library located within Queensbridge Houses with a mission around Digital Literacy and Free Access. The Queensbridge Tech Lab has received a grant to lead a Community Science Project in Summer 2019! We would love feedback on our curriculum / equipment choices / any resources or learning tools we can use as well as open invite to anyone in the NYC area who would like to participate in this 8 week hands-on Project! Internship opportunity for High-Schoolers who commit to participating in the full program will receive volunteer hours (possibly credit) and a free Go Pro (tentative).
What is it?
The Queensbridge Community Science Project is about observing the urban landscape that we live in, a little more closely. Specifically during the Project we will be leading hands-on activities for all ages that explore our local Queensbridge Air, Water, and Soil / Plant Life. While exploring these topics we will be learning how to use various Science & Technology tools while discussing solutions to indoor air quality, pathways for community advocacy, as well as next steps for community members who would like to continue monitoring. Even though the Project has a focus on using (Western) Scientific & Technology tools we want to ensure that we practice other ways of learning about and connecting with the urban environment & public health, as we are the library we try to speak to as many people as possible.
When is it?
Every Saturday in June/July starting June 1st, Times: TBD (2-3 hours), 8 Weeks Total, Summer 2019
JULY 6th Soil:
- DISCUSSION: Antonia Estela will lead discussion around Soil / Plant Life Healthy soil = healthy plants = healthy people, medicinal properties, NYC ecology, Soil is the fundamental for food, Impact / Cause of soil degradation / and living in a Food desert (Location: Inside QB Tech Lab & Green Space)
- TENTATIVE ALL AGES ACTIVITY: Taking "Nature Walk" with Antonia and surveying the local QB environment and all of its life and beauty (Outside around QB neighborhood)
- Identifying edible & healing weeds / plants
- Visiting the new local compost site under the bridge and talking about compost (possibly with compost site Erykah De Jesus)
- Collecting soil & plant samples for later viewing under microscopes & for medicine making
- During Nature walk we will have some Soil Monitoring Platforms (Arduino Based) for people to take soil data with and learn about at certain locations (regular grass soil, garden soil, compost soil), this platform can measures conductivity (humus), Temp, humidity - what that means, technology around the sensors & hardware
JULY 13th Soil:
- DISCUSSION: Antonia Estela will lead discussion around Soil / Plant Life Healthy soil = healthy plants = healthy people, medicinal properties, NYC ecology, Soil is the fundamental for food, Impact / Cause of soil degradation / and living in a Food desert
- ALL AGES ACTIVITY (Location: Inside the QB Tech Lab)
- Using DIY microscope kits (ie. Community Microscope Kit / foldscope) to look at soil and plant samples taken during the Nature Walk
- Building the microscopes / what is a microscope & different kinds / why are they useful
- How to handle the samples
- What are we looking at / comparing and contrasting
- Drawing / Coloring what you see under the Microscope
- Medicine making with plants from Nature Walk
- Making map of Nature Walk (different plants, soil data) over QB aerial images for sharing.
- TENTATIVE: BIOBUS will be parked outside of tech lab with Scientific Grade Microscopes and Soil /Plant samples from the Nature Walk.
JULY 20th Next Steps & Celebration:
- DISCUSSION: One of our Digital Literacy Instructors will lead a discussion around the following topics (Location: Inside QB Tech Lab & Green space)
- Documenting and making sense of data (particularly Environmental Data), What is data? How can we communicate it?
- Data Visualization - Art, Maps, Graphs etc.
- Advocacy in the NYC, community organizing & resources
- Gauging community interest in continuing indoor / outdoor monitoring Air
- Providing survey so we that the QB Tech Lab commits to continuing workshops of interest
- Showcasing our Data & Work
- Paper Making with Tamykah Anthony-Marston from Xanthines Cafe