Nottingham Students Explore Central New York
A group of students at Nottingham High School is spending three weeks this summer traveling throughout the region as part of an enrichment program designed to focus on architecture and engineering.
Part of the Pre-Engineering Academy at Nottingham, the program was developed by teachers and administrators. Don Little, a social studies teacher at Nottingham and one of the programs creators, said the goal was to give students an experience that wasn’t about remediation but was about enhancing their learning.
“We wanted to focus on exposure and experience. We wanted the students to see where they may be going in the future.’’
The theme of the program is architecture and the goal is to look at the Central New York community as a whole, from an historical perspective. The program was open to incoming 9th and 10th graders and there are about 24 students in the initial class. The students spend part of their day exploring Central New York and part of their day working to create models and doing other academic projects.
Mr. Little said the program started with a field trip to a Haudenosaunee long house in Victor, outside of Rochester. The students have also traveled to the Erie Canal Museum, the Onondaga Historical Museum, Onondaga Lake Park, Cedar Bay and Fort Ontario. In addition, the class spent time at Syracuse City Hall with Mayor Stephanie Miner. There, they learned about the water delivery system in Syracuse and were able to see how coal was used to heat City Hall in years past.
The plan is to take the students to Albany so they can see how government works and get them to Thornden Park for a lesson on landscape architecture as well as the area’s flora and fauna. They will walk around the College of Environmental Science and Forestry and explore Syracuse University’s School of Architecture as well.
The students are also busy putting their engineering skills to the test by building longhouses. Mr. Little said the program is helping to develop a culture for the Pre-Engineering Academy and it is also a bridge to help build relationships between students and teachers.
Jim McGinty, who was instrumental in designing the program, said four teachers and two administrators began planning the program last fall.
“We started this as part of our Project Lead the Way Academy,’’ Mr. McGinty said.
He said the students are visiting a county park every Friday.
“Places like Highland Forest are good examples of resource land management,’’ Mr. McGinty said.
Mr. Little said the teachers will continue to refine the program, which was entirely teacher generated.
“We want this to be fun and educational. We want to give them exposure to a variety of things, ‘’ Mr. Little said.