Urban Advantage (UA) is a standards-based partnership program designed to improve students' understanding of scientific inquiry through collaborations between urban public school systems and science cultural institutions such as zoos, botanical gardens, museums, and science centers. UA involves institutions outside the formal education system that support the science-specific goals of the public school system.
Urban Advantage was launched in 2004 in New York City by the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) in collaboration with the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, the New York Botanical Garden, the New York Hall of Science, the Queens Botanical Garden, the Staten Island Zoo, the Wildlife Conservation Society's Bronx Zoo and New York Aquarium, and the New York City Department of Education, with leadership funding from the New York City Council.
Field Trips at the
Bronx Zoo & New York Aquarium
The Wildlife Conservation Society has created exciting experiences for Urban Advantage schools! Led by our conservation educators at the Bronx Zoo and the New York Aquarium, these programs will guide your students through a series of hands-on activities and lessons offering opportunities for students to engage in science practices at the middle school level. If you have any questions about planning your field trip, please email us at email@example.com.
The following programs are available for Urban Advantage Class Trip voucher use:
Class Trips (program) are eligible for booking only from October 1, 2023 - May 24, 2024. Class Trips (self-guided) and Community Trips (self-guided) are eligible for booking only from October 1, 2023 - June 30, 2024. We highly recommend booking your trip as soon as possible to avoid being denied the use of a voucher due to capacity limitations.
Please click below to use your Student+3, Teacher, Parent Coordinator, or Administrator Voucher at the Bronx Zoo or New York Aquarium.
Student+3/Teacher/PC/Admin are eligible for booking only from October 1, 2023 - June 30, 2024. We highly recommend booking your trip as soon as possible to avoid being denied the use of a voucher due to capacity limitations.
Urban Advantage Framework: Six Components
High-quality professional learning courses for teachers and administrators.
Classroom materials and equipment that promote active engagement with science practices in the classroom.
Access to UA Partner institutions through free school and family field trips.
Family outreach through family events, celebrations of student achievement, and parent coordinator workshops.
Capacity-building and sustainability structures, including support for the development of lead teachers.
Assessment of program goals, student learning, systems of delivery, and outcomes.
Impacts of Urban Advantage
Urban Advantage serves 46% of New York City schools with eighth grade students. Program-wide assessments show that UA has had a tangible impact on the New York City Public School’s middle school science education program as measured by:
Experience & Approach: Learning experiences in UA classrooms have become more inquiry-based with opportunities to conduct hands-on investigations.
Community Engagement: An unprecedented number of school groups and families have visited the eight cultural institutions participating in Urban Advantage.
Confidence & Competency: UA teachers report more mastery of science content, an increased capacity to support students’ investigations, and students report more confidence in science content.
Student Progress: UA positively affects performance on the Grade 8 Intermediate Level Science (ILS) test. Students who have a UA teacher are 4 percentage points more likely to score "proficient" on the exam compared to their non-UA peers. (Weinstein & Shiferaw, 2017).
Visit the Urban Advantage site for more information on UA programs and impact in NYC Public Schools.
Check out our interactive map!
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