While many schools claim to have the tools and abilities to provide real-life encounters that pair with their classroom lectures, EF Academy can proudly say that our staff goes above and beyond to ensure that students can apply what they learn through community involvement and meaningful circumstances.
Like our mission statement says, EF Academy aims to open the world through education. The academy holds high its modern education that prepares students for university level work through hands-on experiences.
One experience is given to our diverse students by EF Academy NY’s Science Department Head, Stephen Fleming. In 2017, Stephen’s passion for science and education motivated him to launch a nonprofit that introduces students to marine science along New York City’s waterways aboard a 63’ research vessel.
This extraordinary effort, BioBoat, doubles as an opportunity for EF Academy students to work with children throughout the county that don’t have equal educational opportunities. Essentially, our students work with their new peers to navigate docks along the Hudson River and introduce these future scientists to New York’s mysterious underwater environment.
The ultimate goal
BioBoat’s mission is to bring science to all students and provide an opportunity for purposeful and educational achievement. This nonprofit works to create the next generation of environmental stewards by molding students into socially responsible citizens through elements of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math).
The program will also show students careers in the maritime industry including engineering, building and navigation and ultimately demonstrate that any student can enter the realm of science, regardless of their gender, race or socioeconomic.
Through association with organizations in our community such as DEC, Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory, Science and Resilience Institute at Jamaica Bay, LH Prism, BioBus, The Harbor School, TREC, 5 Gyres and many more, BioBoat was able to design a curriculum around analyzing pertinent environmental issues that are close to home.
How this benefit our students
Through this program, community involvement and our Science Department Head, EF Academy Students are able to get hands-on experience in the world of science and experience what it’s like to be an environmentalist. Although they are not physically piloting the vessel on the Hudson River, they are navigating the challenges of educating students who don’t have the same knowledge and resources as them.
The International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program lives at EF Academy and is among many ways our students become prepared for university life and their future careers. One requirement of the IB Program is the Creativity, Activity and Service (CAS) project. Students can fulfill this requirement by participating in BioBoat’s efforts and gaining knowledge through service learning.
Another way our students get involved is through partnership. At EF Academy, we combine our lessons when it makes sense to, in order to give students an overall understanding of how a project works from all angles. For example, the students involved in BioBoat partner with our business class to create a campaign around fundraising, social media and community awareness.
What’s happening now
To date, BioBoat has raised nearly $3,000 to support their efforts. In order for this academic nonprofit to continue, they depend on donations from dedicated maritime enthusiasts. Right now, our business class has created a GoFundMe page to support BioBoat and help it continue to encourage students to participate in this educational excursion.
You can help our students continue our hands-on learning through community involvement by generously donating to a cause dedicated to educating New York City’s underserved youth.
At EF Academy, we use the IB curriculum to both educate and help students towards personal growth. We supplement classroom learning with the guidance and support that students need to become intelligent, well-rounded individuals.