The Bridge Academy of New Jersey continues their relationship with The Watershed Institute which is part of the Stony-Brook Millstone Watershed since 2011. The science department integrated past science field trips to the Watershed Educational Center into their Environmental Science Curriculum. Topics included in the High School Curriculum are wildlife conservation, water quality, water conservation and the effects of water pollution in the local ecosystems. For the 2020-2021 school year, the students have actively worked on specific projects using the school’s local Shabakunk Creek to meet the requirements to become River-Friendly Certified.
Their high school science teacher, Kathryn Wink Gilligan aka ‘Ms. Wink’ to her students, designed lessons to incorporate the tenets based on The Watershed Institute’s program. The students sampled and analyzed water samples for nitrites, copper and chlorine. They devised survey maps for green infrastructure installation to manage storm water runoff for The Bridge Academy campuses. The students observed and researched the conservation of the nesting pair of bald eagles on campus. In addition, the students conducted Shabakunk Creek- School Campus clean up and recycling program.
Ms. Wink dedicated the past ten years as the High School Science teacher for students with language-based learning disabilities and dyslexia. She enjoys working in partnership with local resources and incorporating them in her special education curriculum. Some examples include hosting FBI agent seminar for Forensic Science, Adventure Aquarium field trip for Biological Sciences and Six Flags Physics Day for tangible examples of physic concepts. Ms. Wink has a Bachelor’s of Neuroscience from Skidmore College and a Masters in Teacher Leadership from Rider University. In addition, she has certifications for Highly Qualified Teacher of Students with Disabilities and Highly Qualified Teacher of Biological Sciences. In the next year, Ms. Wink plans to become STEM certified to enhance her students’ exposure to the connectiveness of math and sciences. She attributes success of her students to the collaborative team-teaching model that she and her teaching partner, Kathleen Sommers, provide. In July, The Bridge Academy of New Jersey is patiently waiting to become River-Friendly Certified with The Watershed Institute. For more information about The Watershed Institute go to their website; https://thewatershed.org/.