Magnet Unit Showcase

Check out the magnificent Magnet projects that our middle school innovators have created this spring!

Up for Debate: Activism through Argument Writing

Grade 8 - English Language Arts

Ms. Rashid, Mrs. Silvera, Mr. Doci, and Ms. Joseph

How can we, as innovative teen activists, take action and encourage our politicians to fight for causes that we feel passionate about?

Check out the letters that students wrote our District 15 U.S. Representative Ritchie Torres!

Letter 1        Letter 2        Letter 3       Letter 4        Letter 5        Letter 6

Global climate change, women's rights, animal rights, immigration policies, and the list goes on. Sometimes it feels like our government prefers to just argue over these issues rather than create laws that make change. With so many social  issues affecting us and our communities, how can we, as innovative teen activists, take action and encourage our politicians to fight for causes that we feel passionate about? Students will read about and research hot button issues that affect their lives today. Then after brainstorming a list of possible solutions to engage politicians in these issues, students will compose a letter to their U.S. representative, Ritchie Torres, to persuade him to advocate for their selected issue. 

The Wonders of Ancient China: Innovations Long Ago & Today

Grade 6 - Social Studies

Ms. De Jesus, Ms. Henry, Ms. Hussen, Ms. Jaffer, and Mr. Saltzman

How can we, as innovative  filmmakers, showcase Ancient China's greatest contributions to the S.T.E.A.M. fields and how those contributions continue to impact us today? 

Check out one of our documentary films!

This unit is in partnership with Take Two Film Academy. Students will continue to tackle the problem that there are few opportunities to access to the arts in the South Bronx. Student’s will imagine that the Metropolitan Museum of Art is adding a wing to their Ancient World annex that will feature art and artifacts about Ancient China. Students will be hired to create a display featuring documentary films about China's inventions/innovations and how we as a modern society have improved or changed that idea to meet our needs. Using primary and secondary sources, informational and fictional text, and art-making and literacy skills, students will create documentary films to share their knowledge. 

The Consequences of Innovation: World War I & Technology

Grade 8 - Social Studies

Ms. Zvonkov, Mr. Doci, Ms. Charles, Ms. Smith, and Ms. Joseph

How can we, as innovative engineers, design solutions to protect people and animals during armed conflict?

Check out the student projects!

Project 1        Project 2        Project 3       Project 4        Project 5        Project 6

World War I is considered the first modern war. Equipment and technology developed during the European and American industrial revolutions of the 19th century collided with traditional war practices. Military on the front lines battled through trench warfare and faced barbed wire, machine guns, poison gas, tanks, and airplanes for the first time. Cavalry units became impractical for military combat, however horses were still valuable and needed. They could reliably transport materials to and from the war front. Because of this, they too faced the dangers of war. Over 8 million horses and mules were killed on the Western Front. Thinking as engineers, students collaborated in teams to design and develop a solution that could have been utilized to make it easier and safer for horses to transport materials, supplies, or wounded soldiers throughout the war. 

He Said, She Said: The Power of Speech & Persuasion in Politics

Grade 7 - Social Studies

Ms. Montgomery, Ms. Smith, Mr. Caton, Ms. Molina, Ms. Weir and Ms. Raquib

How can we, as innovative historians, educate the public on how misinformation impacts our country now and long ago?

Check out the student projects:

Project 1        Project 2        Project 3       Project 4

In today's world, U.S. citizens are politically more divided than ever (as seen in the current elections and civil rights movements) partially because of  misinformation and fake news seen across media outlets. Can we always believe the media’s representation of events, people, and issues? And where else have we seen this in history. Students become investigative reports who go back in time to determine what really happened during the American Revolution. They will create a vlog or podcast that argues why it is important to not take news a face value using examples from the both today and the Revolutionary Period. 

Building a Better Zoo: Enclosures for Endangered Species

Grade 6 - Magnet Innovators On the Move

Mr. Mirowitz

How can we, as innovative designers, protect and conserve endangered species?

Check out the projects on this Padlet!

Deforestation, desertification, global climate change, urbanization, and poaching are only a few reasons why animal species across the globe are under threat of extinction. This loss of biodiversity is hugely problematic. Humans and other species benefit from the diverse resources these ecosystems provide, and we should be custodians of our planet who advocate for and look after our natural environment. Zoos, although highly debated, have increasingly committed to protecting vulnerable wildlife. Breeding programs, educational initiatives, fundraising campaigns, and research at zoos all help in this fight. The Bronx Zoo, a cultural icon of our city and borough, is committed to doing this work. Students, who are familiar with the institution, will ask themselves how they too can help in this effort. 

Communities Transformed: The South Bronx Today & Long Ago

Grade 7 - Social Studies

Ms. Montgomery, Ms. Smith, Mr. Caton, Ms. Molina, Ms. Weir and Ms. Raquib

When outside forces of wealth, power, and morality change the Bronx, how can we as innovative designers, preserve and celebrate our community’s identity?

Check out the student work!

500 years ago, the Bronx was inhabited by the Munsee people, a sub-sect of the Lenape or Delaware Native Americans, who maintained a rich and unique culture distinct from other tribes across North American. European exploration in the 1600’s brought the Dutch and English to the region. These colonists sought to create a successful trading port, and in a short period of time the ancestral Munsee people would be forced from their homeland to make way for farms and industry.

Today, real estate and commercial developers are looking at the South Bronx, specifically the neighborhoods of Mott Haven, Hunts Point, and Port Morris, as affordable areas for the construction of new luxury residential buildings and commercial spaces that are close to Manhattan. Similar to the power exerted over the Munsee by European colonists, these developers often build with little  input or knowledge of the existing community, threatening the livelihoods and identities of current residents. 

Students will discover how local community development corporations (CDCs) in the Bronx, many of whom emerged after the economic recession of 1970’s 80’s, empower residents to advocate for their communities. Students will imagine they are architects hired by one of the borough president  to design a community space in a newly constructed luxury mixed-use building. Their space should celebrates the values and culture of the South Bronx and its  residents long ago and/or today. Designs will connect to one of the six Forever Factors of a Civilization: politics, economics, society, culture, technology, and geography.

Future Magnet Units

Get ready for more exciting magnet units this spring! Check back soon to see student work from the following units:

6th Grade:

  • Myths & Moral: Modern Storytelling in NYC - Magnet

7th Grade:

  • Eco-Activism: Fighting for our Planet's Future - ELA

8th Grade

  • Libro de Niños: Routines & Reflexive Verbs - Spanish
  • Writing Dystopian Narratives: Futuristic Video Game Design