GCC Education Resources

GCC Curriculum

STEM Gowanus Curriculum

The STEM Gowanus Curriculum is available as a free download for educators to engage students in grades 5-8 with the Gowanus Canal’s complex urban ecology, both in school and through field studies. Place-based units include: Gowanus History & Geography, Water Quality, Watershed & Sewershed, Flora & Fauna, Soil Quality and Climate Change, using a solutions-oriented design process and project-based learning. Each unit includes Pre, Post and Field Lessons, background text, maps and worksheets. The curriculum is aligned with Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards for Science, ELA, Math and Social Studies.

M.S. 88, M.S. 51, P.S. 32 and Urban Memory Project partnered with GCC to develop the STEM Gowanus curriculum.

Partnership and funding was provided by the NYS Environmental Protection Fund as administered by a grant from the New York State DEC Environmental Justice Community Impact grant program, AECOM, Con Edison, National Grid, The New York State Pollution Prevention Institute, PepsiCo Foundation and New York City Climate and Urban Systems Partnership (CUSP).

To access GCC Curriculum, please fill out this quick survey here.

Gowanus Blue Schools

Using digital design and model building tools, middle and high school students can propose green infrastructure designs for their school campuses that meet community needs, provide ecological benefits, and contribute to healthier waterways in New York City. Our City must be built with more resilient green infrastructure,  such as green roofs, rain gardens, and rainwater harvesting systems, to mitigate climate impacts like increased precipitation, flooding and urban heat island. Green infrastructure will absorb stormwater, reducing the runoff that causes Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) to pollute the Gowanus Canal and New York Harbor.

Learn more about this curriculum here.

M.S. 88, M.S. 447, Brooklyn Collaborative Studies and thread collective partnered with GCC to develop and implement  the Gowanus Blue Schools curriculum from 2017-2022. 

“Over several years, this program became a part of our core curriculum, and planted the seed for years of stewardship, conservation and greening. So many students developed a deeper connection to their neighborhood and the natural environment within it.” – Educator who partnered with GCC

Watch the video to learn more!

Funding was provided by Con Edison, National Grid and from the NYS Environmental Protection Fund as administered by a grant from the New York State DEC Environmental Justice Community Impact grant program.

GCC Learning & Curriculum Support

  • Urban Ecology At Home: Check out our series of videos, sharing activities and learning, designed with K-5 students in mind!
  • Marine Ecology: Explore the urban marine ecosystem of Gowanus with our GCC created ThinkLink. Teachers and students can re-imagine a Gowanus Canal with salt marsh restoration using this classroom activity with our restoration ThingLink, designed for grades K-5.
  • Water Quality: Take a deep dive into Water Quality with our GCC StoryMaps exploring how our actions can greatly affect our City’s waterway health. Designed for grades 5-12.
  • Atlantic Ribbed Mussels: Using the Mighty Mussel GCC StoryMaps, explore how the Atlantic Ribbed Mussel persists in the Gowanus Canal and has the potential to play a huge role in improving water health. Designed for grades 5-12.
  • History: The Gowanus Canal is rich in history. Explore these maps showing change over time in this area of Brooklyn. Visit the Hall of Gowanus StoryMaps to view historic maps and materials. Explore the historic biodiversity of the Gowanus salt marsh ecosystem in this series of informative diagrams.
  • Self-Guided Walking Tours: Want to explore Gowanus at your own pace? Use this guide to explore points of interest around the Gowanus Canal. If you can’t make it to the Gowanus area, take a virtual tour with us!