Magnet Unit Showcase

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

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.

Grit: The Power of Perseverance

Grade 8 - English Language Arts

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

In a world where there seems to be so many problems, how can we teach future generations how to “find the grit” to persevere through obstacles to create change?

Check out some of our podcasts!

Podcast 1        Podcast 2        Podcast 3        Podcast 4

Students will become innovative podcasters, who will write and record a non-fiction podcast series called “Grit” that will be shared with elementary school students in our community. Each podcast episode will be about an individual in history who persevered through obstacles. Students will use the  in the book and film Hidden Figures, a story about three African American mathematician working for NASA, as a starting point before researching other figures in history. 

Reimagining the Bronx 2080: Digital Collage

Grade 6 - Visual Art

Ms. Herbert

How can we, as innovative designers, shape the future of what our community will look like? 

Student work coming soon!

The Bronx today looks dramatically different from the Bronx that existed 40 to 50 years ago. During the 1970's and 1980's New York City experienced a period of steep economic decline as many manufacturing companies left the city and took with them over 500,000 jobs. The United States was in economic crisis and the Bronx and Brooklyn felt the impact the most. Our parents or grandparents may remember what this looked like: high crime rates, blocks of destroyed apartment buildings, and thousands of people leaving to live elsewhere if they could. 

But as the economy improved through the 80's and 90's, residents who had weathered the storm and new immigrant groups who moved to the once destroyed neighborhoods, rebuilt and reestablished the Bronx as a thriving borough. They created the change in the world that they wished to see. The Bronx is now one of the fastest growing counties in New York and continually evolving. Students will reflect on the Bronx they live in today and imagine what it will look like in 60 years. As innovative designers and artists, they will create futuristic cityscape collages that depict the positive changes they wish to see in the Bronx's future.

Monumental History: Redefining Reconstruction

Grade 8 - Social Studies

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

How can we, as innovative historians, design monuments that educate the public on the successes and failures of Reconstruction?

Check out the student projects!

The Lost Cause of the Confederacy is the idea that the Confederacy's reasons to leave the United States during the American Civil War were just and honorable. It incorrectly puts states rights as the central focus of the war rather than slavery. This narrative was promoted through the erection of statues in honor of Confederate leaders including Robert E. Lee and Jefferson Davis during the period of Reconstruction. These monuments are a reminder of the inequities and racism Black Americans have faced throughout United States history.

Today, activist groups and concerned citizens have pushed state and local governments to recognize the problematic nature of these statues and have demanded their removal. Cities across the U.S., including New York, have taken steps to rewrite this history by dismantling Confederate monuments and assessing the histories and stories told through public sculpture. 

As students study the period of Reconstruction and critique its successes and failures, they will imagine that they have been hired by the NYC Parks Department to design a public monument that commemorates a person, place, event, or idea related to this period of history, specifically addressing a success or challenge of Reconstruction and its continued importance to our lives today. 

Future Magnet Units

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

6th Grade:

  • Walk Like an Ancient Egyptian - Social Studies
  • Worst Case Scenarios: A Comic Guide to Surviving Middle School - Magnet Innovators on the Move
  • Thrive: Becoming Peer Advocates through Argumentative Writing - ELA

7th Grade:

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

8th Grade

  • Up for Debate: Activism through Argument - ELA
  • Libro de Niños: Routines & Reflexive Verbs - Spanish