Some Module Examples

Design a Green Space

This Module, which aligns with NY State Standards for biology and environmental science, turns students into environmental consultants.  The course, which first began when iSchool students developed a proposal for a green roof for the school's own building, has evolved into work with other schools and organizations.   In teams, students work alongside environmental experts and architects, to design green spaces.  The teams learn about the clients' needs and vision, develop an understanding of the need for "green" design, research various green design elements, and create and present a proposal and scale model of the space.  The course has also evolved into another Module, Build a Green Roof, aligned with NY State government standards, in which students are working with local politicians and school facilities officials to fundraise and make their green roof proposal a reality.

Voices and Memories

This Module, which aligns with NY State Standards for United States and Global History,  partnered iSchool students with exhibit designers for the National September 11th Memorial and Museum, who wanted, as they design the adolescent exhibit, to get a more global perspective of how teenagers think about the events of September 11th.  By tracing the origins of the event, beginning with the Crusades, the students gained a deeper understanding of the events leading up to 9-11 and the power and importance of context and perspective in the study of history.  Through video-conferencing, chat, and email, students interviewed other teens from all over the world to gather their memories, thoughts, and experiences related to 9-11.  The students transcribed these interviews, discussed the various perspectives, and then developed monologues which were presented to museum representatives.  The students' work is now part of the museum's archives and is on exhibit at the Tribute Center.

Think Before You Frack

This Module, which aligns to NY State Standards for biology and government, turns students into environmental activists.  After being exposed to the idea of hydrofracking and the science behind it, students weigh its pros and cons - economic, global, and environmental - and develop awareness campaigns.  Through various digital media, students are charged with educating the public about the practice.  Housed on the student-developed website,, are songs, videos, and social media campaign links.  Students who became particularly passionate about the use of hydrofracking were given the opportunity to present their perspectives to State politicians, and some even participated in rallies in Albany.

We Are Sixteen

This Module, which aligns to NY State Standards for global history, exposes students to the power of anthropological study and the power of film in documenting "history."  Students learn about coming of age practices and rituals from both historical and global perspectives, while also examining themselves and their own experiences coming of age.  Students are then partnered with other teens around the word.  Together the students document and discuss their lives, and the role of culture, geography, and politics in their coming of age experiences. These artifacts and conversations, captured and collected at, are then used in the creation of a documentary film.