Urban Advantage

An Effective Practice


Urban Advantage is a groundbreaking, citywide science education initiative in New York City that connects middle schools, their teachers, students, and families with the excitement and process of scientific discovery and learning that takes place at eight renowned science-rich cultural institutions.

Together with the New York City Department of Education, Queens Botanical Garden and partner institutions the American Museum of Natural History, Brooklyn Botanic Garden, The New York Botanical Garden, New York Hall of Science, Staten Island Zoo, and Wildlife Conservation Society/Bronx Zoo and New York Aquarium, offer a comprehensive school program that includes professional development, materials and resources for schools, and free field trips for schools and families to the participating institutions. The program is designed to support the implementation of the 8th Grade Exit Project or investigations required of all 8th graders.

Goal / Mission

The incomparable resources of these institutions offer a unique "urban advantage" to New York City students, and enhance middle schools' capacity to achieve science education goals. Student investigations at QBG and partner institutions lead to exciting questions that culminate in Exit Projects and give firsthand knowledge of how scientists work in various fields.

Results / Accomplishments

In its first school year (2004-05), Urban Advantage reached more than 5,000 students and 60 teachers in 31 schools throughout New York City. The following year, the program served 111 schools, 195 teachers in 7th and 8th grade, and over 18,000 students. During 2006-07, Urban Advantage has expanded to more schools and communities serving larger populations of New English Learners.

About this Promising Practice

Primary Contact
Urban Advantage
Central Park West at 79th Street
New York, NY 10024-5192
(212) 769-5100
Education / School Resources
Education / Student Performance K-12
New York City Department of Education
Queens Botanical Garden
Date of publication
Date of implementation
Geographic Type
New York, NY
For more details
Target Audience