The Marsh Avenue Expeditionary Learning School is located in Staten Island within the New Springfield neighborhood. It is a public middle school and is a part of the NYC Outward Bound school network. There are about 500 students overall and the building is just one of many other schools with shared campus space.
We met with the 7th General Sciences teacher, Jessica Cimini, and learned about the school and her interest in introducing Astronomy education in her class. The telescope would be a boon to her students as well as the 8th grade Space Science class. A telescope was delivered and set up at the school and placed in a corner of the classroom and was brought down to the football field when they observe.
On December 9, 2016, MAELS had their first observing session on Staten Island. It was a cold December night but it did not deter attendees to come out. Students, parents, and school staff alike came out at different times to observe the Moon, Mars, and Venus. Along with the scope that the AAA donated, there were additional scopes brought in by families and friends and participated in the observing. Cold as it was, the enthusiasm all around did not wane and the besides the temperature, the conditions were as good it was going to get. There is a strong interest to continue holding observing events at the school with the possibility of collaborating with the other surrounding schools in the area.
Photos taken on the night of December 9th, 2016: