Achieving Global Acclaim from the Hudson Valley

Tarrytown: partial view of bridge, river and familiar floating machinery/© J Rosman 2013

Tarrytown: partial view of bridge, river and familiar floating machinery/© J Rosman 2013

While students at EF International Academy’s Tarrytown campus have a perfect view of the bridge project, students attending its private boarding high school in Thornwood have a more rustic view.

Thus their excitement last month when the Outreach Team went to Thornwood, which accepts local and international students. While some may see the project often or infrequently, their international peers might never see this phase of a project — or the completed bridge — again.

Good news travels quickly: the bridge project made its way to France recently.

IB International Baccalaureate Geography teacher Rosalie Frison — whose topics the past six-plus years include social studies and religion — said students are writing their IA (international assessment) about the Hudson River: testing water, analyzing the project’s impact on the environment, etc.

“They were really focused on the Environmental Impact Statement, and the way the bridge was engineered and built,” Frison said.

Once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for some students at EF Academy in Thornwood/NYSTA

Once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for some students at EF Academy in Thornwood/NYSTA

Jan Kamburg, a 15-year-old student from Germany, felt the presentation, including the engineers’ pictures of the design-build process, was interesting.

“What was very interesting to me was that they mentioned some information I would have never thought about,” Kamburg said. “For example that the bridge was created and designed by a computer program which is usually used to create computer games.”

For junior IB Y1 student Zichuan Wang, the project is the first time he “felt the high-tech engineering is so close to me. Not only did I see the real parts and constructions used in the New NY Bridge in person, but I also got an overall idea about an enormous project right beside my neighborhood.”

Especially helpful were “seeing how the experienced engineers and designers apply the theories I learned in class to a practical construction” and their prudence and dedication.

Usually when we think about creating infrastructure we think that it is destroying nature, but the constructors of the bridge are actually trying to build the bridge in a way that the natural environment of the river is not destroyed. — Jan Kamburg

“One student from Irvington who lives by the water was interested in seeing what’s being done in terms of noise pollution,” Frison said of the recent presentation that included environmental mitigations community givebacks.

Other students wanted to know about building information modeling (BIM) technology that enables designers to see the project virtually: which piece will need to be replaced, its length and where to place it.

Last fall Riverkeeper, Inc. Staff Scientist William Wegner and Outreach Fellow Jen Benson spoke with IB Geography students preparing for their geography assessments and focused on freshwater and conflict issues, specifically Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2016

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