A student-made diorama of Midtown Manhattan

This year, the extended school year program at Rensselaer Academy at Rensselaer City School District has focused on New York State, with classes doing various projects and research about the state and its regions, landmarks, history and geography.

Beth St. Clair-Bedell and Carol Bluhm’s classes created dioramas of notable areas across the state – Niagara Falls, Howe Caverns, the Adirondack Park and Midtown Manhattan. Students researched their areas to learn key facts and design their diorama. On Friday, students presented their projects to their classmates and shared a few facts about each area. The dioramas were made with recycled materials, and students worked in small groups to practice collaboration, making group decisions and coming to a consensus.

Jeanette Antalek’s class studied camping in New York State, mapped out the different regions of the state and voted on whether they’d rather camp in a cabin or in a tent, and recorded the results on a poster.  Sarah Knightes and Emily Bluhm’s class made a Statue of Liberty poster and 42nd st & Broadway intersection, and all the classes worked together to make an “I love NY” sign, featuring photos of notable places and things throughout the state. Walking down the hallway provided a short “walking tour” of the entire state – stretching from Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty all the way to Niagara falls, and many places in between!

Students in Beth St Clair-Bedell, Carol Bluhm, Jeanette Antalek, Sarah Knightes, Emily Bluhm, Cara Ayotte, Sarah Owens, Heather Wood and Lacie Schweigert’s classes worked together to make this large display in their wing.


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