The toolkit is developed in collaboration with Gaynor McCown Expeditionary Learning School and Freshkills park, both major partners of the Sound the Mound project. Gaynor McCown had an existing relationship with Freshkills Park, who helped to facilitate the extended partnership with The New School. They were interested in developing experiential learning tools for their students, focusing on the topic of sustainability which was already a central part of their Living Environments’ science curriculum. Partnering with them created the opportunity to leverage the compelling presence of Freshkills Park (within eyeshot of the school) in ways that might nudge students to rethink their relationships with local ecosystems.
The collaboration with Gaynor McCown’s 9th-grade advisory groups (called Crews) helped draw links to the curriculum of their Living Environments course, through a series of workshops with seven Crews, approximately 120 students, on six occasions from October to December 2017. The workshops were structured on themes such as- What is Design, Visualizing Trash, Exploring the Senses, Freshkills Park, and Storytelling about the park. The toolkit is available for download here.