Community Science Design Lab (GY)

  • This team has been paused for the 24-25 academic year and is not accepting applications


The team will develop and implement a collaborative environmental engineering research project that engages high school students across NYC to address environmental concerns in their community. 

Specific goals include:

  • Connect students across NYC to conduct useful and relevant environmental research
  • Expose NYC high school students from various backgrounds to urban environmental challenges and the research processes required to address them
  • Provide undergraduate and graduate students with opportunities for experimental design, teaching, and mentorship

Given the proximity and direct impact of the environment on all NYC community members, there is both need and interest in collaborative contributions to environmental research and/or data collection. At the high school level, it is challenging to provide individual, university-level research experiences for all interested students, especially in a way that accommodates varied learning styles and allows for hands-on learning within their communities. This project aims to create one or more cooperative, low-cost research projects for high school students through a network of schools across the city–facilitated by NYU students interested in environmental research, education, and outreach–to produce useful data that informs our understanding of the NYC environment. NYU students joining this VIP will research, brainstorm, and design research questions and methodology to form the basis of this collaborative, high school centered program. Short-term goals are to design the research program; longer-term goals are to connect with high school partners to implement the program.


Research directions will focus on environmental engineering related challenges in NYC (including those related to air, water and soil quality), but the specific directions are open-ended.

Related Grand Challenges: Advance personalized learning


  • Subteams may form depending on interest in pursuing different project directions

Majors and Areas of Interest

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Science
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Data Science
  • Engineering Education and Outreach
  • All majors welcom

Methods and Technologies

  • Innovative virtual learning
  • Community science/crowdsources data collection
  • Sensors and other methods for environmental data collection
  • Statistical analysis
  • Data presentation and communication


  • We plan to partner with NYC DOE high schools in later phases
  • We plan to partner with NYU Center for K12 Education

Primary Instructors