NY Sun Works Announces New Education Director And The Addition Of Hydroponic Specialists

August 22, 2023

 New York Sun Works Director Manuela Zamora today announced Liz McKoy to fill the new role of Education Director.

As well as addition 11 more hydroponic specialists will join the nonprofit organization.

“I am excited to welcome Liz McKoy as the new Education Director and a new class of hydroponics specialists to the New York Sun Works family,” said New York Sun Works Executive Director Manuela Zamora. “So far, we have built state-of-the-art hydroponic farming labs in more than 300 schools across New York City and we are honored to onboard a new team of urban farmers to ensure that the hydroponic labs at our partner schools thrive and have the necessary resources they need to foster students’ curiosity and ability to grow their own food from seed to harvest and share fresh, nutritious produce with their community.”

Ms. McKoy brings more than 20 years of experience in education, teacher training and leadership. She was a NYC public school science teacher for 10 years. Ms. McKoy is an Adjunct Assistant Professor at CUNY Hunter College, where she will continue to offer undergraduate and graduate courses like the Assessment of Teaching and Learning in Childhood Education and Multicultural Issues in Learning and Instruction. She earned her doctorate degree in Urban Education from the CUNY Graduate Center with a focus on improving outcomes in STEM fields for students from historically underrepresented groups. Her undergraduate studies were completed at SUNY Binghamton and she earned a Master of Science for Teachers in Adolescent Education from Pace University. Her background provides a solid foundation in pedagogy and curriculum development that centers on educational equity.  

“It is an honor to join New York Sun Works, a nonprofit committed to inspiring our city and nation’s future urban farmers and scientists,” said Education Director Liz McKoy. “I am excited to help grow the organization’s footprint in New York; as a dedicated professional in the field of science education, with a strong background in teacher leadership and training, I am thrilled about the opportunity to contribute my expertise to further the mission and vision of New York Sun Works.”

Since its inception in 2004, New York Sun Works has grown exponentially with over 30 total experts in hydroponics and urban farming working at the organization’s headquarters. The 11 newly hired hydroponic specialists join an exceptional and talented team of experts in hydroponics and urban farming tasked with providing weekly support to partner schools through professional development for science teachers and administrative support to school leaders.

New York Sun Works delivers inquiry-based K-12 science and sustainability education through the lens of urban farming. The goals are to support each school’s long-term capacity to deliver a high-quality science program; optimize students’ learning experience in the hydroponic classroom; and expand access to fresh produce for students and their families, while covering the Common Core, Scope and Sequence and EfS science standards. Hydroponic technology is indoor vertical farming that enables the cultivation of plants in an indoor environment. Rather than from the sun, plants receive energy from LED lighting that is tailored specifically to the energy needs of the plants. Instead of using soil, seeds are planted in soil-free growth mediums. 

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Photo credit: Liz McKoy.

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