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The Student News Site of High School for Mathematics, Science and Engineering

The Echo

The Student News Site of High School for Mathematics, Science and Engineering

The Echo

The Student News Site of High School for Mathematics, Science and Engineering

The Echo

CCNY Gems!

Marine-themed artwork at Aaron Davis Hall’s gallery

*Due to recent events, access to some parts of the CCNY campus is now limited. This Article was written prior to the campus shut down* – May 28th 2024

As HSMSE students, we are greatly privileged to have access to the gorgeous CCNY campus. Beyond Baskerville Hall, the Quad, and the NAC Cafeteria, there are countless other spots tucked away to take advantage of, from the ecological art exhibition to the breathtaking planetarium. We explored some of these places and encourage you to follow in our footsteps.

We were surprised to discover that there are not just one, but two art galleries on the CCNY campus. The first one is on the corner of 136th Street and Amsterdam Avenue. With floor-to-ceiling windows, it’s super easy to spot this gallery and get a glimpse of the beautiful art that lies inside. Unfortunately, due to its small capacity you can’t just walk in with a group of friends. You have to call ahead and make an appointment if you want to visit, and only small groups of around two people can enter the gallery at a time. The number to call is on the door of the gallery (212-650-6400), and HSMSE students are free to make an appointment anytime. The second gallery is larger, includes more artwork, and involves much less maneuvering through red tape to access. It’s hard to miss due to its prime location in the lobby of Aaron Davis Hall on 135th Street and Convent Avenue. You walk through the doors, and you’re there. It’s not just an art gallery — it’s also a sustainable art exhibition. All artwork displayed is from the TRASH Project, which promotes environmental awareness and sustainability. The paintings beautifully depict rich wildlife, natural environments, and volunteers picking up litter. It was moving to see how people came together and made a positive difference in our climate while creating striking artwork that promotes environmental activism in an easily accessible and inspirational way.

We also checked out the Cohen Library, which is located in the NAC. Many students are familiar with the library but haven’t explored it beyond the second floor; if you take the elevator, there are actually five floors that offer abundant resources. The second floor has the main entrance to the library, near the top of the main NAC escalator — be sure to bring your school ID to enter. Along with the vast collection of books, it has many seating areas for students to study, read, or do work; some even have computers that are free to use. The first floor houses the technology center, where you can use computers, print documents or photos, and get help with signing into the Wi-Fi. CCNY’s Writing Center is located on the third floor; here, students enrolled in the early college program can attend workshops after school and get feedback and support on their writing. There are also weekly online workshops that HSMSE students can sign up for. The Writing Center and MSE are currently planning even more opportunities for us, so stay tuned. Lastly, the fourth and fifth floors are quiet floors, where students can study and read in silent environments. The NAC Library is a great resource for students to catch up on work, hang out, and take advantage of all that the Writing Center has to offer.

The vast bookshelves of the NAC Library

The CCNY Planetarium is a must-see for any MSE space enthusiasts. There are free shows open to the public every Wednesday afternoon from 3:00 to 3:45 p.m. — be sure to reserve tickets online ahead of time because seats sell out quickly. It’s located in the basement of the Marshak Science Building, which also houses the Nat Holman Gymnasium. The planetarium was created in 1973 and operated for a few years after, but then it was then shut down for decades. It was lost to time until CCNY physics professor James Hedberg rediscovered it five years ago; since then, he has completely redesigned the projector and updated the area. Spring 2024 is the first semester he’s running weekly shows. He takes his audiences on tours from Earth to the solar system and beyond while narrating captivating scientific facts. Visitors can even request specific places in space to explore. For our show, he showed us the Moon’s Copernicus Crater — with Manhattan modeled onto it to demonstrate its massive size — the blue-tinted Martian sunset, Saturn’s glorious rings, and much more. Dr. Hedberg also demonstrated how the orbits of the Earth and Moon interacted to create April 8th’s total solar eclipse, which was fascinating to view from a new perspective. The planetarium show is incredibly immersive, and we highly recommend checking it out yourself for the full experience.

The planetarium, located in the basement of the Marshak building

HSMSE is uniquely located on a college campus, and as a result we have access to amazing college-level facilities that a regular high school could never provide. Over the course of more than two decades, our school has developed its partnership with CCNY, giving us more and more resources every day that we should take advantage of. Be sure to check out Siona’s article — “The NAC Library and Beyond: An Investigation into our Access on the CCNY Campus” — in which she dives further into our access to CCNY facilities. With only two weeks to explore one of the most historic and beautiful colleges in the country, we weren’t able to experience everything the campus has to offer. We hope you will continue our search and discover the hidden gems of CCNY for yourself.

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