April 27, 2017
Queens, NY – Over 40 children between the ages of 8 and 13 joined the New York City Department of Design and Construction (DDC) for Take Our Children to Work Day at the New York Hall of Science in Queens today, part of an event hosted by DDC’s STEAM education initiative.
The young family members of DDC staffers were invited to take part in an immersive educational experience that included demonstrations of mechanical systems, exhibits of human biology, explanations of geological formations, and models of ecosystems. The tour of the museum also included an half-hour long learning session in which students built air-powered vehicles using household items such as rubber bands, compact disks, and various fabrics. Other students were challenged to build mechanisms that allow golf balls to serve as demolition instruments when launched against a tower of paper cups, demonstrating the laws of physics and energy transfer to the students. Students capped off the day by watching the film “Dream Big,” a documentary that highlights professional engineers and the role of engineering in society.
“Take Our Children to Work Day is an important tool to educate kids about the careers that are available to them, as well as the challenges their parents face every day as design and construction professionals within the DDC,” said DDC Commissioner Feniosky Peña-Mora. “The New York Hall of Science is an excellent resource that our agency has actually worked on in the past, and its exhibits explain science in an interesting, digestible, and accessible for students of all levels.”
The DDC completed a renovation of the NY Hall of Science in February 2016. A $25.2 million project to renovate the great hall included the installation of a new sustainable HVAC system, new flooring, new walls, new ceilings, and new roofing. Exterior work included the addition of a terrace for visitors, new fencing, landscaping work to facilitate garden space in front of the museum, and new plantings.
One chaperone on the trip, Bobby Issac, 43, a DDC Geotechnical Engineer, said the trip was valuable to his son Aiden, 8, in that it raised his awareness to the role of engineering in everyday life.
“I think it is important to inspire at a young age, and teaching kids about being an engineer gives them fresh perspective,” said Issac. “Everything in their environment is built and planned by civil engineers, and the things the kids saw today show that engineers do much more than crunch numbers or draw plans.”
“I think I want to be an engineer like my dad because I can build things and help people,” Aiden said. “We learned about different environments and how soil can affect the ways cities are built. It’s really cool that my dad is an engineer.”
About the NYC Department of Design and Construction
The Department of Design and Construction is the City’s primary capital construction project manager. In supporting Mayor de Blasio’s lenses of growth, sustainability, resiliency, equity and healthy living, DDC provides communities with new or renovated public buildings such as such as firehouses, libraries, police precincts, new or upgraded roadways, sewers, water mains in all five boroughs. To manage this $15 billion portfolio, DDC partners with other City agencies, architects and consultants, whose experience bring efficient, innovative, and environmentally-conscious design and construction strategies to city projects. For more information, please visit nyc.gov/ddc.