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March 20, 2017

Teller Avenue Educational Campus Students Present Urban Landscape Models During DDC STEAM “Young Engineers” Showcase

Shavone Williams

Bronx, NY — The New York City Department of Design and Construction (DDC) and the Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD), in partnership with Learning Through an Expanded Arts Program (LeAp), today hosted its Young Engineers Showcase at the Teller Avenue Educational Campus in the Bronx, which includes the Academy for Creative Educations and the Arts (J.H.S 145), Urban Science Academy (M.S. 325), and the New Millennium Business Academy (M.S. 328).

A Teller Avenue Educational Campus student tested his sustainable design project at the Young Engineers program showcase

The showcase highlighted the work of 26 middle school students in the school’s STEAM education initiative, a DDC program that introduces City students to the fields of science, technology, engineering, architecture/art, and math. Students in the Young Engineers program participated in a six-week course that taught fundamentals of environmentally responsible city planning as it pertains to public buildings and infrastructure. The “Young Engineers” program uses framework from the “Engineering is Elementary: Don’t Runoff” curriculum created by the Museum of Science in Boston, which introduces students to new and emerging technologies that will help counter the effects of storm water runoff in natural bodies of water.

DDC STEAM enhanced the curriculum to include environmental justice issues and a study of the Bronx River which is in close proximity to Teller and which can be negatively affected by stormwater that mixes with sewage or litter on City streets. During the course, students created their own engineering urban landscape and learned about the importance of the city’s combined sewage systems and overflow areas.

“This session was specially designed so that students can learn about the environmental issues here in the Bronx,” said DDC Commissioner Feniosky Peña-Mora. “In support of Mayor de Blasio’s vision for quality education, we want to continue to teach students about sustainable engineering concepts and provide a mentorship leading to careers in these fields.”

“Our ultimate goal for the Young Engineers is to have our students envision themselves as engineers, architects and built environment professionals to implement the concepts they’ve learned in their own communities, said DDC Deputy Commissioner of Community Partnerships and STEAM Initiatives Lee Llambelis.

“It is wonderful to see middle-school students getting hands-on opportunities to learn about STEM and its role in their City and the world around them. Middle school is a critical time for reaching our students and helping them develop academic interests and passions, and I thank the DDC for supporting this program,” said Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña

This wonderful program is an incredible educational resource that is helping to cultivate the next generation of STEAM innovators by tapping into the imagination and creativity of young people across the City,” said DYCD Commissioner Bill Chong. “I congratulate the young engineers at the Teller Avenue Educational Campus in the Bronx, whose exposure to the jobs of the future builds on the growing momentum of Science, Technology, Engineering, Architecture, Arts and Mathematics activities in afterschool.”

“Early exposure to STEAM studies instills a scientific curiosity in students that will serve them throughout their academic career. I am proud of our students at the Teller Avenue Campus for their participation in the Young Engineers’ Program and thank the Department of Design and Construction and the Department of Youth and Community Development for modifying the Program’s curriculum to address the real life environmental health concerns we face in the Bronx. Since 2014, the Young Engineers’ Program has provided our middle school students with an innovative and engaging approach to real life application of STEAM sciences. This middle school enrichment program would not be possible without the partnership of DYCD and DOE. I thank these agencies for coming together with the Administration to bring this invaluable opportunity to the students of the Bronx,” said Council Member Vanessa L. Gibson

"LEAP is proud to partner with DDC and DYCD in our aligned effort to provide exciting and engaging STEAM programming to NYC school children in underserved communities. This two year effort has introduced our students to career options in the sciences and technology and has helped them build the skills needed to make those dreams a reality.  Together we are working to break the cycle of poverty by preparing our children for the 21st Century workforce,” said Rich Souto, Executive Director, LEAP

26 middle and high school students in DDC’s Young Engineer Program join the DDC STEAM staff and the Teller Avenue Educational Campus staff at the closing showcase ceremony

The Department for Youth and Community Development (DYCD) has worked with DDC to identify schools considered at high need for additional resources in STEAM education. The Young Engineers pilot program was launched in March 2014 through the LeAp afterschool program at MS 22 Jordan L. Mott in the South Bronx, a renewal school where 100% of students qualify for free lunch, 21% are special education students and 21% are English language learners.

Since 2015, there have been 1,286 middle school, high school, and college students who have participated in various educational programs coordinated by DDC’s STEAM division. In addition to the Young Engineers Program, the STEAM initiative offers high school internships; college internships; enrichment programs geared towards middle schoolers; mentorship for students interested in the architecture, engineering, and construction industries; the Opportunity Academy, which is a career readiness program that supports minority-owned, woman-owned, and locally-based business enterprises; as well as programs that function in association with DDC’s Town & Gown program and the Department of Youth and Community Development.

DDC is accepting applications for its 2017 high school summer internship program through March 31. Students must reside in New York City and must be at least 16 years of age and eligible to work in the United States with working papers. The six-week internship begins July 5, 2017 and ends August 11, 2017.

For more information see: 2017 High School Summer Internship Program 

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