DDC: Ian Michaels, 718-391-1589, firstname.lastname@example.org
(New York, NY – May 9, 2019) More than 50 New York City public school students from the Amistad Dual Language School at 4862 Broadway in Manhattan presented their model “City of the Future” today at the conclusion of a six-week Young Engineers Program that taught the fundamentals of environmentally responsible city planning. The model took first place in contest among six schools in the program, earning the students and their teachers a trip to the New York Hall of Science on May 31st.
“Every semester DDC STEAM reaches hundreds of new public school students at Title 1 schools, opening their eyes to how their worlds are constructed and how they can change the future,” said NYC Department of Design and Construction (DDC) Commissioner Lorraine Grillo. “The Young Engineers Program also exposes students to technical career opportunities they may not have considered before. Through these educational programs, we aim to expand their horizons, open their minds and maybe change their lives.”
“I would like to congratulate the 6th grade students at Amistad Dual language school for winning first place at this year’s DDC’s Middle School Young Engineers Program Showcase,” said Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez. “I thank DDC for the initiative that’s allowing many students in underserved communities to be exposed to science and technology. This was a program that started with former DDC Commissioner Feniosky Peña-Mora and I hope will continue expanding all throughout City agencies.”
“STEAM careers are the jobs of the future. Our children need to be prepared if they are to succeed and compete in the 21st century global economy,” said Lee Llambelis, DDC Deputy Commissioner for Community Partnerships and STEAM Initiatives. “Our goal is to introduce young people in under resourced communities to careers in the STEAM professions and by doing so change the landscape of these fields for generations to come.”
During the spring 2019 semester, DDC’s STEAM education division partnered with the Department of Education (DOE) and the Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD) to facilitate the Young Engineers Program for over 300 students at the Amistad Dual Language School and at the Washington Heights Expeditionary Learning School in Manhattan; at Leap Academy MS 88, Leap Academy MS 447 and Fort Green Preparatory Academy in Brooklyn; and at PS 39 Francis J. Murphy Jr. in Staten Island.
Employing the STEAM “Building the Future” curriculum, the students learned concepts such as the structural characteristics of 3D shapes, bridge engineering, constructing with I-beams, creating building models and sustainable technologies such as bioswales, tower gardens and green roofs. Students at each school then created their model “City of the Future” using those concepts and submitted photos or videos of their model to DDC STEAM.
Submissions were judged for their structural integrity, their demonstrated knowledge of the “Building the Future” curriculum and innovative use of sustainable building concepts.
DDC STEAM has engaged over 3,478 students in various programs since its inception in 2015, working exclusively with Title I schools. The “Building the Future” curriculum was developed by DDC’s office of Community Partnerships and STEAM in partnership with Dr. Leonisa Ardizzone, a science educator and founder of Storefront Science.