July 29, 2016
Bronx middle school students showcased their Future City projects at MS 22 at the end of the New York City Department of Design and Construction’s first Middle School Summer Enrichment Program. Throughout July, students, who came from several schools in District 9 in the South Bronx, learned about the built environment from ancient time to the present using a curriculum developed by the DDC’s STEAM division. They received instruction four mornings per week from DDC educators on science, technology, engineering, art/architecture and math (STEAM), and on Fridays they visited sites where they focused on the relationship between architecture, design, and visual art.
For their final project, students spent the last week of the program building a Future City, incorporating elements of design throughout history that they studied over the summer. The students were divided into ten groups, with each constructing a section of their proposed Future City.
“Our summer educational programs expose students to concepts DDC embraces to improve the highly built environment of New York City: sustainability, resiliency, equity and growth,” said DDC Commissioner Feniosky Peña-Mora. “The students have opportunities for personal development; they build relationships with each other and with our STEAM educators, and may down the road decide to pursue careers in design or engineering. We’re very proud to help a diverse population of Bronx students.”
“This summer our District 9 students have traveled the world. They have learned about the built environment from ancient time to the present,” said DDC Community Partnerships & STEAM Initiatives Deputy Commissioner Lee Llambelis. “Our young engineers have visited several of the great NYC cultural institutions, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art where they studied the relationship between architecture, engineering, design and visual art in ancient construction. They also had an opportunity to tour the Museum of the City of New York and learn about the founding of NYC from the early settlements to our present day metropolis. They also visited the NY Hall of Science and Google where they were exposed to cutting edge technology. It has also been a unique opportunity to set up our students for success in the fall and avoid the dreaded summer slide.”
The MakerBot technology used by students to create their model city structures was made possible by a generous grant from the Fordham Street Foundation. The Fordham Street Foundation supports efforts to close the gap in academic achievement between advantaged and disadvantaged youth. “We are delighted to support the DDC STEAM initiatives summer program in its efforts to expose New York City youth to career and educational opportunities in architecture, engineering and construction, and in particular to encourage and involve students of color in these fields,” said Judy Bigelow, Director of the Fordham Street Foundation.
“Congratulations to the students who completed the DDC STEAM Summer Program and to the teachers, staff and funders who supported this important initiative. These types of engaging, career-oriented learning models help improve academic performance, while also addressing the under-representation of low-income, women and minority populations in these promising career tracks,” said Darren Bloch, Executive Director of the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City.