October 12, 2016
On October 12th, some 30 public middle and high school students participated in the NYC Department of Design and Construction’s “Introduce a Girl to Architecture, Engineering and Construction Day” at the Lower East Side Girls Club. The program was designed to promote science, technology, engineering, architecture/art and mathematics (STEAM) related disciplines to young women, and raise awareness of career opportunities in STEAM fields.
DDC’s STEAM division facilitated two educational workshops in which the students learned how to use an architect’s scale to draw blueprints and then construct scale models of public buildings. Students also designed the interiors of several public buildings, such as a police precinct, an EMS station, and a library using concept and material boards.
After the workshops, the students attended a panel discussion with four female DDC architecture and engineering professionals: Starlene Scott, Acting Director of the “Build it Back” program; Lucy Wong, Police Unit Program Director; Jade Bailey, Project Manager of Public Buildings; and Alanna Soszynski-Lauter Project Manager Intern for Public Buildings. The professionals were joined by former STEAM High School Intern Michelle Asim, who is currently a college aide at DDC, in sharing their personal experiences of how they began their careers. They also gave students advice on how to persevere and pursue their dreams in these traditionally male-dominated STEAM fields.
“The percentage of women who pursue careers in architecture and engineering are disproportionally lower than their representation in our communities,” said DDC Commissioner Feniosky Peña-Mora. “Through this program, we attempt to demystify those careers, pique the interest of students, and let them know that there are many opportunities out there for them regardless of their gender or ethnicity. Hopefully, in the future, some of these students may come back to work at DDC.”
“STEAM careers are the jobs of the future and young women need to be prepared if they are to succeed and compete in the 21st century global economy,” said DDC Community Partnerships & STEAM Initiatives Deputy Commissioner Lee Llambelis. “Educating girls in the STEAM professions will put them on a path to success.”