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June 14, 2017

DDC’s Young Engineers Program at MS 394K-Mary McLeod Bethune Academy

The New York City Department of Design and Construction (DDC) and the Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD) hosted its Young Engineers Showcase at The Mary McLeod Bethune Academy in Crown Heights, Brooklyn on Tuesday, June 14, 2017. 

The showcase highlighted the work of 20 middle school students in the school’s STEAM education initiative, a DDC program that introduces New York 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 Team instructors tie in critical environmental justice issues and a study of Brooklyn’s neighboring water ways and beaches. Students studied the impacts of storm water runoff in Brooklyn which can negatively affect local wildlife. During the course, students engineered their own urban landscape and learned about the importance of the city’s combined sewage systems (CSOs) and overflow areas in Brooklyn.

Principal Carlene Padmore-Gateau was excited to observe and test green roof technologies and designs her students created collaboratively in a project-based learning environment.  She commended NYC DDC and DDC STEAM Team for their important advocacy work in the STEAM fields. “I am positive that, today, we have emerging engineers amongst our students.”

“This session was specially designed so that students can learn about the environmental issues here in Brooklyn,” 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 mentorship leading to careers in these fields.”

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

Students at MS209
MS 394 Young Engineers Students along with Principal Padmore-Gateau (Center front), DDC Deputy Commissioner Lee Llambelis (right front), DDC STEAM Team members and Friends of Crown Heights Staff.
Twenty students from Hamilton Grange Middle School
Young Engineers Students J’dae W. and Rayne A. simulate a heavy rainstorm by spraying water on their models.
Students at MS209
Upperclassmen were also invited to test models done by the 6th grade Young Engineers class and gauge the results.