July 28, 2017
On July 28th Washington Heights middle school students displayed their “Future City” projects at PS/IS 366 Washington Heights Academy at the end of the New York City Department of Design and Construction’s (DDC) Middle School Summer Enrichment Program.
Throughout July, students in the program, who come from several schools at the Washington Heights Academy (WHA) in District 6, learned about the built environment from ancient times to the present using a vocabulary-and concept-rich curriculum developed by the DDC STEAM division. Students received instruction four mornings per week from DDC educators and WHA teachers on science, technology, engineering, art/architecture, and math (STEAM). On Fridays they visited sites where they focused on the relationship between architecture, design, and visual art. Field trips included visits to the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum, and the New York Hall of Science.
For their final project, students spent the last week of the program building a “Future City,” incorporating elements of design used throughout history that they studied over the summer. The students were divided into two groups, each group built a conceptual model city covering 16-square-feet. Their Future Cities include hand-constructed models, many wired with solar lighting, with an emphasis on green technology and solar power.
“This summer our WHA students from Washington Heights 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 great NYC cultural institutions, including the Cooper Hewitt Museum Smithsonian Design Museum where they studied the relationship between architecture, engineering, design and visual art. They also visited the New York Hall of Science where they explored mechanical systems, models of ecosystems, and saw the documentary ‘Dream Big: Engineering Our World,’ a film about engineering that takes viewers on a journey of discovery from the world’s tallest building to a bridge higher than the clouds. Our students have learned how today’s engineers are shaping the world of tomorrow. The experience provided a unique opportunity to set up our young scholars for success in the fall and to avoid the dreaded summer slide.”
This is the second year of DDC’s Middle School Summer Enrichment Program. For 2017, the program is active at six locations citywide, including MS 366; the Lower East Side Girl’s Club; and, in coordination with the NYC Department of Youth & Community Development and LeAp (Learning through an Expanded Arts Program), at JHS 125, IS 22 and MS 228 in the Bronx, and JHS 88 in Brooklyn.