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January 11, 2018

NYC DDC STEAM College Aide Participates in the Citywide College Awareness Day at Hamilton Grange Middle School

On Thursday, January 11th, the entire Hamilton Grange Middle School student body participated in a citywide College Awareness Day. Now in its second year, College Awareness Day, promotes a college-going culture across all New York City schools and encourages students to consider a range of colleges and career options. These efforts are part of College Access for All, one of Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Fariña’s Equity and Excellence for All initiatives.

As the first person in my family to attend college, I know the importance of early conversations and planning around college and careers, and that’s exactly what College Awareness Day is doing,” said Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña. “Every New York City student must have the opportunity to pursue their dreams, and we are making unprecedented investments in college and career access to make that a reality – especially for students who would not have had these opportunities in the past.”

DDC STEAM, in collaboration with NYC Department of Education and the Hamilton Grange Middle School, has implemented the Young Engineers Program curricula twice over the past year to 52 students. Hamilton Grange invited DDC College Aide Shakiesha Featherstone, a Civil Engineering student at Manhattan College, to participate in a workshop for 52 students to share what she has learned over the course of her high school and college career. Shakiesha spoke about the important transition between high school and college and explained they will be competing against students that have financial opportunities and other advantages, but that it was up to them to prepare themselves for their college careers by studying hard. Preparing themselves academically would help to ensure that they succeed at the school of their dreams. She also spoke about the importance of math and science for students interested in pursuing STEAM related careers. As part of her presentation, Shakiesha had the students compete in a flash card tower challenge. Students in groups of 5 had 20 minutes to build a tower with fifty index cards and one foot of tape. This exercise gave students an opportunity to understand the importance of teamwork, developing strong communication skills, and learning to design a structure using only the resources accessible to them.  

Students work in teams to complete the Flash Card Engineering challenge.
Students work in teams to complete the Flash Card Engineering challenge.
Shakiesha shares advice on getting the proper education to become a future engineer.
Shakiesha shares advice on getting the proper education to become a future engineer.