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DDC’s 2021 Virtual Take Our Children to Work Day

Individual photos of kids from the virtual event

Top Left: Rosemary and Serenity Quiroz, Emma Fu, Julia Roytburg, and Christian Barret. Bottom Left: Dudley Saul Jr., Sebastian Martinez- Miguel, and Karolina Bielecka

DDC's STEAM Initiatives Division hosted the children of DDC employees for our 2021 Virtual Take Our Children to Work Day celebration. The children were divided into groups based on their age. Over the course of two days, Wednesday, March 31st and Thursday, April 1st, each group spent the day creating three-dimensional study models of public buildings, bridges and learning about green infrastructure. The theme “Building For You” was used as a way to illustrate the importance of their parents’ work at DDC within the related built environment disciplines. The children learned about global warming and the importance of building green, resilient and sustainable structures. They also learned about the forces of tension and compression and the role these forces play in construction. After the exercise they were also able to Identify where and how tension and compression forces act on structures.

Commissioner Jamie Torres-Springer surprised the students on March 31st with a special guest, his daughter Amalia, who is in the second grade. Commissioner Torres-Springer spoke about what it takes to be successful in STEAM careers. “DDC’s ‘Take Your Children to Work Day’ does an excellent job connecting the people who currently build the city to the future generation of public builders. Our projects emphasize community engagement, resiliency, sustainability, equity and healthy living. This program is a perfect way to connect our agency to the youth of our city in a way that exposes them to the work that we do.”

Commissioner Torres-Springer encouraged students to ask their parents about what can happen when toilets are flushed on days when it rains really hard. He advised strongly against flushing when it rains hard and reiterated how their parents work hard to lead, make change, and make our city a better place. He also introduced the children to Roebling family and spoke about the family’s role in the building of the Brooklyn Bridge. Below is a link to a short video on the Roebling family.

Emily Roebling & the Brooklyn Bridge- Inspiring & Motivational Story about a Woman’s Courage

Deputy Commissioner for STEAM Initiatives, Lee Llambelis, stated, “Take Our Children to Work Day affords our children the opportunity to learn to think like architects, engineers and other built environment professionals. They learn about the engineering design process and how DDC employees create some of New York City’s premier public buildings, green spaces, and infrastructure.”

As part of the days program, each student built a beam bridge, which they tested with different weight interventions while observing what occurred when weight is placed on the structure. After the exercise they discussed what could be improved and viewed a short video of one of the most dramatic failures in bridge engineering history: the Tacoma Bridge Collapse.

Why the Tacoma Narrows Bridge Collapsed

In the afternoon the children learned about green technology and created a green roof. They also discussed how green roofs can absorb pollutants in the water and reduce storm water run‐off. After the exercise they were able to explain the benefits of green roofs and green technology. Program coordinator Gemelli Briceno led a step-by-step exercise on how to create a green roof. After the children observed the creation of the green roof, they were quizzed about what they observed and discussed what materials might be more resilient.

The children ended the day designing a building of the future that they placed in a city they each created. Prior to starting construction of their structures, the children sketched a map of their city. They were presented with the challenge to design a city based upon their sketched map that included a bridge, a building with a green roof, streets, public buildings (a library, firehouse, police precinct etc.) and something fun like a park, café or work of public art. After the challenge was completed, they explained key elements of their projects and why they used certain materials. It was clear that our children had learned to think like engineers!

Below are links to videos used in the NYC DDC STEAM Initiative’s 2021 Virtual Take Our Children to Work Day Event

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About the NYC Department of Design and Construction

The Department of Design and Construction is the City’s primary capital construction project manager. In supporting Mayor de Blasio’s long-term vision of growth, sustainability, resiliency, equity and healthy living, DDC provides communities with new or renovated public buildings such as such as firehouses, libraries, police precincts, and new or upgraded roads, sewers and water mains in all five boroughs. To manage this $14 billion portfolio, DDC partners with other City agencies, architects and consultants, whose experience bring efficient, innovative and environmentally-conscious design and construction strategies to City projects. For more information, please visit