On June 21st, 2021, after successfully completing the NYC Department of Design and Construction’s (DDC) STEAM Virtual Young Engineer’s Program, students from PS 108K Sal Abbracciamento School in Brooklyn held their virtual showcase. The young engineers presented their individual models of a “City of the Future” and discussed the many engineering concepts they learned while participating in the Young Engineers Program (YEP).
The DDC Young Engineers Program teaches students the fundamentals of environmentally responsible city planning. Students shared thoughts about their experiences while learning about the broader engineering, architecture, and construction fields. Each student created a model of their representation of a city of the future using the green infrastructure and technologies they were introduced to during the implementation of the program. Such green features included bioswales and green roof technology. The students were able to comprehend how each of the green infrastructure techniques created an eco-friendly environment and how it helps the city be sustainable and resilient.
The city model project also gave the students the chance to work collaboratively with family members at home, and afforded them the opportunity to make decisions about choice of materials and a variety of designing techniques they could apply. Some models included a factory, parks, and hotels with green roofs, as well as abstract shaped building structures. It was clear that the students learned to think like engineers: they identified the problems. They investigated. They imagined. They created. They also tested their designs and communicated their findings to their virtual audience.
NYC Department of Design and Construction Deputy Commissioner Lee Llambelis stated, “The Young Engineers Program exposes students to technical career opportunities they may not have considered before. Through these educational programs, our goal is to expand their horizons, open their minds and maybe change their lives.”
“The Young Engineer Club affords additional opportunities for schools to provide equity to all students. Our students have the ability to be successful in any career they choose. What limits them is their lack of exposure to careers in science, mathematics, and engineering. The DDC Young Engineers Program opens up the world of possibilities to all students,” stated PS 108K Principal Constance Hahn.
Employing the STEAM “Building the Future” curriculum, the students learned concepts such as the structural characteristics of 3D shapes, bridge engineering, constructing with I-beams, creating building models and the importance of sustainable technologies such as bioswales, tower gardens and green roofs. Students at each school then created their model “City of the Future” using those concepts and submitted photos or videos of their model to DDC STEAM.
Submissions were judged for their structural integrity, their demonstrated knowledge of the “Building the Future” curriculum, and innovative use of sustainable building concepts.
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 $15.5 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 nyc.gov/ddc