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MS 394 Young Engineers Showcase

MS 394 students present their City of the Future

Top Left: MS 394 students constructing their City of the Future model
Top Right: MS 394 students creating green roofs to test
Bottom: DDC STEAM Team and STEAM College Intern discussing with students their City of the Future model

On August 11th, 2021, students from MS 394 The Mary McLeod Bethune Middle School in Brooklyn presented their “City of the Future” at the completion of the ten-week DDC Young Engineers Program. Over the course of the summer the students learned the fundamentals of environmentally responsible city planning. The Young Engineers presented their models and discussed the many sustainable engineering concepts they implemented in their model city.

The students shared what they had learned about sustainability and resiliency in construction, bridges, green roof technology and the building of a city structure. The Young Engineers stated that what they most enjoyed about the program was building a futuristic city. Several indicated that they especially enjoyed the opportunity to work collaboratively with their classmates. They also noted that the exercise provided them an opportunity to make decisions about the choice of building materials and design techniques to implement, as well as how to best incorporate green technology into their structures. The future city model was a collaborative effort. Their model included a skyscraper, a building with a green roof, a solar powered home, a fountain, and a billboard. It was clear that the students learned to think like engineers: they identified the problems. They investigated. They imagined. They created. They tested their designs and communicated their findings to their virtual audience. They were also eager to continue to develop the city they named the “Green Power City” to add additional skyscrapers and homes that use green technology and sustainable power sources.

”STEAM careers are the jobs of the future. Our children need to be prepared if they are to succeed and compete in the 21st century global economy,” said NYC Department of Design and Construction (DDC) Deputy Commissioner Lee Llambelis. “The Young Engineers Program exposes students to technical career opportunities they may not have considered before. Through these educational programs, we aim to expand their horizons, open their minds and maybe change their lives.”

Mahlaney Wilson, Activity Specialist at MS 394, stated, “I enjoyed learning alongside the children and watching their curiosity grow and expand from the classroom to noticing different structures we had talked about outside! DDC makes this information fun and accessible to students and adults alike.”

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 sustainable technologies such as bioswales, tower gardens and green roofs. Students created their model “City of the Future” using those 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