From July 6th to August 12th, 2021, students from the Hostos STEP Program in the South Bronx participated in the virtual Young Engineers Summer Program. The students learned the fundamentals of environmentally responsible city planning. The Hostos Young Engineers engaged in hands-on model building and researched sustainable engineering concepts that they later used in their models. They also learned about bridges, green roof technology and the nuts and bolts of how to build an environmentally friendly future city. The Young Engineers especially enjoyed the building activities because it gave them the opportunity to physically construct structures at home and they also go to make decisions about the choice of materials and the designing techniques to implement.
Seventh grade student Daniel Myers said, “I had a good time in the program! It was fun and educational. I learned how to build stable structures through many failed attempts. However, at the end, I was victorious!”
“It was clear that the students learned to think like engineers. They identified problems. They investigated. They imagined. They created. Then they tested their designs and communicated their findings to their virtual audience,” said Deputy Commissioner for STEAM Initiatives Lee Llambelis.
Diandra Jugmohan, Co-Director at Hostos STEP, stated, “Implementing the DDC Young Engineers curriculum gave our students an opportunity to explore different hands-on projects and provided our students practical applications of STEM.”
As students transitioned to remote learning last year, DDC STEAM revamped its Building the Future curricula to a virtual format to accommodate educators launching the YEP program.
“Our students were able to execute the engineering design process for the projects offered in the DDC curriculum. They were able to build and report on the processes,” said Amrit Singh, an engineering instructor with the Hostos STEP program.
Michael Greene, an Engineering Instructor at Hostos STEP, stated, “The YEP program was a great exposure experience for the students. It provides the opportunity to put active learning concepts back into the classroom, in the virtual space. I would like to see more content like this that is directly related to what engineers do and reflects on the flexibility of engineering and illustrates just how many different types of engineers there are.”
Using the STEAM Building the Future curriculum, students learn 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. They then 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 nyc.gov/ddc