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STEAM Initiatives Hosts Educators Professional Development for the 2019 Young Engineers Program

January 3, 2019

DDC: Shoshana Khan, 718-391-1251,

Long Island City, NY –  Educators from DDC STEAM hosted a Professional Development Workshop today for 15 public middle school teachers from schools participating in the Young Engineers Program (YEP) and teaching artists from the  NYC Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD). The workshop, at DDC’s Long Island City headquarters, was designed to instruct them on how to conduct the YEP program using DDC’s “Building the Future” curriculum.

YEP was designed to teach middle school students the fundamentals of environmental responsible city planning relating to public buildings and infrastructure. The educators represented YEP sites from all five boroughs, including the Albert Einstein Jr High School, Amistad Dual Language School, Fort Greene Preparatory Academy, Manhattan East School for Arts & Academy, Francis J. Murphy School, Park Place Community Middle School and the Washington Heights Expeditionary Learning School.

Deputy Commissioner for Community Partnerships and STEAM Initiatives Lee Llambelis (second from right in the front row) and STEAM Program Coordinators with public middle school teachers at the DDC STEAM Professional Development Workshop

Educators were introduced to the best of DDC STEAM hands-on engineering and architecture related activities. The primary purpose of DDC’s STEAM Professional Development is to enhance educators’ understanding of Engineering, Architecture and built environment concepts.

“Research consistently shows that rigorous teacher instruction critically impacts student achievement. By teaching the teachers we can greatly increase the number of young people we can engage with our STEAM programming, introducing them to career opportunities they may not have imagined for themselves before,” said DDC Deputy Commissioner for Community Partnerships & STEAM Initiatives Lee Llambelis. Our goal with DDC STEAM professional development is to bring math and science concepts to life and to bring engineering and problem solving to NYC students. In our Train the Trainer sessions, we give educators the opportunity to explore the concepts and methodologies in a fun environment, so they are confident implementing the program at their schools.”

The educators experienced project-based learning activities in the YEP curriculum, which will be rolled out at their schools. Educators completed a column activity that challenged them to analyze and explore the strength of various column shapes. They also completed an urban planning activity that included analyzing a map of the five boroughs for energy, transportation and green infrastructure, paying attention to communities across the City that lack in critical amenities like parks, sporting facilities, transportation and infrastructure. The final challenge was a green roof activity, which had the teachers building a functional miniature model green roof that was able to retain water and limit runoff in to the local water bodies.


Educators at DDC’s Professional Development Workshop construct a model of a green roof model that retains water and restricts stormwater flow to local water bodies

DDC’s “Building the Future” curriculum, which is currently being implemented as part of YEP, emphasizes the structural characteristics of 3D shapes, bridge engineering, constructing with I-beams, creating building models and green technologies such as bio swales, tower gardens and green roofs. As part of the training, teachers performed many of the activities that students in the program go through, including modeling buildings, infrastructure, bridges, bio swales, public areas, and streetscapes to demonstrate design and construction methods.

DDC STEAM has engaged over 2,800 students in various programs since its inception in 2015, working exclusively with Title I schools.


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