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February 5, 2018

DDC, DOE, and DYCD Educators Come Together to Bring “Young Engineers Program” to More NYC Public Schools

In an effort to expand technical education in New York City public schools, educators from the NYC Department of Design and Construction’s (DDC) and the NYC Department of Education (DOE) today completed a three-day professional development program in which 21 NYC public school teachers were instructed on how to teach the Young Engineer’s Program using the DDC’s “Building the Future” curriculum.

The training program was organized by DDC’s STEAM education initiative, which has collaborated with DOE and the NYC Department of Youth & Community Development (DYCD) to bring the Young Engineers Program to over 500 students citywide. Overall, DDC STEAM has engaged more than 2,100 students in various programs since its inception in 2015, working exclusively with Title I schools.

The Young Engineers Program teaches middle school students the fundamentals of environmentally responsible city planning as it pertains to public buildings and infrastructure. The new “Building the Future” curriculum 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. The curriculum was developed by DDC’s office of Community Partnerships and STEAM in partnership with Dr. Leonisa Ardizzone, a science educator and founder of Storefront Science.

As part of the training, DOE middle school teachers performed many of the activities that students in the program go through, such as modeling buildings, infrastructure, homes, bridges, public areas, and streetscapes to demonstrate design and construction methods that can better withstand climate change and rising sea levels.

“By working with our partners DOE to increase the number of teachers who can teach the curriculum, we expand the STEAM umbrella and are able to reach even more young people, introducing them to technical careers they may not have considered before,” said DDC Acting Commissioner Ana Barrio.

“I thank DDC for its partnership in supporting our students and teachers and bringing new STEAM opportunities to our schools,” said Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña. “This is especially exciting as schools across the City encourage students to think about their pathways after high school as part of our second-ever Career Exploration Month.”

“In order to expand the STEAM Young Engineers Program, it is critically important to partner with NYC public schools. Thanks to these talented DOE math and science teachers we will be able to reach increasing numbers of students using the DDC STEAM Young Engineers curricula during the regular school day. It was wonderful to see how excited the teachers were as they were performing the very same experiments their students will be implementing in the classroom,” said DDC Deputy Commissioner for Community Partnerships & STEAM Initiatives Lee Llambelis.

"It is so satisfying to watch teachers get totally excited and fired up about engineering. Seeing them have fun doing the activities makes me certain that they will inspire the same kind of joy and wonder among their students, " stated Dr.  Leonisa Ardizzone, Ed.D..  

The training was held at the Lower Eastside Girl’s Club, which has hosted several STEAM events in the past, including the Young Engineers Program and Introduce a Girl to Architecture, Engineering, and Construction Day.

Other successful DDC STEAM programs include: Opportunity Academy, Ace Mentor Program, Town & Gown, and the High School Summer Internship program.  The six-week paid summer internship program is designed for students interested in pursuing careers in architecture, engineering, building trades, public administration, business administration or information technology.

DYCD educators and DOE middle school teachers perform the “Bridge Test – Building a Beam” activity from the Young Engineers Program at the Lower Eastside Girls Club.