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October 28, 2016

Public Middle and High School Students Present Their Sustainable Design Projects in DDC’s Young Engineers Program with the Lower East Side Girls Club

DYCD Deputy Director Candace Reyes-Dandrea with student
DYCD Deputy Director Capacity Building Unit Candace Reyes-Dandrea tests out the student’s sustainable design project at the Young Engineers program showcase

Shavone Williams

New York, NY – The New York City Department of Design and Construction (DDC) hosted its Young Engineers program (YEP) showcase yesterday with the Lower East Side Girls Club. During the event, held at the Girls Club headquarters on Avenue D, 26 female middle and high school students presented their sustainable design projects from the DDC educational program that promotes science, technology, engineering, architecture/art and mathematics (STEAM) related disciplines.

DDC’s STEAM division partnered this year for the first time with the Lower East Side Girls Club to host an afterschool program with girls from various public middle and high schools. For seven weeks, students in the “Young Engineers” program learned environmentally conscious design, the importance of circumventing pollution, and methods to prevent polluted stormwater from reaching natural sources of water around the City.

“In support of Mayor de Blasio’s vision for quality education, this program was designed to teach students sustainable engineering concepts and preparation for career opportunities in the fields of architecture, engineering and construction. We want to continue encouraging young women to ignite their passion to pursue careers in these fields because these industries tend to be male-dominated,” said DDC Commissioner Feniosky Peña-Mora.

“The Young Engineers Program is important because it gives equal opportunity to students in communities where they might not be exposed to architecture, engineering and construction. We were happy to partner this time with the Lower East Side Girls Club to educate young women about the built environment. We hope they may consider becoming future architects and engineers who can implement these techniques to make our city a better place to live,” said DDC Deputy Commissioner of Community Partnerships and STEAM Initiatives Lee Llambelis.

26 middle and high school students
26 middle and high school students in DDC’s Young Engineer Program join the DDC STEAM staff and the Lower East Side Girls Club staff at the closing showcase ceremony

“Equity and Excellence for All means bringing resources and opportunities to every student and family regardless of the language spoken at home or the neighborhood in which they live,” said Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña. “The Young Engineers Program brings exciting opportunities for students and exposes them to the high-demand STEAM fields, helping to ensure participating students have the tools they need to achieve success in the 21st century economy.”

“I don’t think there is better career for women right now in these times if you live in the city than to be an Engineer or an Architect. There are so many opportunities available for those who have an education in these fields; this is only the beginning for these young women, said Executive Director of the Lower East Side Girls Club Lyn Pentecost.

“Project-based STEAM education that puts our students’ minds to work solving real-world problems is meaningful and effective, and we should do whatever we can to promote it,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. “I congratulate the Young Engineers showcasing their work today, and thank the Department of Design and Construction and Lower East Side Girls Club for supporting this important program and STEAM education in general.”

Earlier this month, DDC’s STEAM division partnered with the Lower East Side Girls Club to host "Introduce a Girl to AEC Day,” with 30 middle and high school girls for a day of knowledge about the built environment. The event was formed in an effort to promote architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) related disciplines to young women and to raise their awareness of career opportunities in STEAM fields.

DDC launched its STEAM initiative in 2014 to establish a diverse and inclusive pipeline for New York City's youth in underrepresented communities to engage in the architecture, construction, and engineering industries. DDC also partners with the New York City Department of Education (DOE) and the New York City Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD) to facilitate a wide range of STEAM-related programs. To date, approximately 311 middle school students have participated in the Young Engineers program. Overall, DDC’s STEAM division has served 1,233 students citywide since its inception.

Additional photos from the Young Engineers Program showcase at the Lower East Side Girls Club can be found here, courtesy of NYC DDC.

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 lenses 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, new or upgraded roadways, sewers, water mains in all five boroughs. To manage this $15 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