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February 17, 2017

DDC STEAM Students Screen New Giant-Screen Film “Dream Big: Engineering Our World”

If you can dream it, you can engineer it

Ian Michaels

New York, NY –  New York City Department of Design and Construction (DDC) Commissioner Feniosky Peña-Mora today joined over 200 public school students associated with DDC’s STEAM educational programs at a special early screening of the new film “Dream Big: Engineering Our World,” a movie about engineers and how they will shape our world in the future, designed to inspire young people to consider careers in engineering. The screening was at the IMAX theater at AMC Loews Lincoln Square 13 in Manhattan.

The students were all participants or classmates of students in DDC’s STEAM educational programs, including middle school and high school students from District 6 in Manhattan, as well as schools in the Bronx and Brooklyn. Narrated by actor Jeff Bridges, “Dream Big” is sponsored by the American Society of Civil Engineers and is being presented this month to coincide with National Engineers Week.

“‘Dream Big’ encourages many of the same goals as DDC’s STEAM program – to introduce young people to engineering and technical careers, and to light a passion in them to pursue those careers,” said DDC Commissioner Feniosky Peña-Mora. “DDC STEAM targets students who may feel that because of their gender or background they have no place in these fields. We believe ‘Dream Big’ and the educational materials created for it will grab young people’s attention and make them enthusiastic about what they can accomplish as future engineers.”

“It’s so important that all our students – no matter their zip code, or background – receive high-quality STEAM instruction and have exposure to STEAM career paths. I thank DDC for their partnership in exposing our students to STEAM in the world around them, and I look forward to the work ahead,” said Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña.

DDC Commissioner Feniosky Peña-Mora (center) with students from The College Academy high school in upper Manhattan

“STEAM careers are the jobs of the future and our children need to be prepared if they are to succeed and compete in the 21st century global economy,” said Lee Llambelis, DDC Deputy Commissioner for Community Partnerships and STEAM Initiatives. “A film like ‘Dream Big’ which is captivating makes these careers real and accessible.”

“Dream Big: Engineering Our World” was created by MacGillivray Freeman Films in partnership with the American Society of Civil Engineers, and is presented by Bechtel Corporation. It will open nationwide on February 17, including at the New York Hall of Science in Queens, which hosts a regular STEM Night series of workshops and seminars where DDC STEAM has participated. DiscoverE (formerly the National Engineers Week Foundation) also partnered on the film, including on educational resources.

Martina Rodriguez, Loadys Vargas, and Ginabell Made Paula of Gregorio Luperon High School for Science and Mathematics

Martina Rodriguez, Loadys Vargas, and Ginabell Made Paula and were part of a class of students from Gregorio Luperon High School for Science and Mathematics that attended the screening. 

“The movie was awesome,” said Ginabell Made Paula. “I was thinking of jobs in engineering but I wasn’t really sure, but once I saw the people in the movie and how they help other people through engineering I was really interested.”

“I never really thought about engineering in that way, but seeing how they make things that change people’s lives, I think about it differently,” Loadys Vargas said. “I want to go join our school’s robotics club.”

“It’s nice that you can use your ideas and profession to help others,” said Martina Rodriguez. “I was in the robotics club for two years and seeing the high school robotics team in the movie beat the team from MIT, that was amazing.”

DDC STEAM started in 2015 to establish a diverse and inclusive pipeline for New York City's youth to engage in the architecture, construction, and engineering industries. STEAM programs for students grade 6 - 12 include the Young Engineers Program and the ACE Mentor Program. STEAM also offers high school and college summer internships. Overall, DDC STEAM has served 1,260 students since its inception.

DDC partners with the NYC Department of Education and the NYC Department of Youth & Community Development in its STEAM programs.

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