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September 27, 2017

NYC DDC STEAM Initiatives Holds Young Engineers Program Train the Trainer for Fall 2017 Program Participants

On September 27th and 28th, the New York City Department of Design and Construction STEAM Initiatives Division hosted a Train the Trainer Professional Development workshop for Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD) organizations and Department of Education (DOE) staff members participating in DDC’s Young Engineers Program Fall 2017 semester.

DDC works closely with DOE and DYCD to facilitate the Young Engineers Program to address the Mayor’s Middle School Afterschool Initiative. DDC facilitates hands-on, STEAM-related curriculum in DYCD programs and in DOE schools. In partnership with Dr. Leonisa Ardizzone, the former Executive Director of the Salvadori Center and founder of Storefront Science, DDC STEAM developed a curriculum that introduces fun, engaging hands-on activities related to the built environment. The “Building the Future” curriculum provides students with an opportunity to explore basic concepts in Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC).

The two-day training workshop introduced the “Building the Future” curriculum, as well as various educational tools and information teachers would need to successfully implement the STEAM curriculum with their students. Staff members from eight DYCD organizations and DOE schools had an opportunity to explore 3D shapes and strengths, engineer bridges, construct I-Beams, build models, and create green technologies, such as bioswales, tower gardens and green roofs. They learned about project-based learning methods that would assist them in introducing their students to curriculum topics. Experiencing the workshops first-hand permitted the participants to be better equipped to answer questions and connect the activities to concepts students will learn during the school year.

“Our agency fully supports Mayor de Blasio’s goal to provide quality education for all youth,” said DDC Acting Commissioner Ana Barrio. “The incorporation of DDC’s very own curriculum “Building for You” into the Young Engineers Program is an incredible opportunity to not only pique student interest in how DDC enhances the sustainability of New York City, but to also provide access to additional STEAM resources necessary for students’ holistic education.”

“We are extremely proud to be able to expand our Young Engineers Program and introduce our DDC’s own curriculum “Building For You” to our community partners,” said DDC Deputy Commissioner for Community Partnerships & STEAM Initiatives Lee Llambelis. “By providing professional development workshops for teachers, we are ensuring that on-site school staff members will have the tools necessary to introduce concepts of architecture and engineering to the built environment professionals of tomorrow.”

“The DDC curriculum brings math and science to life for learners of all ages,
said former Salvadori Center Exective Director Dr. Leonisa Ardizzone. “By bringing engineering and problem solving to students in schools and after school programs, we are providing them with enriching educational experiences as well as the skills and habits of mind necessary to be engaged citizens. In our Train the Trainer sessions, we give educators the valuable opportunity to explore the concepts and methodologies - while having fun - so they are confident implementing the program.”

Since the launch of the program in Spring 2015, DDC’s Young Engineers Program has provided instruction to approximately 340 middle school students.  In the Fall 2017, STEAM Initiatives will deliver this curriculum at the following locations: Washington Heights Academy (Manhattan), Hamilton Grange Middle School (Manhattan), LeAp at Jonas Bronck Academy (Bronx), ASPIRA at IS 131 (Bronx), IS 281 (Brooklyn), and IS 49 (Staten Island).