Our Program Vision and Need
Vision: The Brooklyn STEAM Center ignites and prepares the pipeline of talented young adults who will advance the next generation of technology and manufacturing. At the STEAM Center, students access high quality preparation, real work experience and industry networks, and tangible pathways to economic opportunity.
Need: The Brooklyn STEAM Center fills a void for students, schools, and employers:
- Students from low-income families graduate from high school, and frequently college, without clear pathways to economic success and mobility.
- Schools are siloed, isolating students from real-world work experiences and relationships, and without frequent opportunities to interact with people with backgrounds different than their own. Schools struggle to provide meaningful career preparation due to the challenge of connecting with employers, creating physical infrastructure, and recruiting specialized teachers.
- Employers are seeking entry-level talent well-prepared both in the technical skill required for the specific role, and the professional, “soft” skills required regardless of industry area. They experience worker shortages in key areas, and want to see a stronger pipeline of entry level talent overall.
The Brooklyn STEAM Center, to be located at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, will serve as the hub for high-quality Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs serving high school students in Brooklyn, New York across 8 public high schools. At capacity, the Brooklyn STEAM Center will serve 350-400 students each year.
The Brooklyn Navy Yard, the core industry partner of the STEAM Center, is a city-owned, 300-acre industrial park with 400+ businesses, and by 2020 will grow from 7000 jobs to 20,000 jobs on site. Businesses on the Yard span manufacturing, technology, food, fashion, and media. These companies provide high-quality jobs that do not necessarily require advanced degrees, but do require a combination of technical knowledge and work-ready skills. Currently, employers don’t see the level of entry-level talent they want to enlist in their companies.
Program Model and Pathways
The shared instruction, half-day model integrates students from 8 high schools, and students come to the STEAM Center to take two year courses of study in CTE in their junior and senior year.
The schools are:
- George Westinghouse HS
- Benjamin Banneker Academy
- Bedford Academy
- High School for Global Citizenship
- Science Skills Center High School for Science, Technology & the Creative Arts
- Science Technology and Research (STAR) Early College HS at Erasmus
- Boys and Girls High School
- Medgar Evers College Preparatory High School
The STEAM Center instruction is focused on five career pathways, selected for their presence within the Brooklyn Navy Yard and for their career potential in the larger labor market.
- Culinary Arts and Business
- Design and Engineering
- Construction Technology
- Computer Science and I.T.
- Film and Media
By graduation, students will have achieved one or more industry-based credentials, created a portfolio of work in line with industry expectations, had multiple work-based experiences, and will have developed a network of industry professionals in businesses and higher education institutions. Students will graduate self-aware of their strengths, weaknesses, and career interests, and with a clear next step to higher education, employment, or both.
The Advisory Council, assembled by the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation, comprises business leaders from Yard and other Brooklyn businesses and higher education institutions. New York City College of Technology, NYU, Brooklyn College, Russ and Daughters, Steiner Studios, and Crye Precision are all represented, alongside 30+ other partners. They will help guide the program design, curriculum, and facility design with the teachers and will provide work based learning opportunities.
Pilot: 133 11th grade students are currently enrolled in the STEAM Center pilot. They are participating in the shared instructional model, and the STEAM Center is temporarily located in two swing spaces at Boys and Girls High School. and Wingate High School. 200 additional sophomores and 200 additional freshmen have been enrolled in the program with the anticipation of its move to the Brooklyn Navy Yard.Permanent Site: The permanent site for the Brooklyn STEAM Center is on the 3rd floor of Building 77 at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, and will be in construction this spring and summer. Building 77 is the Yard’s newest asset, a 1M+ square feet renovation opening this month which will be home to up to 100 businesses, including a food manufacturing hub on the ground floor.
- Design Process: Over the next 18 months, we will continue a design process that will include:
- Building out the five pathways’ career trajectories, credentialing, and skill requirements
- Completing a program design for student experiences at a day, week, and year level, and the structures and systems that drive those experiences
- Integrating the school design principles and structures into the professional development for teachers
- Piloting and iterating the program design throughout the 2018-2019 school year