On Wednesday, Borough President Eric L. Adams, joined by NYC School Chancellor Richard Carranza, unveiled the Brooklyn STEAM Center at the Brooklyn Navy Yard’s Building 77, a state-of-the-art educational hub that will offer students real-world work experience in applying STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) skills.
“The Brooklyn STEAM Center, the first of its kind facility in NYC, will serve hundreds of juniors and seniors as part of their pursuit of a high quality and technical education programs,” said Adams. “Upon graduation, it will provide them with a portfolio of work that meets industry expectations, a network of professional contacts, proficiency across a set of technical and professional competencies.”
The new facility, which is still under construction, is dedicated to five career pathways within the STEAM field: computer science, construction technology, culinary arts and business, design and engineering, and film and media. The goal: to prepare students for higher education as well as provide them with professional experience and certifications.
“With the center, we want to create a simulatory experience to prepare students for college or a career,” said Brooklyn STEAM Center Principal Kayon Pryce. “And we’re doing that by working closely with our industry partners on the Yard to provide the right space, equipment, technical skills and credentials to our young scholars.”
Beginning in early 2019, students from eight Brooklyn public high schools will have access to computer labs, construction spaces, a media lab, a culinary education kitchen and more. Students will then split their education between traditional classroom academics and the STEAM Center’s Career Technical Education (CTE).
The vision of the STEAM Center closely aligns with the Navy Yard’s mission to provide access to quality manufacturing and technology jobs and to connect the local community to those opportunities, emphasized David Ehrenberg, president and CEO of Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation (BNYDC).
“The STEAM Center will provide local high schoolers with the hands-on training in a workplace environment they need to succeed in the next generation of manufacturing and tech jobs, including at the Navy Yard,” said Ehrenberg. “It’s no accident that the facility is in Building 77, which will be home to the most cutting-edge companies in the city, bringing 3,000 jobs to the area. Connecting students from our neighboring communities and across Brooklyn to those types of good-paying opportunities is a core part of our mission.”
BP Adams allocated $5 million to the Brooklyn STEAM Center, which is part of a larger $25 million allocation he has made to STEAM education in Brooklyn during his tenure. An investment, that is quite personal to him, as he shared.
“After years in law enforcement, I got tired of putting handcuffs on 11-year-olds, and there was a common denominator that revealed itself to me: The only thing all these children had in common was that they did not receive a quality education,” said Adams. “The choice was either, we build a pipeline to prison or a pipeline to a profession. And I wanted to make sure that the pipeline that I build — with your tax dollars — would be a pipeline to a profession.
“The Brooklyn STEAM Center is the signature piece in our pipeline approach.”