BRIDGES: Build, Research, Invent, Design, Grow & Explore through Science

September 15th, 2007 - August 31st, 2013 | PROJECT

BRIDGES: Build, Research, Invent, Design, Grow and Explore through Science The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) and the Salvadori Center partner in providing BRIDGES [Build, Research, Invent, Design, Grow and Explore through Science], an after-school program using investigations of the built environment to introduce and reinforce STEM concepts and skills. The program highlights engineering concepts and the design process through hands-on investigations of the built environment done in small groups (with an emphasis on collaborative learning). It is co-taught by Salvadori educators in partnership with NYCHA community center instructors. After an intensive 3-day institute to train NYCHA staff, Salvadori staff members meet weekly with the housing authority staff to provide coaching in facilitation skills and to co-teach projects on building scaled bridges, mapping neighborhoods, investigating tension and compression, and more. In subsequent years, NYCHA after-school instructors take over the teaching with on-going support/professional development from the Center. The target audience is young people 8-12 years old enrolled in after-school programs run by the New York City Housing Authority, who gain content understanding and self concept in terms of their attitude and interest in STEM learning. BRIDGES begins with 5 sites serving 150 children in its first year with five sites added annually. By Year 5, BRIDGES serves 625 children at 25 NYCHA community centers. In addition in Years 4 and 5, the project is disseminated in at least two municipalities outside of NYC. In all 775 youth and 60 after-school educators will be directly impacted by this new program. The strategic impact is to provide strategies and evidence of support necessary for effective scale up of this locally successful program and for bringing school-based materials associated with the project into the after-school time experience. A project book, summative evaluation by The After School Corporation (TASC), and a website will be shared with the field on line, through conference presentations, and publications. The Salvadori Center was founded by Dr. Mario Salvadori (1907-1997), Columbia Professor of Civil Engineering & Architecture, in collaboration with City College of New York Schools of Education and Architecture. Its mission is to stimulate and deepen young people's curiosity and knowledge about math, science, arts and the humanities by using the built environment as an entry point for learning. For over 20 years, the Center has offered research-based teacher development and support, including intensive training institutes, workshops and classroom mentoring programs focused on project-based learning. The Center has reached over 125,000 students in New York City public schools, and its books, videos, and construction kits have been distributed nationally and internationally. The Centers staff are all professionally trained architects, engineers, and science and fine arts teachers.

Project Website(s)

(no project website provided)

Team Members

Leonisa Ardizzone, Principal Investigator, Salvadori Center


Funding Source: NSF
Funding Program: ISE/AISL
Award Number: 0714673
Funding Amount: 1141485


Audience: Elementary School Children (6-10) | Middle School Children (11-13) | Museum | ISE Professionals
Discipline: Engineering
Resource Type: Project Descriptions
Environment Type: Afterschool Programs | Public Programs