New York City has announced plans to build a STEAM-focused pre-K center in Flushing Meadows – Corona Park, Queens.
The 306-seat center will offer students a STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) curriculum in partnership with the New York Hall of Science (NYSCI). Through this partnership, students and families will have direct access to resources available at the Hall of Science, including specialized professional learning and coaching for teachers, and continuous opportunities for family and community engagement.
“Free, full-day, high-quality pre-K puts our kids on the path to success, and we have made it a right – not a privilege – for every 4-year-old in New York City,” says Mayor Bill de Blasio.
Research shows that STEAM learning should start at a young age to maximize its benefits and effectiveness in children, the city says in a news release. Children are naturally curious and learn through hands-on activity—both of which are central to scientific exploration.
A growing number of studies show a positive correlation between early experiences with STEAM subjects and later success in those subjects and in school generally. In addition, a STEAM-based curriculum teaches students how to think critically, work collaboratively, and develop creative solutions to everyday problems.
The center will be ADA-compliant and include:
- 17 pre-K classrooms
- Two exercise rooms and outdoor playground
- Community and parent room
“Once we complete this new state-of-the-art STEAM facility, we will be relocating students currently located in Transportable Classroom Units (TCUs) at PS 28, PS 16 and PS 7,” says New York City School Construction President and Chief Executive Officer Lorraine Grillo. “We will demolish seven TCUs at these schools that will result in new outdoor play space for students.”
“The entire staff at NYSCI – educators, researchers, explainers – is thrilled to be partnering with DOE to develop a science-themed pre-K program based on our Design-Make-Play methodology and implement it at a dedicated school on our Corona campus,” says Margaret Honey, President and CEO of the New York Hall of Science.
Every student in the pre-K center will receive a free, family membership to NYSCI, expanding learning opportunities for students and their families.