STEM Design for Children 

Help introduce young minds to the joys of designing and inventing!

The League of Young Inventors and Design for America at NYU are looking for a team of NYU design thinkers to develop a series of hands-on, child-friendly, cost-effective, and scientifically-sound projects for an upcoming Cities of the Future program we will be offering in upper elementary NYC classrooms (grades 3-5) in Spring 2020. 

In this program, students will design and build a future city, experimenting with solutions to urban challenges including housing, pollution, rising sea levels, and traffic congestion.  Students will work on a variety of engineering projects, including tall towers that can withstand both wind and shaking, green roofs with water collection systems, floating homes that can rise with the tides, and self-driving cars that use sensors to detect pedestrians.

Students will need to be able to create these projects using everyday classroom tools (e.g. scissors, rulers, tape, glue, compasses, etc.), within the course of one or two 45-minute class periods (while still leaving time for instruction and clean-up). In order to make the program accessible to a variety of public schools, the team must aim to ensure that the unique materials we provide for each project cost no more that $3 per student and to design a logistical system for cheaply and efficiently packaging and transporting lesson materials to the classrooms the League of Young Inventors serves, in a manner that will require minimal teacher prep time. We are definitely open to pursuing corporate sponsorship to support these efforts if there is someone on the team who wishes to explore this angle.

Who we’re looking for:

For Fall 2019, we are recruiting a diverse team with expertise in engineering & fabrication, elementary & STEM education, and marketing & business or entrepreneurship.  We will be running a series of similar week-long programs in our Park Slope makerspace this summer, which DFA team members are welcome to observe and participate in depending on their availability and interest. Generally, DFA-NYU projects require a 5-7 hour weekly time commitment.

About the League of Young Inventors:

The League of Young Inventors is a 501(c) educational non-profit that provides hands-on engineering and applied physics programs for K-5th grades. They offer an interdisciplinary approach to science and social studies learning standards by situating hands-on engineering projects within a broader historical narrative about invention to address real-world problems and opportunities. The program uses everyday materials that present few barriers to entry for young inventors and aims to foster a fun, low-stakes environment where children are empowered to experiment, invent, test, fail, and try again.

About Design for America:

Design for America of NYU is founded on the belief that Human-Centered Design can serve as a powerful tool for tackling local social issues. DFA-NYU is a powerful platform that connects students from different schools at NYU to develop a community of socially mindful change-makers. DFA-NYU projects offer students  opportunities to go outside of the classroom and put their learning into action while engaging in social innovation and to create impact in their communities.

If you have questions about the project or are interested in joining the team, please email &


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