New York — Volunteers from New York’s leading architecture, engineering, and construction firms partnered with the Salvadori Center, a New York City-based educational non-profit organization, to lead teams of students in an All-Day Student Design Challenge, or Charrette.

The Design Charrette matched 22 teams of NYC students with STEM professionals to solve a real-world design challenge.  Architects and engineers from firms such as WSP, Turner, Structure Tone, LPI, Perkins Eastman, Grimshaw (full list below), and 27 volunteer facilitators from Goldman Sachs gave up their time to give back to the community, and to the next generation of New York City STEM leaders.  Using only art-straws, adhesive, and card, teams had 4 hours to create an efficient tower – a tower to support as much weight as possible, using as little raw material as possible.

Volunteer experts guided student teams and engaged students in conversation about NYC STEM careers.  The students came from thirteen schools and worked collaboratively with students they had never met. Teamwork, critical analysis, vibrant discussion, creative solutions, and frantic construction ensued as students raced to complete the design before time ran out.  Salvadori staff tested all designs to failure!

This day marked the culmination of the students’ programs of study with the Salvadori Center.  Just like Salvadori’s in-school and after-school programs, students at the Charrette saw the relevance of math and science to their lives.

Visit to see photos and videos from the event.

The following AEC firms and organizations participated in the event:

  • Dattner Architects
  • di Domenico + Partners
  • Langan
  • LPI
  • Murray Engineering
  • Perkins + Will
  • Perkins Eastman
  • Structure Tone
  • Sullivan Engineering
  • The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
  • Thornton Tomasetti
  • Turner Construction Company
  • WSP
  • Yale University