STEAM Overview


“An editorial in the New York Daily News notes that “by 2020, the…” U.S. economy will demand 123 million high-skilled workers with strong backgrounds in science, technology, engineering and math. Stem jobs are overwhelmingly in high demand and will account for about 38% of all the high-skill jobs created; they are typically among the highest paid. (STEM Framework NYCDOE) Relatively few African American and Latino/a high school students receive  the kind of institutional encouragement, educational opportunities, and preparation needed for them to choose computer science as a field of student and profession (Stuck in the Shallow End, Margolis). FDR has a diverse population of students including these minorities and many more under-represented populations who would not just benefit but be inspired to pursue higher education and careers in STEM related fields.

STEAM Science Research Academy


This comprehensive program will allow students to explore the natural world through hands-on and project-based learning.  Students will record observations, develop questions, design and conduct experiments, collect and interpret data, and propose new ideas from their conclusions.  In addition, students will have the opportunity to use multimedia to present their research articles or findings to panels of their peers in class, science fairs, research symposiums and competitions throughout NYC.  

STEAM Environmental Studies Academy
This is an interdisciplinary program for students interested in understanding the natural and urban environment and environmental ethics through hands-on and project-based learning.  Students will develop analytical and process skills that will prepare them for college and a career in environmental science and emerging “green” industries.  In addition, students will explore the real-world use of hydroponics and the importance of green living.

STEAM Robotics and Programming Academy


Our four year STEAM Robotics Academy offers small class sizes for individualized attention. Throughout the series of classes students will explore the field of robotic design using a variety of hands on activities. Students begin the program with an introduction to the tools used to create robotic devices. They will work in teams to create simple drive trains capable of movement through tele-operated interaction. As they progress through the series of classes, computer programming becomes an essential and vital element. Students program the onboard micro-processor using the C programming language, Scratch, and the Lynx operating system allowing students to move onto autonomous navigation where the robot is controlled entirely through programming. Mechanical concepts such as gearing/torque/speed/power are introduced. These topics are explored through the use of hands on labs. Students must use this knowledge to design and build custom drive trains capable of meeting a variety of criteria including climbing, pushing, attaining maximum speed, etc. Sensors are introduced to allow robotic devices to interact with the environment. The final year of classes will be comprised of a capstone design project and Teaching Assistant positions for students to mentor our incoming engineers. Our Robotics Academy offers opportunities for scholarships and competition based, hands on research opportunities.

STEAM Multimedia Design Academy

Our STEAM Multimedia Design Academy integrates language arts courses for those students who are interested in design, theatre production, television, photography, and film by focusing on academic content through project based technology applications. Our mission is to prepare students for college and career opportunities in fields such as advertising, graphic arts, publishing, journalism, television, and film/theatre. This four year sequence of classes is comprised of courses centered around a learning environment comprised of state of the art facilities including Mac labs, the complete suite of Adobe creative Software, 3D modeling printers, Advanced Photography Laboratories, and a Black Box Theatre. Students will become fluent in all aspects of Multimedia and work closely with external Theatre companies such as RoundAbout Theatre affording our students the opportunity to consult with national and local business partners. The final year of study is comprised of a capstone project and mentorship with our staff where students finalize their portfolio.