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Arch for Kids teaches school children in East New York how to build bridges

EAST NEW YORK- New York is a big city jungle of concrete and steel. And now, the physics behind our great skyscrapers and bridges is all getting broken down inside P.S. 149.
The first and second grade scholars are learning the fundamentals of architecture.

"It's just putting the seed in their brain that you can really build anything out of anything," Janny Gedeon, co-founder of Arch for Kids, explained. "The goal is to expose them the goal is to tell them this is something that is available to you and then your neighborhood.

Arch for Kids' after-school program teaches topics like engineering and urban planning in a way that even elementary school students can grasp. Next they get hands on to explore, design, calculate and construct.

"This is just like the process of a scientist," Gedeon said.

"I'm going to make a bridge," Kenny, one of the students showed me. "But first, I'm trying to make it the same size so when it make it the same size it can look like a real bridge."

All of the kids are from the East New York, Brooklyn neighborhood.

"It offers them something that we don’t typically have during the regular day," Eileen Waters, P.S. 149 assistant principal, said.

And Arch for Kids is different. Students of all ability levels work side by side and as they are each engrossed in creative projects like today’s bridge building, their differences seem to fade away.

"When you put them together and you are doing a project no one knows better than anyone," Gedeon said. "Everyone is at the same level."

"When they leave each activity they are leaving with something they actually made," Waters added. "They are connecting it to architecture and the environment and making connections to things right here in New York."