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PHOTOS: Look Inside DUMBO's New Dock Street School for STEAM Studies

By Alexandra Leon | September 6, 2016 6:02pm
 The Dock Street School for STEAM Studies at 19 Dock Street will welcome 330 new middle schoolers on Thursday.
SEE: The Dock Street for STEAM Studies Unveiled at Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony
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DUMBO — It’s full steam ahead at DUMBO’s newest middle school.

Department of Education Chancellor Carmen Fariñ​a unveiled the new Dock Street School for STEAM Studies, located at 19 Dock St., at a ribbon-cutting ceremony Tuesday.

The new school — formerly known as Satellite West Middle School (MS 313) before moving to DUMBO from Vinegar Hill — will welcome 330 sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders from School District 13 for the first day of classes Thursday.

The brightly colored, gleaming new building, which emphasizes the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) curriculum, includes a state-of-the art science lab, a music suite, an art room with a kiln for pottery classes, classrooms with touchscreens and a large “gymatorium.”

 Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariñ​a speaks at a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Dock Street School for STEAM Studies at 19 Dock Street.
Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariñ​a speaks at a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Dock Street School for STEAM Studies at 19 Dock Street.
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DNAinfo/Alexandra Leon

Sixth-grade science teacher Kassidy Loy said the science lab, where students can cultivate plants in an indoor grow lab and experiment with chemicals under a professional-grade fume hood, is the most impressive she’s seen in her career. 

She noted the students she’s met are excited for the work they’ll be doing in their science classes.

“Kids tend to be excited about science because it’s so hands-on,” she said. “It’s a class where they don’t have to be quiet, they should be talking, it should be loud, it should be interactive.”

The building's new music suite is also different from most middle schools. Inside, there’s a main classroom area, plus two soundproof practice rooms where students can break off into groups to play their instruments.

“It’s amazing, I’ve never seen that before at any other school,” music teacher Antoine Dolberry said. “We can have three classes going on a the same time.”

The school also features a classroom dedicated to the ASD Horizon Program for high-functioning students with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Eight students per grade with ASD will attend specialized classes during the day, then be integrated with other students during lunch and recess. 

Community partnerships with institutions like Brooklyn Bridge Park, St. Ann’s Warehouse, the Brooklyn Navy Yard’s Steiner Studios and New York University will allow students to get hands-on experience outside the classroom, as well as lead to internship opportunities, officials said.

"A new school is an investment — and it's not just an investment in the students who go here, it’s an investment in the community," Fariñ​a said at the event.

The curriculum will also feature two accelerated Regents classes, two foreign language programs in Spanish and French, and specialized high school exam prep.

School aide Lisa Randall, who worked at Satellite West MS 313, said the new building will give students their own, modernized space. At the old location at 209 York St., students shared a building, as well as a lunchroom, with P.S. 307. 

“This is very polished, and very new,” Randall said. “It’s beautiful.”