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Teaching and Interdisciplinary Curriculum Design



Debby Lee Cohen has taught 3D Design to freshman at Parsons the New Schools and has taught art to teens-at-risk, inmates, seniors, and to NYC public school students. She has also led youth and intergenartional community puppet building workshops.


Most recently, she has been teaching and designing interdsiciplinary, eco-arts curriculum as a part of Cafeteria Culture's ARTS+ACTION Cafeteria Waste Redcution school programs to grades K-8 (read more about the curriculum here).


Central to the curriculum is teaching the "why" with the "how" and linking zero waste to environmnetal justice, marine litter, and cimate change.

Make Change Messaging curricullum - with 5th graders from PS 221, Crown Heights, Brooklyn


Fifth graders designed and constructed fantastic giant puppets made from hundreds of used plastic foam lunch trays and performed an original play about plastic ocean pollution.  All students, including Kindergarten and Special Needs classes, were trained as Cafeteria Rangers , who oversee all cafeteria recycling, composting and sorting.

Styrofoam (used) Tray Project: No Tray Left Behind

Students from Cohen's 3D Studio, Body in Time class  at Parsons the New School constructed a sculpture made from about one thousand used Styrofoam* (polystyrene) trays. The dirty  trays were collected (and washed) at NYC Department of Education schools, 


The project helped to communicate the enormity of the problem posed to the environment and our children’s health by the continued use of these trays and sparked citywide attention to address the problem.

As part of the "Make Change Messaging" deisgn thinking lessons, students from PS 221 K  protoyped new tray designs.  Student prototypes helped to influence School Food directors when making design decisions for the City's new sustainable service ware.


Parsons Students partnered with NYC public high school students from the Nrppklyn Green School to prototypethen test out new school food tray/plate designs.

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