OPENINGS/CLOSINGS - Brooklyn Robot Foundry (3.5.18)
When Brooklyn Robot Foundry opened in Tribeca in 2014, they were the first in the neighborhood to offer classes teaching STEM to kids. Since then they've updated their space, recently reopening at 200 Church Street. We spoke with Jenny Young, Owner, Founder of Brooklyn Robot Foundry, to learn more about what you can expect at the new location...
Tell us about Brooklyn Robot Foundry...
Brooklyn Robot Foundry has been running classes teaching STEM topics to kids since 2011! We got our start at Maker Faire, and opened our original location in Gowanus shortly thereafter. We are currently operating four full-time locations around NYC: Tribeca and the Upper East Side in Manhattan, and Boerum Hill and South Slope in Brooklyn. We're always super busy with our after school programs, summer sessions, weekend classes, family clubs, tiny builders programs, and birthday parties for kids and event adults too!
What inspired you to open up in Tribeca?
When we opened our doors in Tribeca in 2014 it was just our second location! At the time we were trying to find a way to make it easier for Manhattan parents to get to our programs and Tribeca was an obvious pick because of how kid-friendly a neighborhood it is. Our new location here at 200 Church St. has been such an upgrade to our old space over on Warren - we've really taken advantage of having more space to stretch out and fill it to the brim with robots!
What can local expect from Brooklyn Robot Foundry?
For first time folks coming to check out what we do, the best way to try a class is with one of our one-time classes on weekends, or through the sessions we do on school breaks! Most of our programs involve building moving robot creations, with each child working on their own project. And when we finish the base we all then brainstorm and decide how to make our robots look super cool and unique by decorating and designing them further!
What's coming up for Brooklyn Robot Foundry in 2018? (events, etc)
We've got a lot of fun things planned for the coming months. Our Summer Sessions (which start with individual days in June and then move into full weeks in July) have some incredible all new projects, not to mention our All-Girls Week and upcoming coding programs for grades 3-7! We've also just recently launched regular adult classes starting in March, Super Tiny Builders for kids 18 months and up, and we're showing off robots at a bunch of school expos!
What are your favorite parts of running a business in Tribeca?
The best parts include getting to see kids of all backgrounds learn to build circuits and bring their own inventions to life! Also an amazing part of what we offer at the foundry is a place for girls to express themselves through building and learning about engineering. My own daughter is just recently old enough to be able to join some of our full-day sessions and it's been a real joy to see her light up - both figuratively and literally with her amazing LED creations - in these classes.
What are your favorite local spots?
Locally we're just up the street from some pretty awesome businesses. All of our staff are big fans of the mediterranean spot Nish Nush (just a block away). The Mysterious Bookshop down on Warren is also an incredibly special store. And we're always in and out of the local hardware store on Chambers. Finally, we feel so incredibly lucky to be only a few doors down from Arcade Bakery. Their pastries are to die for and the way they utilize their space is so unique, charming, inviting and creative. It’s a very inspiring business!