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47 Bergen Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201

(347) 470-6747

Beam Center is a Brooklyn-based community of learning where artists guide young creators aged 6 to 18. Our hands-on programs in technology, imagination and craft help young people build their character, courage to think for themselves, and capacity for collaboration and invention.

Weekends at Beam Center


Insight Into ______! Free Sunday Workshops for students in grades 7 and up

We asked a group of artists, filmmakers, musicians, designers and engineers what ideas they were obsessed with right now. What they told us - animating humans, building ping pong mazes, forging crystals, and more - got us excited! So we've asked them to design workshops around these ideas where middle and high schoolers can investigate, dive deep, make and learn.

Insight Into _______! workshops meet on Sundays from 12pm - 4pm. The workshops are free with advance registration. Students can sign up for one or more at a time, but each workshop is limited to twenty participants. 

Register for Insight Into ______!

Sundays, June 1 & June 8

Insight Into: Robotic Rube Goldberg Machine

Nancy Otero

Do you want to add movement, light or sound to your favorite things? Bring them to Beam Center and learn about digital behavior. Digital Behavior is the ability to add electronic programmed behavior to processes and objects using microcontrollers. Examples of digital behavior are the alarm key of a car, traffic lights, power tools, toys, and remote controls.  

Play and invent using LEDs, motors, light sensors, movement sensors, temperature sensors and much more. We will create an incredible machine using what ever you bring as a team, a Rube Goldberg Machine using GoGo Boards, microcontrollers developed at the MIT Media Lab. They are fun, robust, easy to use and allow you to explore robotics at your own pace. Make your ideas tangible!

Nancy Otero is a learning enthusiast and fan of A-ha! moments who dedicates her days to create the conditions for invention in learning environments. She is a mathematician, psychologist, and software engineer. She collaborates with the Transformative Learning Technology Lab at Stanford University and is the founder of Active Emergence, She believes that Allowing children to experiment, take risks, and play with their own ideas, gives them permission to trust themselves and they begin to see themselves as learners who have good ideas and can transform those ideas into reality. 

Watch an example of Nancy's Robotic Rube Goldberg Machines in action here: