ASK AN EDUCATOR! – “Where do we go from here?”

Sorry I have been a bit slow answering all of your great questions! The school year has just started and once I on my feet, I will be back in business answering more questions every week!

Chad’s question below stems from an off-line conversation we have been having about finding human resources to help out with his school’s robotics class/club/team.

Chad asks:

Can [you] think of anyone in NYC who might in getting involved in our [middle/high school roboics] program? Ideally, it would be a maker-type person who is interested in education. What that person might do is wide open and up for discussion, but as I mentioned, an immediate easy entry point is middle school robotics, where we have a popular and successful program that we would like to take to the next level. It could be a volunteer or consulting basis. Of course, ideally, we would like to do much more than robotics.

Great question and I am sure this is one that many robotics teachers are asking! I did some poking around on the robotics scene in NYC and came up with a couple potential resources for you to investigate. I might add though, that rather then taking on this task by yourself, you might wan to try and get your students involved. From my experience, the students will have a lot better luck asking for outside assistance then a teacher. No one wants to turn down an opportunity to help out a student, right?

The Makery

The Makery is a pop-up Makerspace – part shop & part workshop. A movable and temporary venue where youth and adults are encouraged to be curious, to tinker, to experiment, and to make with technology. The Makery is a portable digital playground, a place where communities can gather to play with the creative power of digital design and fabrication, physical computing, and computer programming.

Contact info:
Email: [email protected]

The New York Hall of Science

New York Hall of Science (NYSCI) [announced in March] the opening of Maker Space, where schools, families and aspiring makers from across the New York area will learn the tools and techniques of Making in its many forms. It is a place for collaboration, community and cooperation in trying new ideas and learning from peers. Maker Space is a year-round venue for the kinds of projects and presentations prevalent at the annual World Maker Faire, which NYSCI hosts each September.

Contact Info:
Phone: 718.699.0005

The Maker Space was made possible though funding from Cognizant’s Making the Future Program. Their World Headquarters is in NJ and might serve as a good starting point for assistance.

Contact Info:
Phone: 201.801.0233

The New York Robotics Group

This meetup is for anyone interested (in any capacity) in the interface between behavior and hardware. This includes Robotics, Home Automation (smart homes), Embedded Systems, Machine Learning and probably a few areas that don’t come to mind right now. We’ll meet regularly and meetups will have demos of cool stuff, tutorial presentations, open discussion and maybe breakout maker/builder sessions if people like.

Contact them through their meetup page.

The group is currently sponsored by StudioTEKA, a multidisciplinary architectural practice, based in New York, which combines varied and diverse interests, blurring the boundaries between architecture, economic development and large scale urban design.

Contact Info:
Phone: 718.254.8002

The League of Electronic Musical Urban Robots

The League of Electronic Musical Urban Robots is a group of artists and technologists who create robotic musical instruments. Founded in 2000 by Eric Singer, LEMUR creates exotic, sculptural musical instruments which integrate robotic technology. The result is computer-controlled mechanized acoustic musical instruments which can perform music by and with human musicians.

Contact Info:
Email: [email protected]

New York City FIRST

New York City FIRST [is] a regional office of FIRST, the 501c3 nonprofit organization created to inspire youth to pursue further studies and careers in science and technology and to help students acquire the knowledge and skills needed to compete in the technologically-driven global economy.

Contact Info:
Phone: 718.260.3383

And of course there’s NYC Resistor

NYC Resistor is a hacker collective with a shared space located in downtown Brooklyn. We meet regularly to share knowledge, hack on projects together, and build community.

More info can be found on their About page.

This is just a smattering of what can be found in NYC. If anyone has any other tips they would like to share, please leave a comment below!

Best of luck with you robotics endeavors and keep inspiring those kids!

Don’t forget, everyone is invited to ask a question!

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“Ask an Educator” questions are answered by Adam Kemp, a high school teacher who has been teaching courses in Energy Systems, Systems Engineering, Robotics and Prototyping since 2005.

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