303 3rd Avenue (Between 1st Street and Carroll)
The Foundry Founders
We are two friends that joined forces to inspire and motivate kids by teaching them about the fun of building. We love the idea of learning and coming together through making things. We believe in the DIT—do it together— mentality and the importance of building a community around this common goal.
We have backgrounds in mechanical engineering, software, educational psychology and have both been working with our hands since we were children. We strive to make an environment that is educational, community based and most of all fun!
Please “contact us” if you want to join our mailing list, or if you would like additional information. We are always excited and happy to talk about our ideas and our company!
Jenny grew up working alongside her father in his garage shop. From an early age she was exposed to the joys of building and designing things from found items. From watching her father build from an old-time car from scratch (among countless other inventions) it really solidified how fun and creative the process of building can be. In college (Purdue University, BS Mechanical Engineering) she worked in the student machine shop teaching other students and faculty members how to use the heavy metal working equipment (lathes, mills, etc). She spent 11 summers during middle school, high school and college building houses for those in need and learned all types of skills from spackling, to roofing, to foundation work, to framing. Throughout her life she also has done a lot of work with children from tutoring kids in math to working as a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) to represent abused and neglected children in the Indiana court system. She has always loved building and inspiring kids and is so excited to be part of this wonderful and fun company. She also has a special place in her heart for teaching girls about the coolness of math and science. As her parents always told her growing up, “You can be whatever you want to be in life!” She lives by this philosophy and hopes to inspire it in others.
Dave VanEsselstyn has a Masters Degree in Educational Technology from Teachers College, and a Ph.D. in Human Cognition and Learning from Columbia University. He came up with the idea for Brooklyn Robot Foundry while building robots with his young daughters, Hazel and Margo. He has worked with kids and robots in a variety of contexts for many years, and he loves it.