We thrive on inspiring and motivating 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 strive to make an environment that is educational, community based and most of all fun!
Please contact us if you would like additional information. We are always excited and happy to talk about our ideas and our company!
Jenny Young – Owner
Jenny has a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue University. She grew up working alongside her father in his garage shop and doing projects with her mother. From an early age she was exposed to the joys of building and designing things from found items. She also has a special place in her heart for teaching girls about the coolness of math and science. She lives in a 450 ft2 apartment in Manhattan with her incredible husband, little girl and baby boy. 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.
Hope – Gowanus Location Manager, Party Coordinator,
Hope is one of our awesome lead teachers. She has an undergraduate degree in Education from San Francisco State and a Masters degree in Education (specializing in Special Education) from Brooklyn College. She is fluent in English, Tagalog and Dutch. Kids absolutely love her and she has a magical aura about her that makes kids behave beautifully in her presence.
Brian – Tribeca Location Manager & Community Outreach
Brian is a theater artist, musician, and creative producer. He is a co-founder of Rady&Bloom Collective Playmaking, an interdisciplinary theater company creating new music plays in New York. Brian received a BFA in Theater and Creative Writing at Northwestern University in Chicago, IL. Brian is bringing the Foundry closer to under-served communities, building on the company’s environmental sustainability, and spearheading the Women in Tech series. He is also manages the Tribeca Location and directs the classroom with ease and panache. He enjoys macrobiotic cooking, sewing, drawing, writing, putting stuff together, and making trips to Materials for the Arts.
Jeff – UES Location Manager & Master Builder
Jeff is a self professed dabbler. Some of his current interests include tinkering with computers, electronics, working on bicycles, magic tricks, and hoarding an assortment of books as well as tools. When he’s not inspiring kids at the Foundry, Jeff is constantly looking for new things to make, as well as projects to work on. His most recent project to date was renovating a kitchen.
Patti – South Slope Location Manager & Robot Designer
Patti Gilstrap holds a BFA in dance and choreography from Virginia Commonwealth University. She moved to NY in 1999 to pursue her dream of being a professional dancer and costume designer. Since that time she has found herself in one creative adventure after another. Some of the hats she has worn consist of: puppeteer, wardrobe supervisor, boutique owner, pattern maker, clothing designer, sewing teacher, set designer, choreographer, puppet designer, dancer, costume designer, interior decorator and author. She loves to encourage all forms of creativity and is always up for a creative challenge. She looks forward to adding to her hat collection for many years to come. She still runs her own company on the side and you can check it out at www.flirt-brooklyn.com where they can help you with all things sewing related.
Jake is the Foundry’s robot-builder-extraordinaire. The brains behind some of our most exciting and advanced projects, he inspires kids and teachers alike to take their robots to the next level. He holds a BA in studio art from Bard College, and likes to spend his free time tinkering, fixing things, gardening, and building his own lamps. Fun fact: Jake grew up on sculpture park in upstate NY.
Julia – Production Supervisor, Internal Communications & Lead Prepper
Julia recently graduated from Vassar College with a BA in Studio Art. She makes multimedia artwork combining elements of video, sculpture, and installation. In her free time she likes to eat food.
Otto – Production & IT Supervisor
Otto has been breaking (and sometimes fixing) electronics since he was a kid. Since leaving Seattle, he has graduated from Bard College and the National Outdoor Leadership school, and has been living in Brooklyn since 2013. Otto loves efficient systems, precise measurements, and organized parts bins (just ask Sam). He is also a freelance classical singer and an avid homebrewer.
Cara Hunt has a degree in Science, Technology, and Society (STS) from Vassar College, where she thought and wrote about cyborgs extensively. There she became passionate about giving children, especially girls, the support and competence to pursue STEM fields. She believes that by teaching kids how to build robots, we can actually teach them how to trust their creativity and persevere when encountering set-backs. She is interested in children’s imaginations and likes to chat with them about Star Wars, dinosaurs, and time. In her spare time she babysits two wonderful toddlers, hangs out with her cat, reads, and cooks.
Emily – Staff Teacher
Emily joined the Brooklyn Robot Foundry after working at a Lego robotics camp in her hometown, San Francisco. Here at the Foundry she has been a glowing and positive presence, both with our elementary school children and the littlest toddlers. She studies journalism at Brooklyn College, and in her spare time she writes for several music websites, plays bass in a Brooklyn band, and searches for the best coffee in New York City.
Audrey – Staff Teacher
Audrey studied English at Vassar College. In her free time she enjoys writing fiction and poetry and hopes to pursue an MFA in creative writing. She enjoys keeping up with current music and watching a ton of movies. When she was 9 years old she wanted to be a primatologist so she knows a whole lot of trivia about primates and mammals in general!
Eddie – Master Builder
Eddie was born and raised in New York City. During his free time, Eddie draws and makes music. As a member of the Design Team, you can often find him fine-tuning robo-kits and experimenting with with new components. He enjoys working with children and helping them pursue their unique creative ideas.
Josh – Marketing, Design, & Social Media
Josh is the face at the front of our store and the reason we have beautiful things throughout the space (among other things he made our giant robot signs, beautiful murals, and fantastic artwork on our gate). His artworks also brighten up our lesson blueprints and storybooks. He is also our social media master! He has a degree in Political Science from Northwestern. Josh is also an accomplished musician – check out his website Visager.
Raisha- Assistant Teacher and Excel Spreadsheet Master
Raisha is our spreadsheet extraordinaire- she can crunch data and register children for all of our programs with the best of them! As an Assistant Teacher, Raisha enjoys encouraging children to explore their creativity and gluing pom poms everywhere. She recently graduated from School of Visual Arts with a degree in Illustration. In her free time, Raisha likes to showcase her designs at craft fairs and take naps.
Farhan- Assistant Teacher
Farhan is one of our great Assistant Teachers on the Upper East Side. Previous to his Robot Foundry career, Farhan worked at the MET so he could surround himself with amazing art all day. In his free time he likes to make multimedia interactive projects and watch Star Trek.
Vanessa – Assistant Teacher
Vanessa was born and raised in Brooklyn, but is 100% Mexican. She loves to walk and read, as well as going to eat at pretty places. Her favorite part of working at the Foundry is spending time with the kids.
Mary – Assistant Teacher
Mary has been obsessed with robots since she was a kid—she finds inorganic life and artificial intelligence endlessly fascinating, and her mind is still blown that humans have figured out how to turn static energy into kinetic energy. Brooklyn Robot Foundry feels like her mothership. Mary is a storyteller and game designer interested in interactive art, design, and narrative. Her first game, Spice of Life, is an arcade cabinet game about a cooking assistant named Unit 25 who believed becoming human would help him become a chef, never realizing how difficult it is to process emotions and senses.
Josh – Assistant Teacher
Joshua is a writer and video maker originally from Indianapolis, IN. They recently joined the BRF team, and feel energized by working with kids in an artistic environment. Joshua loves working at the Foundry because they enjoy being a part of an environment that empowers kids with social and technological knowledge. Outside of the classroom, Joshua is a writer and a video maker with a love for rose soap, Oprah, astrology, and watercolors.
Raymond – Assistant Teacher
Ray is originally from Los Angeles and a recent graduate from SVA. His hobbies are painting, reading, drinking coffee that tastes like dirt water, and watching the Food Network. His favorite part of working at the Foundry is seeing the creativity that the kids bring to the classroom.