I recently paid an impromptu visit to Beam Center, a “community [space for] learning and discovery for young people aged 6-18.” Founded in 2004, they moved into their current storefront space on Bergen Street in the Boerum Hill neighborhood in Brooklyn late last year. A non-profit, Beam (not to be confused with BEAMbots) collaborate with artists and makers, introducing youth to both craft and technology alike, to “build character, courage to think for themselves, and capacity for collaboration and invention.” Their facility runs the length of the building. At the front is a workshop area with a window facing directly onto the street with great foot traffic. That area is currently occupied by The Makery, itself a pop-up makerspace “for youth and inventors of all ages.” Basically a makerspace within a makerspace.
Below are photos from my visit. This weekend and next weekend the Makery are conducting workshops for kids, including 3D printing, introduction to soldering, drawbots, and hacking toys. After their residency is up, Beam Center have their own workshops planned, including superhero puppetry, light and sound art keyboards, and even homemade chocolate bars for grades 2-9. One thing is for sure: it’s great to be a young maker in NYC today!
And here’s a video of a hand-crank mechanism made at the Beam Center: