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When you were a kid, you wanted to be R2D2 when you grew up. These days, your kid wants to build him. Actually, that’s only half true — it’s all about BB-8 now — but while generations change, trends come back full circle. All roads really do lead back to Star Wars and STEAM skills. The point is, it’s easier than BB-8’s complex exoskeleton and circuitry would suggest for your kid to build robots; it’s also super fun.
Jenny Young grew up taking apart and reassembling things in her dad’s garage, got her mechanical engineering degree, and started the Brooklyn Robot Foundry. There she teaches kids age 2 and up STEAM skills and problem solving by having them actually make stuff, an increasingly novel pastime in this digital age.
Young says teaching kids robotics is as simple as working together to creatively solve problems through trial and error. Most importantly, it teaches kids that technology is something that humans create and engage with, not just a thing that dad sticks in your face when he needs some peace and quiet. You don’t have to live in New York to get your little bot builder started — just follow Young’s quick and easy intro guide.