KOKO (named by children) is the education initiative of Brooklyn’s own Open Source Gallery. Open Source Gallery believes that art education is integral to our children’s development.
KOKO combines Open Source’s mission of supporting socially engaged art and environmental awareness with STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) programming. KOKO offers a variety of art-based workshops for ages 5-15 that utilize technology and recycled materials to help your child to create their own unique invention.
Our arts education programs have been hosted by esteemed organizations such as the MoMa, Children’s Museum of Manhattan, Brooklyn Museum, TedYouth and Cooper-Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum. We have been featured in numerous publications and media including The New York Times, New York Daily News and Brooklyn Independent Television.
KOKO Open Source currently serves over 700 children in year-round workshops at public schools across NYC. And we are ready to come to yours! Click here to see a list of schools where we are currently teaching.
Our most important goal is to teach your child that nothing is impossible and nothing is too difficult. We create an open and encouraging environment that is focused on building your child’s confidence in their individual process. Through trial and error, your child will begin to figure out how things work, learning engineering and problem-solving skills that they will use in school and beyond!
We offer a variety of arts education classes. Our after school workshops are called BitBots!
BitBots workshops enable children with a range of abilities and learning styles to design and build their own creations! Utilizing the award-winning littleBits technology along with recycled materials, your child will make contraptions and creatures that can move and light up! Open Source founder Monika Wuher has been a featured littleBits “meet the maker.”
Recycled materials serve a dual purpose in all of our workshops: they help us teach about sustainability while ensuring that the kids in our workshop are not all using the same materials. We are currently the only program of this kind in the NYC area.
Click here to view a three minute video about BitBots!
We offer a variety of BitBots options for after school based on age and interest. Class length can be adjusted to work with your individual after school program.
Our teachers will help guide and encourage your child as they choose recyclables such as plastic bottles, cardboard and paper to create sculptures that, when combined with littleBits, come to life and light up, twist, turn, buzz, blink, and shake! Through the process of designing and building, your child will experience the practical and cultural possibilities of new inventions!
Your child will learn about the incredible makeup of our universe by taking a look at current NASA projects and uncovering fascinating details about the planets. As part of the workshop, each child will choose a planet they want to explore, then build their own rover to transport them there. Taking into account the unique challenges the planet poses to space voyagers, kids will design their rovers using the NASA engineered littleBits Space Kit -created with the help of Open Source founder Monika Wuher- along with recycled materials! Elements such as the planet’s temperature, surface and distance from Earth will be considered as kids construct their own interplanetary vessels!
A marble runs down a ramp and hits a light switch! A slingshot triggers a motion sensor! Our youngest inventors will explore the magic of chain reactions with inspiration from our friend Rube Goldberg (link to https://www.rubegoldberg.com/) who famously brought engineering and silliness together! Through trial and error, your child will figure out how to make their own simple Rube Goldberg device using recycled objects and littleBits! Our older 3-5 grade groups will take it to the next level, figuring out how to link their individual inventions together to create one big machine!
This workshop draws from your child’s natural instinct to explore the real world through fantasy. Kids will design and build a robotic bionic body part and animate it with littleBits! By the time the workshop is over, your child will be able to assemble their pieces and suit up for an epic battle! Inspired by Mark Stilwell’s installation and performance “The Super Defense Force vs The Tittanno Beast” at Open Source Gallery.
In SYNTH BitBots the students will conceptualize and create an instrument that they can play themselves. Using the littleBits Synth Kit in conjunction with recycled materials, students will use their innovative instruments to write songs and lyrics. Ultimately the goal is to form a band with a sound unlike any other! littleBits are simple electronic modules, each with specific functions, which can be snapped together magnetically to create large and elaborate circuits for prototyping and play.
M-F from July 18th-August 26th. The 2016 Derby will run on August 27th! Summer camp is from 9-2 pm with the option for after camp care until 6 pm.
The price for the camp is $450.
The price for an extended day is $600 (until 5:30pm).
Downpayment: $100 to reserve a spot.
WEEK1 July 18th- 22nd (ages 9-15)
WEEK2 July 25th- 29th (ages 7-12)
WEEK3 August 1st- 5th (ages 7-12)
WEEK4 August 8th- 12th (ages 7-12)
WEEK5 August 15th- 19th (ages 7-12)
WEEK6 August 22nd- 26th (ages 9-15)
The location of the camp is still to be decided. We guarantee that we will run the camp and that it will be in relative vicinity to Open Source Gallery (306 17th Street, South Slope).
Every year in the end of August you can experience the thrill of witnessing our participants from the summer Soap Box Workshop race their fun, funky, eco-friendly contraptions down 17th Street in Brooklyn.
Since 2008, our Soap Box Derby has been a staple of the neighborhood. Each year, the Soap Box Workshop encouraging children to think outside the box. Children plan their inventions using sketches and calculations, bringing them to life with found and recycled objects as well as building materials. Over the course of the workshop, participants turn piles of seemingly useless trash into functional machines while learning about construction and design and, more importantly, having fun. Leading up to the derby, kids test drive their racers, ensuring the safety and functionality of each invention. At the Soap Box Derby, participants get to race their soap box cars for real as friends, families, and neighbors cheer them on as they race down the street.
Current Boat Building classes are open for enrollment. Contact Lea to sign up and ask questions!
Boat Building is a sink AND swim workshop that explores the physics of boat building by creating flotation devices. Participants learn how to use planning, engineering, woodworking and critical thinking to create functional boats and models.
Participants may sign up for Boat Building or Advanced Boat Building.
Boat Building (Grades 2-4)
This workshop focuses on planning, engineering, woodworking and critical thinking to create row boats, canoes, and other similar floating vessels. Kids will explore traditional and experimental methods based on their own sensibilities over the course of a year, which will culminate in field trips to put their creations to the test. Boats will be created mainly out of found materials. In the spirit of our Soap Box Summer Camp, each child will make their own creative flotation device!
Boat Building (Grades 4-6)
This workshop focuses on planning, engineering, woodworking and critical thinking. The kids in this workshop will work on a variety of lessons which will prepare them for our final project of building functioning boats. Through the process of experimenting with many different blueprints and models of steering mechanisms, flotation devices and boats that we will be building ourselves, we will test where the faults in our plans are to ensure that there will be no problems with our final boats.
This workshop will meet once a week for thirty three weeks, and requires its participants to be determined, focused, patient, and prepared to commit to a lot of hard work. We will create blueprints and small model floats, boats and steering mechanisms, as well as an actual float which will be tested in Prospect Park in the Fall and our dinghies which we will test in the Spring.
Contact Lea to sign up!
Power Up is a series created by Open Source Gallery where kids learn about environmental sustainability through hands-on design and building projects. We are always adding new workshops, so check back often!
We have THREE new Power Up workshops happening at the Beam Center in February, 2016! Click on an image for details!
In the spirit of a tree house (without the tree), our group of kids will design and build a sustainable home entirely from scratch on a repurposed lot in South Slope. They will draw up their own plans, cut their own lumber and install their own environmentally sustainable plumbing and heating systems by getting creative-these systems might collect rainwater, pull energy from the sun with homemade solar panels or harness the power of wind. The structure built by the kids will house our bicycle generators and building equipment over the winter. The project will will be open to the public at various times as an installation that reflects the sustainable and creative possibilities within our neighborhood!
We will have 2 groups working on the site at the same time. The younger group will be 7-9 year olds and the older group will be 10-12 year olds. The older group will meet more with professionals and develop plans in groups.
KOKO creates a place for kids to dream, create and build. Whether they are making robots or building a house, kids are given the freedom to let their ideas run wild and experiment.
Power Up is a series created by Open Source Gallery where kids develop engineering skills while learning about environmental sustainability through hands-on design and building projects.
In this 8-week workshop, kids will generate power with their own kinetic energy! We will learn about science while we exercise by transforming old bicycles into machines that can power light bulbs and other small appliances. In the process of creating our bike generators we will learn how motors and generators work and the science of electric currents, circuits, and magnetic fields. Depending on the fitness of the builders we will get some volts out of their energy!
M-F on Feb 15-19, 2016 from 9-4:30 with the option for after camp care until 5:30. Register here!
For Mid-Winter Break, KOKO Open Source presents the first week-long workshop in their new Power Up series! In Power Up: Greenhouse, our group will use recycled plastic bottles to make a walk-in greenhouse that will be housed in the Old Stone House garden. Students will also design and construct their own miniature greenhouses to take home. But these will not be your ordinary greenhouses. While they will be completely functional -raising the temperature inside 10 degrees F – our plant homes will also be objects of art and beauty. We will learn about how greenhouses work and look at different kinds of architecture for inspiration. We will then put on our engineering hats and draw out blueprints before building our greenhouses from a variety of recycled materials. Once our greenhouses are complete, we will add plants that can grow inside them throughout the winter. We will also a take field trips to SIMS Recycling Center in Sunset Park to learn about how Brooklyn processes recycled materials.
Did you know that your recycling could generate renewable energy? In this special workshop, we will learn all about sustainability by constructing a real solar panel made almost entirely out of empty aluminum cans! During this workshop we will also take a field trip to the SIMS recycling plant to see what Brooklyn is doing to make the city greener.
Once we construct our “heat collector”, we will install it on the roof of Open Source Gallery in Brooklyn where it will act as both an exhibit and a way to heat the gallery during the winter months.
Your child will experience both the science and the art of building as well as the satisfaction of helping the environment and seeing their creation put to use!
Inspired by stories like the tale of young William Kamkwamba in “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind” (written with Bryan Mealer), Monika Wuhrer and Hubert Dobler hosted a workshop that created a windmill out of found material that could generate 12 Volts. Energized by the success of that windmill, they developed this new workshop for students geared towards creating smaller windmills using household objects.
In this workshop students will learn how to build homemade generators capable of producing their own energy using recycled common items. Practical engineering, physics and mechanical skills will be explored in cooperation with ideas of conservation and renewable energy. From simple household objects like cans and magnets, we will build windmill generators. These projects will be very technical and help kids with a specific interest in engineering to manifest and explore their passion. Artist Hubert Dobler will be consulting on projects.
Roses are blue and violets are green when artist Edina Tokodi leads us in a unique workshop on making art from plants. We will learn about the magical alchemy of nature while building a piece of living artwork from plants and repurposed materials such as felt and wood. We will also experiment with how flowers can absorb dyes through their stems, incorporating these unusual colors into a final piece of living art to take home at the end of the workshop.
NY-based installation artist EDINA TOKODI, explores the diversity and intricate connections between nature and the inorganic world created by man. Her site-specific installations are inspired by Japanese Zen gardens and informed by the space’s environs, whether organic or man-made.
In our Power Up series we are collaborating with Stephen Mallon. Mallon’s series American Reclamation chronicles and examines the American recycling industry. His work will be published by Glitterati Inc (2017) and he is represented by Front Room Gallery.
Open Source Gallery believes that art education is integral to our children’s development. We are always pleased to host private viewings and workshops in our gallery space for students of any age.
If you are interested in arranging a visit for your class, please contact Monika Wuhrer at email@example.com by phone at 646-279-3969.
Are you curious about littleBits and considering hosting your own BitBots workshop in your space or school? We are now hosting 2-hour training sessions with organizations interested in learning more about littleBits and how to incorporate them into the classroom.
Please contact Monika Wuhrer at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 646-279-3969 to book your training session today!
KOKO (named by children) is the education initiative of Brooklyn’s own Open Source Gallery. Open Source Gallery believes that art education is integral to our children’s development. KOKO combines Open Source’s mission of supporting socially engaged art and environmental awareness with STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) programming. KOKO offers a variety of art-based workshops for ages 5-15 that utilize technology and recycled materials to help your child to create their own unique invention. Our arts education programs have been hosted by esteemed organizations such as the MoMa, Children’s Museum of Manhattan, Brooklyn Museum, TedYouth and Cooper-Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum. We have been featured in numerous publications and media including The New York Times, New York Daily News and Brooklyn Independent Television.