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Teens Build Dancing Robots at Library

Teens Build Dancing Robots at Library

February 8, 2016 | Youth Services

Teens will be building robots that can make music and dance in a new months-long program at Albany Public Library. Beat Bots is a free workshop series that combines science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and art for ages 11-17 at the library’s Washington Ave. Branch and Pine Hills Branch. The program is made possible by state grant funds provided through NYS Assemblymember Patricia A. Fahy.

“This is a great program for so many reasons, including the library’s continued interest in STEM programming. But, what I like most is the combination of robotics with dancing,” said APL Executive Director Scott Jarzombek. “Emerging technology has a significant impact on the arts, not just industry. I like that we are focusing on that and it sends a very positive message to the kids involved.”

The Beat Bots program will involve two teams, each of which meets twice every week in March, April, and May at the Pine Hills and Washington Ave. branches. Participants will explore every element of robotics including research and development, prototyping, building, programming, and testing—all in a fun, collaborative atmosphere. Local experts will join the workshops to share their knowledge.

Beat Bots will continue in the summer with a week-long coding camp in late June that focuses on programming the robots to dance. The robots will go head-to-head in an epic dance battle at APL’s SummerFest party, which is Saturday, July 9, at the Delaware Branch. Spectators will decide which robot has the best dance moves. Prizes and bragging rights will be awarded to the winning team.

Teens and tweens interested in the Beat Bots program should plan to attend a special sneak preview and pizza party on Wednesday, Feb. 10, at 4:30 to 7:30 pm at either the Washington Ave. Branch (161 Washington Ave.) or the Pine Hills Branch (517 Western Ave.). Participants will analyze and dismantle a robot to see how it’s made, and start thinking about building their team’s new music-making, dancing robot.

“I’m thrilled to have helped make the Albany Public Library’s Beat Bots program a reality through state grant funds,” said NYS Assemblymember Patricia A. Fahy, who represents Assembly District 109. “This creative program engages teens in the world of robotics and programming, which undoubtedly will prepare them for the economy of tomorrow. Thanks to APL leadership for continuing to make our libraries a true community resource for all ages. I look forward to seeing these robots in action this summer at APL’s SummerFest in July.”

For more information about Beat Bots, please call the Washington Ave. Youth Services Department at 427-4310.


Stephanie Simon

Stephanie Simon is manager of APL's Communication and Creative Services Department, which provides content and information for the library's website, social media, publications, videos, podcasts, and other outlets. Stephanie also manages APL's public relations and marketing efforts.