Students Gain Steam at Artisan’s Asylum

DATE:  March 23, 2021     CATEGORIES:  Class Description, Classes, Community, Current Classes, Education, Electronics, Robotics

Empower your teen to engage in experiential learning this summer through an in-depth immersive workshop at Artisan’s Asylum. Students from around the country will gather virtually to explore new and creative ways to problem-solve through critical thinking, collaboration and experimentation. In this hands-on interdisciplinary learning environment, students will exchange ideas, take risks, work at their own pace and make connections to real-world concepts that lead to real-world careers.

Space Exploration

Artisan’s Asylum offers two out-of-this world intensives to inspire your teen. Junior engineers and robotics enthusiasts will aid a team of astronauts charged with creating a life-sustaining structure on Mars in Mission Control: Building a Martian Colony. During this two-week program, teens will be challenged with daily missions, like building robotic devices for tracking, testing and moving on Mars, modeling and constructing habitats in TinkerCAD, and more—all while having fun, learning and creative problem-solving. 

Three experts will lead the mission, teaching different aspects of programming, robotics, engineering, and 3D modeling and construction. Mission leaders Mike Beach, Nick Anastasia, and Sal Mancini are long-time members and instructors at Artisan’s Asylum. The remote format resembles real-life space collaboration, where Mission Control and astronauts communicate through voice, video and file transfers to solve problems. Students will log in for daily interplanetary transmissions from our three faculty astronauts who need help in solving build and robotic challenges. As part of the workshop, teens will receive a Mission Readiness Packet that includes model building and robotics equipment to design solutions at home then test them out with the online team.

Creature Feature

Teens will put their design talents to the test with Fun with Animatronics, where imaginations run wild as students create a kinetic critter controlled with simple electronics using clean recyclables from home. During this one-week program, students explore programming and mechanical motion using Arduino Sketch and servo controller boards and microcontrollers.

Instructor Rachel Beane said the goal of the class is to introduce students to using computers and electronics in a creative capacity, and to have fun! “This is a great class to teach because it is playful and creative. Electronics on its own can be a bit dry, but animatronics really allows students to stretch their imaginations and gives them the opportunity to make something that is interactive.”

“Students will learn the basics of an Arduino microcontroller, what it is and how it is used. They will learn how to build simple circuits to control motors, LEDs and sensors, as well as learning about cardboard construction and creative use of recycled materials.” The program fee includes a kit containing all components needed to complete the classwork.

Rachel explained that animatronics is a subset within the much larger field of robotics. “The aim of robotics is to create machines that have specific jobs to perform, but that can take any number of shapes or form factors; whereas the point of animatronics is to appear life-like, and to capture the movements and behaviors of real or imagined lifeforms.” 


Science, technology, engineering and math skills continue to be critical to success in the professional job market. Artisan’s Asylum believes that the arts are an integral addition to these traditional STEM skills, and has created our virtual summer programs  to help cultivate young learners to become innovators, educators and leaders of the future.  With an online learning environment featuring content that is dynamic and relevant, Artisan’s encourages the development of independent problem solvers through curiosity, dialogue and critical thinking. There are no wrong answers in our virtual classroom without walls—but there limitless opportunities to explore.

Artisan’s is proud to announce that we have been selected as a Bloomberg Arts Internship (BAI) worksite this summer. The BAI intern chosen from Boston Public Schools will be working with the teaching staff in our summer camps. 

Pay What You Can Afford

Artisan’s Asylum is dedicated to ensuring great education and creative opportunities are available to everyone. Our Summer 2021 teen immersion programs extend a “pay-what-you-can-afford” model, enabling equitable access for families of any income level. Simply sign up the programs online, and pay the amount that makes the program affordable for your family. 

We do ask that, if you can afford to contribute more, please do. Your generosity ensures that our programming will remain affordable for all members of the community for years to come.

Click here for more information on all Summer 2021 Youth Classes at Artisan’s Asylum.

Program Details:

Mission Control: Help Build the First Martian Colony (Ages 10-15)
Two-week Virtual Teen Experiences, Monday-Friday from 10AM – 3PM

Mission 1: Launches on June 21, 2021

Mission 2: Launches on July 12, 2021

Mission 3: Launches on August 2, 2021

Pay what you can afford: $350 – $800 per Mission

Fun with Animatronics (Ages 10-15)
One-week Virtual Youth & Teen Experiences, Monday-Friday from 10AM – 3PM

Session 1: Starting July 5, 2021

Session 2: Starting July 26, 2021

Pay what you can afford: $100 – $400 per child