A wonderful project from Jen Messier ’06:

Hi all,

I wanted to share a project that a friend (unfortunately not a Williams grad!) and I started, with the hope that it might be something fellow alums might be interested in learning more about or partaking in.

The easiest way to describe our little project, the Brooklyn Brainery, is perhaps as a book club on steroids. We host cheap collaborative classes on anything and everything, from brain science to paper to bikes. Class leaders aren’t necessarily experts on their subjects, but instead they act as a guide, setting up a general direction in which the class heads. We try to actively engage all class members, whether through little research assignments or hands on projects, allowing them to become the expert on a certain piece of the class discussion. Our courses are typically either two or four weeks long, as we like the ability to dive into something more in-depth than a one-time session allows. The longer course length also lets people get to know each other better, which helps make it all more fun.

As we’ve grown, we’re actively reaching out and engaging more and more teachers from around Brooklyn and New York. The great thing about the city is that nearly everyone has an interesting gig or side project they’re willing to share, and they’re equally willing to try all kinds of new things. We’re always on the look out for new teachers and would love suggestions for class topics as well!

You can find out way more about us on our website or our Kickstarter page (which probably summarizes our mission much more coherently!). Thanks for reading – I’m happy to answer and questions or clarify anything as well!

Jen Messier ‘06

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