BSI Annual Chess Festival 2020

Sunday, February 9th, 11 AM – 6 PM
Door opens: 10 AM
Check-in ends: 10:30 AM
First round of chess tournament
and chess activity for beginners starts at: 11:00 AM

If your child is a beginner and is not going to participate in the tournament just yet, he or she can still enjoy the event to the fullest! 

Tickets for sale online here through Saturday, February 8!

Activities for those who don’t play in the chess tournament include:

  • Chess related art and crafts
  • Drawing and coloring
  • Making slime
  • Putting together puzzles
  • Learning math behind chess: how much each chess piece “costs”
  • Learning simple moves and working out chess puzzles
  • Party favors and prizes included

Parents can participate in the tournament too! Just select “adult” as your grade.

Please volunteer here to donate food or help with event organization.

A team of volunteers from last year’s event

Reminder: Camp Auction Help Needed!

Ask for a donation today. It’s so easy!

Just copy, paste, and send ⁠— no cold-calling or research required.

STEP 1 – Claim a Camp

Sign up to ask 1-5 (or more!) camps and activities for donations on this form:

STEP 2 – Reach Out
Contact camps by email, phone or in person using the sample letter at

STEP 3 – Finalize Donation
Input donation by January 17th into

Questions? Email

The Eleventh Day of BSI: Robotics!

students with large robot

The Consortium for Research & Robotics is a partnership between the Pratt Institute’s cutting-edge center for K-12 technology education and our seventh graders. Through the Consortium, our children are provided with a unique opportunity to work hands-on with many different types of robots including NYC’s largest industrial robot!

Each year, we have a specific project-based study where Mr. Brian, our math teacher, works closely with the Pratt instructor to tailor to meet the needs of our students. Students learn skills in engineering, architecture, design and fabrication as they engage mathematics, software, technology, and robotics to problem solve, create, and learn.

Below,  an excerpt taken from Consortium’s website:

Traditionally, robots perform repetitive tasks that are “dull, dirty, and dangerous.” Here at the Consortium, we are challenging this convention, putting people to work by engaging designers, engineers, researchers and artists in a new experimental paradigm that is equal parts digital and physical.

Keep us engaged with STEAM technologies!

thermometer at $40k


Today is the final day to make your donation to the BSI PTO in 2019. We’ve raised approximately $40k but still need help closing the gap to fund the programs we’ve highlighted here. Any size contribution matters! 

preview of robotics video

The Tenth Day of BSI: Debate

debate team with trophy

Only two days left till the end of the year! Do not forget to contribute to BSI PTO to support our exciting programs, especially if you want to take advantage of the tax deduction. Today, we will highlight another exciting enrichment opportunity offered to our children – Debate!

Debate is an after school enrichment offered to students in Grades 5 and up. Our debate enrichment is a partnership with Agape Leaders Institute, which has been working with various organizations and schools to provide comprehensive debate and speech training to help children become confident speakers. It is designed to teach students the fundamentals of public speaking and argumentation skills that will enable them to develop confidence, self-esteem, critical thinking skills, creativity, and leadership.

Students have improved their communication skills in a safe and secure environment and they all walked away from this program knowing how to structure arguments, prepare debate cases, research evidence, write rebuttal briefs, deliver speeches, and refute opponents. Let’s make sure activities like debate continue at BSI and advance our children’s experiences!

Last year, our 7th grade Debate team won the championship
This year, our 5th Grade Debate team got 2nd place for the best team in Intermediate division among 5th grade teams!

The Ninth Day of BSI: Center for Architecture & Beam Center

students with projects

Beam Center

beam logo

Each year, Beam Center collaborates with kindergarten and first grade teachers to design hands-on, experiential learning projects aligned with the social studies curriculum. This year, kindergarten will work on a study constructing 3D models of places in their school community. Past first grade projects have included a puppetry shadow projects and a 3D model design of a neighborhoods study. Thanks to your contributions, students gain hands-on skills in fabrication, prototyping, metalwork, physical computing, construction, and design. They use tools and craft to honor the individual voice, celebrate the joy of producing something larger than themselves, and are inspired by a lasting sense of wonder and accomplishment. 

In 2018, second grade worked with Beam to create a cargo train that travels from the past to the future as part of the “New York City Over Time” unit.

time is running out to donate message

Center for Architecture


The PTO also funds this project-based enrichment for our second graders who work with the Center for Architecture. In this residency, students learn about architecture and design in unison with social studies and their Brooklyn Bridge study, going through the design process to create their own bridge structures!