Our Curriculum Designer, Ben Pfister, breaks down the engineering behind the LEGO Technic Racing Yacht and creating his own version of a LEGO Sailboat.
National Engineering Week: Building Boulder out of LEGO
WHEN: Saturday, February 21st, 1 PM – 4 PM
WHERE: Boulder Public Library
It is no mystery that America has some catching up to do with STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education. The National Math & Science Initiative has reported that “only 38% students who have STEM majors receive a degree in that major, and 31 percent of U.S. bachelor’s degrees were awarded in science and engineering fields, compared with 61 percent in Japan and 51 percent in China.”
The city of Boulder, Colorado is doing something to address this problem. Boulder Valley School District is applying for STEM Grants and building STEM Coalitions with local universities. Supporting local STEM non-profits like Cool Girls, hosting Maker Faire Boulder and Boulder Public Library’s STEAM Saturdays.
On Saturday, February 21st, Boulder Public Library is teaming up with Play-Well TEKnologies, an organization that teaches kids engineering concepts using LEGO, in a collaborative effort to introduce more kids to the world of engineering. Over 100,000 pieces of LEGO and hundreds of families will be converging on the Boulder Public Library, in an effort to build the City of Boulder out of LEGO and get more kids interested in engineering and other STEM and STEAM-related fields.
Brianna Laffey, a Play-Well staffer who is helping to coordinate the event, says “the goal of this event is to introduce kids to engineering in a fun, memorable way so they want to know more” and “help promote the good work that the Boulder Library is doing around STEAM.”
This event coincides with the beginning of National Engineering Week. “The idea of building Boulder out of LEGO partly represents that it is going to take a community to help build the engineers and scientists of tomorrow. We just so happen to be doing it one LEGO brick at a time.”
Play- Well TEKnologies programs are not authorized, sponsored or endorsed by the LEGO® Group.
Here is a picture of LEGO City we built at our first camp in 1997 at Davidson’s Middle School in San Rafael, CA. We taught 75 kids that year. It’s crazy to think that we now teach over 80,000 kids/year in 22 States.
For more information on our Play-Well Programs, visit www.play-well.org.
Our 3rd – 5th Grade Engineering students were inspired to build this crazy LEGO Ball contraption during camp. Through much trial and failure, they were proud to finally get their ball through their entire circuit. This camp was held at our Play-Well Ventura Activity Center. We are constantly experimenting with new projects and taking on the challenges/ideas that kids come up with to tackle. Nothing brings us more joy that seeing a child’s idea become a reality with hard work, creativity, and perseverance. As we tell our students all the time, “fail faster, succeed sooner.” And with this project they succeeded on so many levels!
For more information on our Play-Well TEKnologies program, visit www.play-well.org.