There’s no question kids love LEGO. To help inspire the next generation of bridge builders, the New NY Bridge project educational outreach team recently partnered with a Westchester business owner to use LEGO to share the power of constructive and creative thinking with local children.
Aaron Tang, an educational specialist from Larchmont, worked with the project team to develop scale-model kits of the new twin-span bridge through Bricks 4 Kidz, which was founded in 2008 to foster educational play through customized LEGO sets.
“Two years ago, after having a child of my own, I became involved with Bricks 4 Kidz. My goal for this business was to help build and gain interest in STEM [science, technology, engineering and math]-based subject matters with a fun and exciting program. LEGO blocks did just that,” Tang said.
The project team is proud to work with Bricks 4 Kidz, which is based on the belief that children learn best through activities that engage their curiosity and encourage their creative spirit. Each Bricks 4 Kidz LEGO kit is designed and developed by actual engineers and architects and features exciting themes such as space, amusement parks and construction projects. The simple act of building the models provides kids with opportunities for problem-solving and helps them develop an appreciation for how things work.
Interpreting the New NY Bridge through the use of the universal interlocking bricks, Aaron created more than a dozen model kits for use by local schoolchildren. In mid-December, first and third graders from Tuckahoe’s William E. Cottle Elementary School tried their hand at bridge building.
After receiving a presentation from the project outreach team on how the actual bridge is being built, they set to work on constructing their models in small collaborative groups. This introduction to engineering gave them a taste of real-world skills such as teamwork and productive communication.
“The kids love working in teams and building something together, especially with LEGO,” said Melissa Vaccaro, a third grade teacher at Cottle Elementary.
The project team looks forward to working with Aaron Tang and Bricks 4 Kidz to spread the educational fun of the LEGO New NY Bridge models to other local students throughout the coming school year.
Interested in New NY Bridge educational outreach efforts? Contact the outreach team to learn more.
Reference to commercial products or trade names is made with the understanding that no discrimination is intended of those not mentioned and no endorsement by the New NY Bridge project, the New York State Thruway Authority or Tappan Zee Constructors, LLC is implied for those mentioned.