Building Bridges in the Community Using LEGO to Educate and Inform

April 8, 2014
Building Bridges in the Community Using LEGO to Educate and Inform

Public outreach and community inclusion are important aspects of the New NY Bridge project. The New NY Bridge project team is finding new and creative ways to connect with the community.

One of these educational outreach efforts is a partnership with the White Plains Public Library and its weekly LEGO club. Every week, children from the region gather at the library to build various LEGO structures based on the theme of the month. Coincidentally, a recent club theme was bridges.

The New NY Bridge team and White Plains Public Library designed a scale model of the New NY Bridge for children to build over the course of the month. Each participant received a LEGO certificate upon completion of the project. The LEGO New NY Bridge is currently on display at the White Plains Public Library.

The New NY Bridge team is also partnering with Bricks 4 Kidz, a company that develops custom LEGO kits that can be used again and again. Bricks 4 Kidz created 17 New NY Bridge kits for the team to use as part of the educational outreach program throughout the project. The kits will be used as teaching tools to promote creativity, teamwork and problem solving. They also aim to inspire interest.

The hour-long presentations will educate students about different types of bridges and the engineering that makes them a reality. They also highlight what makes the New NY Bridge innovative as a cable-stayed bridge. The children are divided into groups of two and each pair builds its own scale model of the New NY Bridge.

LEGO is an accessible, understandable means for young people in the community to develop their learning skills. As an educational tool, it challenges children to understand a real-world engineering feat, and helps develop their minds in a creative and fun way.