Only in Sutter Elementary School’s Multipurpose Room would ancient Egypt’s pyramids, Candy Land and a village for superheroes be a few feet within each other. Anything was possible at the 4th annual Sutter Lego Show, held Jan. 17. The Lego exhibits represented the building smarts of the 60 participating students from transitional kindergarten to fifth grade. Also part of the show were play pits with loose Lego bricks for show attendees to tinker with, a Lego movie showing on a projection screen and a raffle with the grand prize of four tickets to the premiere of The Lego Batman Movie being released in February.
“The purpose of this event is to get kids to be creative and think of arts and competing in a fun way,” said Brandon Chun, parent volunteer and chairperson for the Sutter Lego Show. Chun is known as “Mr. B.” to the Sutter community as well as his students from the Lego Brick Art class he teaches through Santa Clara’s Parks and Recreation Department.
Preparations for the show were underway since fall semester.
“At the end of November last year, I made available an application for students to apply for the show,” said Chun. “This part is academic because students have to fill out an application like it is a job application. They wrote down what their idea was and gave a quick summary of what they planned to do. They submitted the application to me and I [reviewed and approved the applications.] Students got their applications back before winter break.”
According to Chun, students worked on their Lego projects during the winter break with bricks from their personal collections. Because students were required to build an original display, they weren’t supposed to buy kits from a toy store for their project.
“Students built things such as historical buildings to movie scenes from Star Wars to scenes from cartoons like The Avengers and Batman,” said Chun. “Inspiration also came from computer games like Minecraft and Clash Royale.”
Inspired by an exhibit at last summer’s Bricks by the Bay Lego show held at the Santa Clara Convention Center, Chun’s second-grade son Quincy shaped a Lego model of Oregon’s Multnomah Falls. His daughter Makenna, currently in transitional kindergarten, put together the dragon themed ride at Legoland.
“Our Lego show doesn’t have conventional prizes but a mystery panel of judges recognizes the best in show with a giant trophy known as the Awesome Award,” Chun said. “The winner gets a certificate and their name will be etched on the giant trophy that will stay with the school.”
Tied as winners of this year’s Awesome Award were first grader Parker Weddle, who created a magic shop with stage props, and kindergarten student Elizabeth Gultureanu, who constructed a three-by-four-foot model of Sutter Elementary School.
“Parker has gotten interested in performing magic and he decided he wanted to make a magic shop out of Legos,” said Alex Weddle, Parker Weddle’s father. “I’d say it took a day to create the scene using an estimated 200 Lego pieces.”
“Elizabeth and her father went to the school with [a pad of paper] and crayons and did a site survey and they came back with a plan with a rough layout of where everything is,” said Corina Hu, Elizabeth Gultureanu’s mother. “Elizabeth’s dad Dan estimates they used about 5,000 Legos. This is Elizabeth’s first year at Sutter and we think the school holds some special meaning for her.”