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Sutter Lego Show Puts the STEAM in STEM

Sutter Lego Show Puts the STEAM in STEM

“The Lego brick art show fosters creativity and is a great way to bring art into the school,” says parent Brandon Chun, one of the PTA organizers of Sutter Elementary School’s 3rd Annual Lego Show, held in the school multi-purpose room January 19th.

The “A” in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics) at the Lego show could also stand for “architecture.” Displayed on three long rows of tables, 67 Lego creations by brick artists in transitional kindergarten through fifth grade, included every manner of buildings, constructions and creatures–simple to complex and real to fantasy.

“I have a real tree-house at my home in Czech Republic. One day I want to be an architect so I made a small copy here,” wrote one student in the project application for “Open Tree-house.”

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A recycle center–with an electronically-controlled robot–was inspired by a visit to the Shoreway Environmental Center. “Barbie’s Day Spa” was a brainstorm after playing with “two of my favorite toys–Legos and my Barbies.”

“People that try to win war, there’s a good side and a dark side,” began the explanation for the “Battle Front” display.

“My inspiration was my interaction with animals when I enjoyed patting them. I felt farm animals to be very cute and friendly,” wrote the creator of “Farm House.”

“I took a trip with my family to Japan last year to see where my great-grandparents lived. My project shows some of my favorite things I experienced in Japan,” wrote first-grader Joshua, who used tiny Japanese Nano blocks to recreate sights such as a golden pavilion.

“City Scene” included everything from a trailer stuck on a bridge to a helicopter. “We wanted a lot of things to go on,” explained fourth grade collaborators Maleeha and Kelly. “My Dog Cavali” included a photo of the dog posing beside its Lego image.

“This is a great event that brings the Sutter community together and promotes all areas of TK-5 academic curriculum–math, language arts, art, science, engineering, and more,” writes Sutter principal Michael Fong in an email. “It’s always a great learning experience when the activity is fun and innovative.”

“It’s the same concept as a science fair but without the pressure. The kids are really engaged,” says parent organizer Ginger Willson.

Each Lego creation was identified by number only, and show attendees voted to determine the People’s Choice Award winner of a trophy made of Legos. Second-grader Lukas was the winner with his project “The Empire attacks Fairytale Land.”

Parent and Lego enthusiast Brandon Chun teaches a one-hour, weekly Lego Brick Art class for six- through eleven-year-olds at the Santa Clara Community Recreation Center. The winter class runs Jan. 28 – March 24. The Spring class is April 7 – June 2. Legos are provided, and individual and team activities are appropriate for beginners to advanced-level students.

“Jedi Engineering Using Lego Winter Camp” runs February 16 – 19. Class information is in the Winter/Spring 2016 Santa Clara Parks & Recreation Department Activity Guide.

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