24 Aug Bricks for Kidz
Program Description: Bricks 4 Kidz is a national franchise offering enrichment programs that use LEGO® Bricks and Robotics to teach STEAM FUNdamentals. Our curriculums create an interactive and dynamic environment where students learn, build, and play together under the direction of our Instructors (Master Builders) and have a blast in the process.
We create exciting motorized models from a series of specialized project kits and proprietary model plans. Exploring these STEAM FUNdamentals and bringing our models to life takes learning to the next level. Students will work together to build and customize their own creations, along with a technical writing component that includes step-by-step instructions for how to recreate their masterpiece!
The following is an example of how Bricks for Kidz could potentially lead an ECM Experience with a 5th grade class:
- Intro & Expectations – students will be introduced to the program, their Master Builders (Instructors), rules and expectations, the exciting outline of our workshop schedule.
- Students work in pairs. It is best for a partner pair to work together the entirety of the week.
- We create one of our vehicle models (usually Car or Dragster). Instructional content is delivered on the subject and building assistance is given as needed.
- Students develop an understanding of the function of gears, axles, motors, friction pins, bushings, and then see them come to life as we race them across the floor!
- Upon completion, students are encouraged to engage with instructors and peers, explore additional concepts and kit pieces, and customize their creations.
- Our models l can accommodate varying levels of ability and with the motorized components offers a “wow” factor when they are turned on. We have found this is the most impactful way to begin a workshop which helps to immediately have the students engaged and enthused.
- We open with a quick review of rules, expectations, and what we learned and did the previous day.
- Students will build upon prior principles learned by focusing on the STEAM concepts behind the pieces we use in our constructions & designs. They will continue to explore new concepts and learn proper technical terms.
- We like to work with each of our classes to custom-create a schedule for this second class. We have dozens & dozens of models to choose from. Common options are the Tilt-A-Whirl, Helicopter, Carousel Swing, Mini-Fig Mover, Airboat.
- We aim for each partner pair to build at least two models and spend some time on creative expansion on this day, to prepare themselves for the second half of the week.
- Students will have the opportunity to expand their creativity, explore their imagination, and engage in an independent building challenge.
- Using our project kits, paper and pencil, and concepts learned over the prior two days, each partner group will create their own customized model. They will inventory the pieces and number used throughout the model, as well as explain in technical writing terms step-by-step instructions for how to recreate the model. Pencils are used so that children can adapt, adjust, modify their creations, implement enhancements and improvements.
- This is a two-day project; students will be still in the designing stages when this hour is done. This day often contains the most challenges for students. But they have until the next day to brainstorm and collaborate, and return to their project the next day of the workshop.
Day 4 (works well combined with day 5 for two-hour session)
- Students will have the opportunity to resume their independent building challenge where they left off.
- New ideas, techniques, and modifications are explored. Expansions and creative additions are encouraged.
- Our Master Builders help each group put the final touches on their models, check technical instructions for content and accuracy and assist with the implementation of the students’ ideas. We take apart our models at the end of this class.
Day 5 (Presentations)
- We spend the first part of the last day re-building our ‘custom creations’ that we have been working on the second half of the week. If children have followed the project directions (been taking pictures, writing notes & instructions as they build and create) – this is when they realize they have literally ‘designed their own models’.
- Then we move onto presentations. Each group goes in front of the class and gets to discuss, display, and demonstrate their creation.
- Their classmates can then ask them a question about something they find interesting, or say something they like about it. It is a great bonding & public speaking experience!
- Day 4 & Day 5 work well as a final two-hour session (although it is not critical). The reason it does work well is that students will finish up the project at different times and it allows those who finish to present first, while other groups can still use some extra time to finish up.
For younger classes or to accommodate teacher preference, we can also run a more structured and progressive five-day curriculum where the second half of the week focuses on continued STEAM Concepts from and building corresponding Bricks 4 Kidz model options (instead of a cumulative creative design project).
With this alternate curriculum, we still encourage ‘custom creations & presentations’ for the last day as this provides a well-rounded end to the week-long experience, but try to select models that are more focused and centralized around certain standards.