CRESTVIEW — When most Walker Elementary school students headed home after school on Wednesday afternoon, 41 kids stayed on campus to learn more about mechanics.
Teacher Michelle Williams gave a brief lesson on how to operate a kitchen mixer. The lesson showed students how gears work together with the motor for it to function.
Then, students paired into small groups of eight. Each group had a Lego set with an instruction booklet that showed students how assemble a mixer.
Upon hearing Williams’ instructions, the students got right to work. The first group to finish a Lego mixer included fifth-graders Joseph Martin, Giovanni Morales and Jacob Sullivan. After completion, the boys aided other groups.
Each group received permission to play with the Lego sets after it completed a task. As a reward, teachers passed out miniature Lego men for the kids to play with.
Bricks 4 Kidz is a fee-based, after-school program with meetings every Wednesday afternoon at the school. Parents pay $10 per session for their kids to attend.
"We have only been doing this program for about a month," said Williams, whose kindergartner and third-grader also participate. "It allows the students to expand their learning in the classroom."
The company offers many options for educating children with Lego building blocks. The goal is to help students develop teamwork skills and introduce them to engineering and architectural concepts, according to the company’s website.
Principal Jeanine Kirkland wants to use these concepts toward the school’s science, technology, engineering and mathematics areas of study, commonly known as STEM. The education initiative encourages local schools to focus on these subjects to better prepare students for a related career.
Kirkland said she hopes the Bricks 4 Kidz program will lead to bigger things.
"We want to use this program as a stepping-stone towards a robotics program in our school," Kirkland said.
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