Snoqualmie students build their own fun
November 17, 2010
By Sebastian Moraga
Maybe it didn’t make the police blotter, but on Nov. 10 a Snoqualmie man drove his Zamboni across a bridge, a wheel came off and he fell out tush-first.
Then, two giant hands picked him up, planted him behind the wheel and made him try again.
The giant hands belonged to second-grader Hudson Furness, a student at Snoqualmie Middle School, and the Zamboni and the man were both built with Legos.
The Lego club meets as an after-class activity, and students create big things with the tiny pieces. Pyramids, bridges, Army jeeps — nothing is too hard to build.
OK, almost nothing.
Perhaps the only thing hard to build is interest in engineering. The parents see it as a given, instructor Ryan Wilkins said, but the children just want to play with Legos.
Wilkins works for PlayWell, a California-based business that teaches architecture and engineering with Legos.
Children could care less about emulating Bob the Builder for a living
“That’s what my parents say I should be,” Furness said of engineering. “But I want to be a hockey player.”
Classmate Riley Shinn, another Lego lover, wants to be a football player.
Shinn, Furness and the other children dig playing with the Legos, Wilkins said, but they do learn something, too.
“Older children learn technique, while younger children learn building,” he said.
PlayWell’s website describes its mission as teaching problem-solving skills, and fostering creativity, inquisitiveness and a greater appreciation for how things work.
Still, a child wants what a child wants, Wilkins said.
“You teach them what an arch bridge is, they forget it 20 minutes later,” he said. “They just want to build stuff.”
Asked what he would do if he had a life-size Lego truck like the one he just built, second-grader Luke Henry said, “I’d put tons of gas in it and make it crash.”
Asked what he wants to be when he grows up, Henry said, “a fireman.”
Sebastian Moraga: 392-6434, ext. 221, or email@example.com. Comment at www.snovalleystar.com.