Creativity, Collaboration & Construction!

Creativity, Collaboration & Construction!

In the spirit of partnerships and our 5 C’s*, UNE Discovery teamed up with Armidale City Public School (ACPS) in the July school holidays for the inaugural school holiday LEGO Challenge!

Thirty five participants, aged between 7 and 12 years, arrived in the ACPS CoLab space at 9am excited to see thousands and thousands of LEGO bricks and mini-figures waiting for them and their imagination. The students gathered 9 themes to inform their build, and picked out of a hat which theme they would focus on for the day. The themes to build to were Space, Deserted Island, Rainbows, Seasons, The Circus, Star Wars, Fairytales, Treehouse, and The Desert.

Students generated the rules for the day, respect for each other’s builds being at the top of the list.

Planning got underway with gusto. Teams brainstormed stories to be told through their build, debated colours, structures and characters.

The judging criteria were clear. Teams would be judged by 5 categories: Presentation, Originality, Complexity by Space, Use of Colour and the Story. Throughout the day ACPS teachers and UNE Discovery facilitators floated, chatted, encouraged, watched in awe, and fed the teams. They also celebrated a birthday! Adults ensured that logistics were smooth, but they didn’t intervene; they didn’t impose constraints. They made some suggestions to help teams reach their potential, but they didn’t build for them. All the creativity, all the collaboration, construction, colour, chaos and collective awesome came from the kids.

With an hour to go, getting the story straight became an important focus for the teams. Some of them wrote their stories out; some collaborated so that everyone had a turn of telling the story; some incorporated aliens, others battles. And in the end there were some mighty elaborate worlds, complex intergalactic battles and beautifully crafted stories of hope, happiness and fun. The winning build was the Circus! A tie breaker for runner up was between the Fairytale and Desert build. All participants deserve a huge congratulations. The energy, enthusiasm, creativity, confidence and construction skill was great to be a part of.

The inaugural school holiday LEGO challenge day was a great success! So much so that there will definitely be more next school holidays! Keep your eyes peeled for dates!

*UNE Discovery’s 5 C’s guide our philosophy and approach to everything we do. They represent characteristics that we aim to cultivate from an early age. They are CURIOSITY, CREATIVITY, COLLABORATION, CONFIDENCE and a CAN-DO ATTITUDE.

– By Dr Kirsti Abbott