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With 17,000 LEGOs, showcase event set
At Campbell Court Elementary School
Click to Enlarge
Campbell Court Elementary School Principal Pat Walmsley holds some of the more than 17,000 LEGOs that were purchased with a $1,380 grant to hold a LEGO Education Showcase Event at the school April 11. Other boxes of LEGOs also are shown. Notice the sunglasses made of LEGOs worn by the girl in the poster. (Bulletin photo by Paul Collins)

Thursday, April 4, 2013

By PAUL COLLINS - Bulletin Staff Writer

Campbell Court Elementary School has received a $1,380 competitive national grant to buy more than 17,000 LEGOs and hold a LEGO Education Showcase Event for students and their parents.

The school also received a $200 competitive grant from the Martinsville-Henry County Chamber of Commerce Foundation to help with some of the expenses of holding the community showcase event, said Principal Pat Walmsley.

The showcase will be on April 11 at Campbell Court. There will be two sessions: from 5:30 to 6:15 p.m. and from 6:30 to 7:15 p.m. Participants will be divided between several tables where they will use their imaginations to create LEGO models, according to Walmsley and a release.

Campbell Court educators will guide the participants, Walmsley said. Some area robotics students also will be invited to help out.

Snacks and drinks will be provided, and there will be drawings for LEGO kits, according to Walmsley and the release.

A total of 94 students and parents preregistered for the event, Walmsley said, adding she expects about 100 people to attend. All students in grades 3-5 and their parents have been invited.

The “beauty” of doing this project is that the school will bring families together for an educational and fun event, and the school gets to keep the LEGOs to use for instruction, she said.

She added that she has gotten positive response from students and parents about the showcase event. “Kids are excited,” she said.

According to its website, “LEGO Education combines the unique, inspiring qualities of LEGO bricks with subject-specific tools and curricula so classroom teachers can meet key learning objectives.”

In August 2012, Campbell Court began using the LEGO Education “‘198 Construction Set’ as a beginning to provide real-world experiences in creative problem-solving in math, science and English classes,” according to the school’s application for the LEGO Education Showcase Event grant.

“Our inauguration of using the LEGOs has already made an impact on the hands-on experiences for our students. (Virginia) standards for math are more involved with real-world applications that require cooperation and communication, collaboration into the content. The LEGOs have provided an avenue for teachers to utilize these concepts in real-life situations to understand concepts that use higher order thinking skills,” the application stated.

Some Virginia math Standards of Learning require multi-step problem solving, and using LEGOs helps students better visualize the math concepts, Walmsley said.

“In order to be successful in any venture, parents and schools must partner together,” the grant application stated. “We do not want parents to think we are ‘playing games’ without an objective. If they are involved, more students will utilize the skills involved with these tools.”

The theme for Campbell Court’s LEGO Education Showcase Event is “Families Who Play Together, Learn Together.”

The LEGO Education Showcase Grant was made available through Education Blueprints Association, a nonprofit organization which provides learning resources and programs. Only 100 of these grants were available nationwide, according to a release.


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