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Education

Imagination, math meet to build skills

STEM careers focus of museum event

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    Cacee Salatin, 9, works on creating a bridge with gumdrops at the DGL Consulting Engineers table at the Imagination Station in downtown Toledo. The museum was hosting several local organizations to teach kids about STEM careers.

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    A child sorts through Lego pieces at the Imagination Station for a ‘Build Every Day’ event.

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    Alex, 16, left, plays Legos with her brother Ian, 3, and stepmother Laura Henricks of Adrian at the Imagination Station.

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    A Lego model of the Glass City Skyway Bridge built by 14-year-old Andrew Megeath is on display at the Imagination Station. It and other Lego models joined the ‘Lego Brick Architecture: Sky High Science’ display.

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    Alex, 10, left, talks with his father Shawn Hineline of Fremont as they take a look at the Lego reproductions of famous skyscrapers made of thousands of Lego bricks. The ‘Lego Brick Architecture: Sky High Science’ display continues through April 30.

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    ‘This is weird and fun!’ Cora, 5, left, said as she and her brother Riley Puck, 9, played in a cement-like mix at a table run by the construction supply firm Chas E. Phipps Company at the Imagination Station.

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Lego aficionado Cacee Salatin took a break from the famous interlocking blocks Saturday to construct a bridge with a less-advanced set of materials.

The 9-year-old from Maumee, who was among hundreds at Imagination Station’s “Lego & Construction: Build Every Day” event, was tasked with using sticks and gumdrops to construct a bridge.

“She is supposed to make it go from the ladder to the table but it’s getting a little abstract,” said Sarah Salatin, the girl’s mother.

PHOTO GALLERY: Lego & Construction at Imagination Station

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Alex, 16, left, plays Legos with her brother Ian, 3, and stepmother Laura Henricks of Adrian at the Imagination Station.

THE BLADE/KATIE RAUSCH
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Cacee has 25 bins of Legos at home and is also in her school’s STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) program, so the science center’s day of Lego fun coupled with things like math and engineering was a big attraction.

Children whirled from station to station at the science center — some alternating between the thousands of Lego pieces and tables set up by trade organizations and businesses that attended to show off how they use science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

“A lot of people don’t understand the skills you need to come into our professions,” said Pamala Mohler, director of member services for the Associated General Contractors of Northwest Ohio.

“The bottom line is math,” Ms. Mohler said. “If we don’t teach kids when they are small, they don’t come out of high school with enough math skills.”

Erin Curley, associate director of the American Institute of Architects of Toledo, said trigonometry and calculus are required education but not intensely used.

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‘This is weird and fun!’ Cora, 5, left, said as she and her brother Riley Puck, 9, played in a cement-like mix at a table run by the construction supply firm Chas E. Phipps Company at the Imagination Station.

THE BLADE/KATIE RAUSCH
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“Math is somewhat of a misconception in our profession,” Ms. Curley said.

Also at the science center Saturday was Chas E. Phipps Company, DGL Consulting Engineers, Explorer Scouts, Greater Toledo LEGO Club, Northwest Ohio Construction Education Center, and the Ohio Department of Transportation.

Sam Estebe, 11, stood awe-struck before a Lego replica of the 2,000-foot Chicago Spire.

“I’m going to go make that,” the boy said before darting off to the science center’s collection of Lego pieces.

Eleven of the world’s best known tall buildings have been recreated in miniature form from hundreds of thousands of Lego bricks in a room at the science museum. The “Lego Brick Architecture: Sky High Science” will be exhibited until April 30.

The creations range in size from a 3-foot rendering of the St. Louis Gateway Arch, which incorporates 3,200 Lego bricks, to the soaring Burj Khalifa from Dubai, which incorporates 450,300 bricks and took 340 hours to build.

The Lego architecture exhibit is included in science center members’ free admission, while it’s a $4 add-on for nonmember admissions.

Contact Ignazio Messina at: imessina@theblade.com or 419-724-6171 or on Twitter @IgnazioMessina.

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