For eight children, Tuesday afternoon turned out to be a “roving” good time one click at a time at the Harker Heights Recreation Center.
Jen Howland, Bricks 4 Kidz instructor, taught the students about the Mars Rover and then each student was given their own set of Lego building materials and instructions to build their own Mars Rover.
“All our activities have lessons where we talk about what we are building, the purpose behind the machine we create and how to apply it in real life,” Howland said. “Each class has a lesson for approximately 15-20 minutes and then they build for 15-20 minutes.”
Howland has taught middle school students for 12 years and has been with Bricks 4 Kidz program since January, stepping into this adventure for two reasons.
“My son has always loved Legos and I really believe that kids need the opportunity to build and construct, to be imaginative and that was a big part of my teaching philosophy, so this was a good fit while I took a break from teaching middle school,” she said.
For Marcos and Jeannette Cervantes of Harker Heights, the class was a unique birthday gift for their 5-year-old son, Miguel.
“Legos have fascinated me since I was young and when Miguel turned 5, my brother purchased a set for Miguel that got him started,” said Marcos Cervante. “The process of looking at the directions and putting them together, it’s great quality time for the two of us to do together.”
For Reagan Westbrook, 9, the lesson portion wasn’t nearly as exciting as the building portion of the class.
“Legos release a lot of stress when you build things,” Reagan said. “I really like the design of the Mars Rover; it’s a really stable design.”
One of the first students to finish their Mars Rover, Reagan helped others find the pieces necessary to complete their projects.
From student to space explorer in less than an hour, the students smiled as the projects were put away in preparation for the next class.
“This is my first Bricks 4 Kidz class and I like it,” Reagan said.
According to the program’s website, model building provides opportunities for problem-solving and helps kids develop an appreciation for how things work. All this takes place while kids are having fun and socializing in a noncompetitive atmosphere.
For more information about Bricks 4 Kidz classes, stop by the Harker Heights Recreation Center at 307 Miller’s Crossing or go to www.bricks4kidz.com/texas-killeen-forthood.
Herald/ Kathryn Leisinger