Brooklyn program teaches STEM through building

Learning doesn’t always have to be boring. In many cases, it can be fun and hands on, and a Brooklyn program is using something as simple as building blocks to accomplish just that.

Bricks 4 Kidz focus on the concepts of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) using  Lego® blocks for building and constructing. The company has franchises across the United States, but their Brooklyn location can be found in Park Slope. Here’s parents can enroll their kids in a variety of fun, hands-on, and educational programs.

According to Engineering for kids, STEM education helps to alleviate ethnic and gender gaps that are often seen in the science and math fields, and it is imperative to ensuring that the United States continues to compete on a global scale.

It seems the term STEM has increased in its popularity over the past few years, as it was quite commonly discussed and supported by President Obama. Across the country, there has been a major push in expanding science and math curriculums in schools. With the growing amount of technology and tech-related jobs in the United States and around the world, that’s no surprise. The National Science Foundation estimates that 80% of jobs in the next ten years will require math and science skills.

Building blocks and Legos to learn STEM (Photo: Bricks 4 Kidz).

In New York City, the Department of Education has incorporated its own STEM programs ranging from “aerospace to animal science, to oceanography to ecology. Currently, more than 700 of the city’s students participate in the free programs that cater to kids from kindergarten to late high school.

While we used to think of Legos® as fun (albeit rather expensive) toys to build cool castles and planes, they have recently become more focused on education. The brand houses an entire education unit where parents and educators can learn how to use their product to engage in and teach STEM learning. Legos® and the ability to create are Bricks 4 Kidz main attraction.

Most programs are open to kids between the ages of 3 and 13, so you can get the little ones well on their way to excelling in STEM subjects.

“I have designed curriculum aimed at improving student outcomes on local and statewide assessments in the content areas of algebra, geometry and life science,” said Regional Executive Director Lamacca Holmes.

Holmes, who has a background working as a New York City public school teacher, added that she “firmly believes in utilizing real-world situations that allow students to experience learning, resulting in deeper understanding.” She believes this learning goes a step further than just educating kids for test performance.

Bricks 4 Kidz offers programs for a range of ages (Photo: Bricks 4 Kidz).

For parents looking to fill those long summer days with something constructive, Brooklyn’s Bricks 4 Kidz, offers half-day and full day summer camp programs in July and August. Half-day camp costs $300 while the full day program is $545. Unlike normal programs, summer camp programs are better for kids ages 6 to 9.

Summer programs are offered in a number of themes, ranging from space and rocket ships to city building and creating a sustainable environment.The programs combine educational lessons, while also providing hands-on experiences for those energetic little ones. During the summer weeks, the kids will dive deeper into the various topics, that pertain to everything around us, while also building related Lego® creations.

Not to worry parents, as Bricks 4 Kidz is around all year, even when it’s back-to-school time. When school is back in session, kids can participate in after school programs, pre-school workshops, and even in-school workshops, to continue that STEM education all year long. You can never have too much science and math, especially if it’s taught in a unique and fun way. And of course, like most kid-focused programs, they’ll host exciting and learning-filled birthday parties. 

Holmes said she makes it her duty to make sure their one-of-a-kind educational programs are inclusive for all children, adding that they have some students who do not speak English and others with learning disabilities. Even if your toddler is still learning how to talk, no worries, the program’s educators are fully trained and prepared. 

“You will do well in our classes because we have step by step directions that will help you succeed,” Holmes said.

With the variety of programs offered at Bricks 4 Kidz, there’s no doubt you can find one that peaks your child’s interests, while also teaching them meaningful and necessary skills to help them excel in their education.

For the adults who want to find their inner child, they also offer Bricks 4 Biz, aimed at helping coworkers think creatively and outside of the box. Their website says these programs are beneficial for team building and can help to bring people outside of their comfort zones. 

Next time you’re looking for a fun outing with the kids Bricks 4 Kidz is a win-win situation for all, as the kids have fun and you, as a parent, can put your money to good use.