State College

Stacking them up, and learning their purpose

Lukas Filko, left, and Miles Branford work on a dinosaur project on Friday at the Bricks 4 Kidz summer camp in State College.
Lukas Filko, left, and Miles Branford work on a dinosaur project on Friday at the Bricks 4 Kidz summer camp in State College. nmark@centredaily.com

There’s a summer camp that runs through the end of August that aims to keep kids’ minds stimulated when school’s out.

Bricks4Kidz has been part of the SCASD CEEL program since 2013

Bricks4Kidz is a branch of the State College Area School District’s Community Education Extended Learning program, which offers youth programs for families when school isn’t in session.

Director Lynn Pelchar said one of the program’s missions is to incorporate curriculum with its projects so kids “are learning but also having fun.”

Some other camps in general are made just to keep kids busy. There is some retention here. A study came out last year that said programs like our increase test scores.

Director Lynn Pelchar

“Some other camps in general are made just to keep kids busy,” she said. “There is some retention here. A study came out last year that said programs like ours increase test scores.”

On Friday, Bricks 4 Girlz and Jurassic Brick Land were wrapping up for kids ages 5 to 14.

With about six kids enrolled, Pelchar said they’re able to be creative with Legos and learn to use battery-charged remote controls to operate their creation.

For Sofia Filko, 7, and her brother Lukas Filko, 10, their favorite part was being given the freedom to create things after they finished the curriculum-based projects.

“It’s just fun to make something,” Sofia said.

The camps also allowed kids to make a Lego town that included structures like the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Eiffel Tower, the Torii gate and more.

“They’re following step-by-step instructions that help kids focus and (learning) the principles of architecture and engineering components,” Pelchar said. “When they make these, they’re also learning why they (the structures) function well.”

Projects are hands on and curriculum based

There is a map in the Lego room where students also can find the geographic location of the actual structures.

Although the programs are STEM-based, Pelchar said an art component is also included in some projects.

On Friday, kids were asked to make mosaics from Legos.

“They’re able to be creative, and you can see the kids are enjoying it,” Pelchar said. “It’s often that we get repeat families coming back each summer and for other camps so we’re glad they’re having fun, but a way to learn at the same time.”

Britney Milazzo: 814-231-4648, @M11azzo

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