From Bricks to Bridges: Georgia Department of Transportation teams up with LEGOLAND Discovery Center Atlanta for educational I-85 community project
Atlanta’s leading family attraction to host large-scale LEGO® bridge build and themed activities to teach families about infrastructure
Thursday, April 27, 2017 —
Announced today, Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) will team up with the LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Atlanta to help inspire the minds of young engineers-to-be and shed a positive, creative light on the high-profile reconstruction of Interstate 85 (I-85). In collaboration with GDOT’s Chief Engineer, Meg Pirkle, and her team at GDOT, LEGOLAND Discovery Center Atlanta’s Master Model Builder, Rod Farris, will lead daily educational, building-themed classes in the Model Builder Academy for families to learn more about building techniques and how roads and bridges are critically important pieces of our infrastructure. Visitors will also be invited to contribute in real-time to a large-scale community build of the bridge, due to stand three feet tall, extend four feet long and feature 20,000 LEGO bricks!
The program will culminate in the unveiling of the final creation – built brick-by-brick by the children of Atlanta – to coincide with the reopening of the I-85 bridge, slated for this spring.
“The entire community is very interested in and focused on the I-85 bridge reconstruction,” said Scott Higley, director of strategic communications for the Georgia Department of Transportation. “LEGO bricks are an interactive resource that captivate the attention of children and adults alike, and our hope is that by partnering with LEGOLAND Discovery Center Atlanta, we’ll be able to teach families about this building process in a way that’s fun and easy to understand.”
As part of the “From Bricks to Bridges” program, LEGOLAND Discovery Center Atlanta will host daily “Bridge & Test” workshops in the Model Builder Academy starting on Friday, April 28 from 10 a.m. - 7 p.m. Young builders in training will be challenged to create mini-bridge models, test their work with weighted LEGO cars and rebuild their designs as necessary. Following the build challenge, Master Model Builder Rod Farris (a.k.a. Professor Rod) will lead a discussion on which building techniques were most successful. Classes will last around 30 minutes and are free with the price of admission.
For the duration of the I-85 reconstruction project, guests can contribute to the large-scale LEGO bridge outside of the Model Builder Academy – brick by brick!
“We’re always looking for fun and innovative ways to teach kids how to apply building with LEGO brick to real life careers, so this collaborative partnership with GDOT was a natural fit!” said Whitney Kemmerick, marketing manager at LEGOLAND Discovery Center Atlanta. “Children are naturally inquisitive and have become fascinated with the bridge reconstruction, so we’re taking this opportunity to educate visiting families about building processes and fundamentals in a fun way. We cannot wait to see the results of our community-built LEGO bridge!”
For more information, please visit legolanddiscoverycenter.com/atlanta or dot.ga.gov.
About Georgia Department of Transportation
The Georgia Department of Transportation is committed to providing a safe, seamless and sustainable transportation system that supports Georgia’s economy and is sensitive to both its citizens and its environment. For more information on Georgia DOT, please visit www.dot.ga.gov. You also may follow us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/GeorgiaDOT) and Twitter (http://twitter.com/GDOTEastTraffic).