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Automatic Binding Bricks

Let’s start out today’s blog with some stats. According to Forbes, Lego is the world’s largest toy maker, selling more toys than either Mattel and Hasbro. If all of the Lego bricks that have been produced since 1958 were shared evenly with the world’s population, each human living on earth would get 86 bricks. Soren Eilers, a professor of mathematics at the University of Copenhagen, designed an equation to determine how many different ways six, 2×4 bricks (the classic brick you most often think of when you think of Lego!) can be put together. His equation was run through a computer program and the result was 915,103,765 configurations. This is a pretty huge number, but remember that it’s only for six bricks! It would take the same program hundreds of YEARS to compute how many possible ways ten bricks could be fit together.

I learned all of these Lego facts (and a ton more) last night while watching the movie LEGO: A Brickumentary. As a self-proclaimed AFOL (Adult Fan Of Lego), I’ve been waiting anxiously for this documentary to come out and I wasn’t disappointed. It’s the perfect mix of Lego history, inspirational stories of Lego fans, and amazing fan-made MOCs (My Own Creation). The film showcased how Lego sets are being used as therapy tools for children on the autism spectrum and how a 45,979 pound Star Wars tie fighter was built out of Lego bricks. The movie did an excellent job of illustrating how Lego bricks and sets can be awesome toys, but also how they can be practical tools in the fields of science and architecture. One of the points made over and over again in the movie was that Lego unifies people of all ages, languages, and learning abilities. No one needs to be taught how to snap Lego bricks together, we almost instinctively know how they work. Anyone can make a Lego house – there’s no reading or translation necessary.

I enjoyed every second of the film and when it was done, I started to think about all of the ways in which Lego has played a part in my life at UDPL. Here’s just a short list of things I’ve come up with:

– UD Township’s Community Day last year was Lego themed!

– Miss Barbara and now Miss Jenn have both hosted incredibly popular Lego building clubs for elementary students!

– The Upper Dublin High School robotics team has hosted Lego Mindstorm sessions for elementary students to teach them how to use Lego robots!

– I’ve hosted Lego mosaic programs for teens and tweens  which allowed students to create works of art using Lego bricks!

– I showed The Lego Movie as a part of my Superhero Friday movie series this summer!

And none of this even includes the display of more than twenty Lego mini-figs in my office!

UDPL is planning for our Fall programs, and both Kids’ Lego Club and Lego Mindstorm programs are already on our calendar. As luck would have it, Miss Jenn is hosting one of her Lego clubs this afternoon! (You can click here for more information and times!) And although LEGO: A Brickumentary isn’t available on DVD or Blu-ray yet, I’ve already pre-ordered a copy so that we’ll have it on the shelf as soon as it comes out! (Until then, click here to learn more about the movie and to watch a trailer!)

lego blog

L-R: A 2×4 brick, the promotional poster for LEGO: A Brickumentary, and the Lego mural completed by teen volunteers for the 2014 UD Community Day