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Wea Ridge afterschool program builds creativity
Sue Scott

Step into the Wea Ridge Elementary School Media Center after school and you can feel the energy and excitement of young engineers at work. About 40 fourth and fifth graders are working in teams during the weekly meeting of the Engineering with Legos Club.

Teacher Michelle Mengler received a Lafayette Breakfast Optimist Club grant to start the afterschool program to encourage students to think creatively at a higher level. 

“Engineering and designing new ideas is a skill that our kids will continually need as they move into a future full of technological advances,” says Mengler. “Also, I am glad to be able to offer an extracurricular activity for students who aren't interested in sports, while not adding any extra screen time to their lives.”

This week’s challenge was to create a board game. “You spin this to get a turn to move,” says fifth grader Easton Francis. His team added trees, a bridge, wall and other obstacles along the maze of bricks. “But don’t land this spot or you will die. That’s lava. You only get three lives.”

Other challenges include building a bridge, something with a trap door or a zoo exhibit. 

“So far my favorite challenge has been creating the board game because it was a group project and when everyone is working as a group it feels like you can get more done,” says fifth grader Brayden Wallace. "What I enjoy most about the club is that you can collaborate with your friends and talk to them and have fun with them.” 

Teacher Michelle Mengler with students
Lego club members working on board game
WRE students building with Legos