A hands-on lesson in renewable energy gave 200 Lincoln Middle School sixth graders a chance to build windmills with LEGOs to learn more about harnessing wind power.
The project, sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Greater El Paso, featured 70,000 LEGOs and architectural guidance by New Jersey-based Building Blocks Workshop. It was one of their three LEGO events in the city this week.
“The Jewish Federation of Greater El Paso wants to bring great programs and projects to share with the community,” Federation president Janet Wechter said. “This program was about wind power and what it does in state of Texas. It taught kids about wind power as a reliable, sustainable source of energy.”
The Lincoln students gathered at the Franklin Magnet gym to construct dozens of windmills then placed them on the map of Texas to show a representation of the state’s vast production of wind power.
“I think it was really cool how they taught us how to build stuff and how builds energy,” said sixth grader Gabriel Carrasco. “It gets your creativeness going and makes you think about the design.”
His fellow sixth grader Zakeria Davis hoped to impress the organizers of the event.
“It’s super exciting because we’re the first school in El Paso to have this,” she said. “We have to make a good impression so they come back next year.”
Lincoln was the second stop on Building Blocks visit to El Paso. On Sunday, the organization and volunteers constructed the world’s largest LEGO menorah that stood 13 feet tall once complete. The next stop in El Paso will be Vino Nuevo, an Eastside church, where they will build the City of Jerusalem with LEGOS Tuesday.
The Jewish Federation of El Paso sponsored the Building Blocks Workshop trip to El Paso, however, the overall project united volunteers and participants from different faiths to work together to build the LEGO structures over the three-day LEGO marathon.
“I had seen the program in New York and wanted them to bring it to El Paso,” said Robert French, Jewish Federation of Greater El Paso executive director. “Hopefully, the students learned something about wind energy but programs like this also allow us to share about each other. It is about turning around the hatred going on in the world and teaching tolerance and understanding.”