Young builders and designers will gather today at the Coeur d’Alene Library to compete in the fourth annual LEGO-Rama.
LEGO-Rama, sponsored by the Friends of the Coeur d’Alene Library, encourages boys and girls to use their imaginations to come up with original designs using the building toys.
The toys, originally designed in the 1940s in Europe, have achieved international appeal and have inspired children of all ages to be creative with their play, giving them the means to conceive and construct all types of models.
According to the manufacturer, LEGO pieces of all varieties are part of a universal system. “Despite variation in the design and purpose of individual pieces over the years, each remains compatible in some way with existing pieces. LEGO bricks from 1963 still interlock with those made in 2009, and LEGO sets for young children are compatible with those made for teenagers,” according to one source.
A LEGO company file document states that bricks, beams, axles, minifigures, and all other parts in the LEGO system are manufactured to an exacting degree of precision. When snapped together, the pieces must have just the right amount of strength and flexibility mixed together. They must stay together until pulled apart. They cannot be too easy to pull apart, or the resulting constructions would be unstable; they also cannot be too difficult to pull apart, since the disassembly of one creation in order to build another is part of the LEGO appeal.
Participants at today’s LEGO-Rama will be judged in age categories of 4- to 6, 7-10 and 11-13. Entries must be original designs created by the participant rather than assembled kits created by LEGO. There also will be an exhibition category for anyone age 14 and older to display original designs.
Another highlight of LEGO-Rama is the building contests where participants will reach into the Bucket-O-LEGOs with one hand bringing out as many parts as they can hold. Using only those parts participants will have two minutes to design and build a LEGO project. Winners will be determined by the LEGO leader and other judges.
“This is one of my favorite programs of the year,” said organizer and library communications coordinator David Townsend. “It’s exciting to see what the kids design and fun to watch the audience watch the kids create..
The guest speaker for the event will be Coeur d’Alene woodworking hobbyist Ray Gotz. Gotz has had many of his intricate wooden items on display at the library. He won the Grand Champion Award and several blue ribbons at the Kootenai County Fair for his woodworking projects, including a replica of an escapement pendulum recoil showing how energy transfers to the pendulum in a grandfather clock. Gotz said he looks forward to addressing the LEGO Rama participants and especially wants to encourage kids to persevere in their desire to create and build, to use their imagination every day.