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Plenty of space for imagination at Lego-Rama in CdA

Sun., Jan. 19, 2014

The sound of plastic Lego pieces rattling against each other filled the basement of the Coeur d’Alene Library on Saturday as dozens of kids turned out for the library’s ninth annual Lego-Rama.

Some brought their completed entries for the design contest, then settled onto a large blue tarp in the middle of the floor covered with Lego pieces to create some more.

The tables were filled with space stations, spaceships, space colonies and other works of the imagination in keeping with this year’s “Space: Building for the Future” theme. There were a few R2D2, storm trooper and Jedi knight figurines from the “Star Wars” movies thrown in the mix.

Teddy Winton, 8, created an alien base to launch spaceships. “This one is called a green fire bomb,” he said, pointing out the elements of the base that included a small control panel. It took him about four days to build, he said.

“I like building stuff,” he said. He’s particularly fond of using Legos. “You can make stuff that you might not be able to build with other stuff. You can just use your imagination and build anything, really.”

Each design had to be homemade and not from a kit. Parents were not allowed to help. The entries ranged from small designs only a few inches across to large, elaborate creations.

In years past the competition has drawn up to 100 entries, said library communications director David Townsend. “These are kids that enjoy building.”

Legos are making a comeback as schools and libraries increase their focus on math and science activities, Townsend said. The Coeur d’Alene Library even hosts a Lego club every Thursday at 4 p.m. to help get kids in the door. “Once you get them in the library, they’ll probably go home with a book,” he said.

TeraViks Robotics Club members from Coeur d’Alene High School judged the event and brought their Frisbee-shooting, climbing robot for a demonstration.

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