Offering Biblical Building Blocks One Lego At A Time!
Retired educator and 6’9” man of God Kurt Springer is doing big things with some tiny Lego pieces. He is the man behind the website LegoPartyIndy.com. Kurt Springer is taking his concept of a party to the youth of Indianapolis, Indiana by offering Lego parties to children between the ages of 8 to 14, and he is available for birthday parties, schools, day care centers, and church groups!
Tell me how you integrate Lego kits into church groups?
I mix the church sessions with devotions. It’s often about a two hour session, about an hour into our projects we stop and I speak of Bible passages that specifically deal with building, and I work that into the lesson. I focus on the things God wants us to build, such as the ark, and the building of the temple. We discuss how sometimes we build things that are not pleasing to God — like the Tower of Babel. I can even get them to relate to the building of relationships.
How did you ever get involved with Legos?
About 10 years ago while teaching an alternative program, I was at a science convention where they had motorized Lego kits put out by Lego Education, an organization that teaches simple machines. At the time I was teaching middle school, and simple machines were part of the curriculum. I don’t attempt the large and complex structures; I enjoy and focus on the electro-mechanical kits. I applied for and received a grant to purchase some of the Lego kits, and it all started from there.
I prefer to have the groups not exceed more than 12, but I have had as many as 25 at a time. The kits are big enough where two or three kids can work with a single kit. In fact, many of the new kits are designed for cooperative learning. The kids can work together individually building sections, and then bring them together for a finished project.
The kits we received come complete with a curriculum for every kind of simple machine, like bridges, cranes, and merry-go-rounds. The kits demonstrate all the parts representing a simple machine.
I discovered that when I have the kids begin with the kit construction and follow it up with the curriculum, the kids seem to grasp the concept more effectively. [This works better than] introducing everything first and then asking them to begin construction. Working in this fashion with the Lego kits completely changes the way I teach.
What is your target age group?
I seek out children within the 8 to 14 age group. Younger than 8-years-old doesn’t work very well. Boys seem to be more interested in the program than girls, but one of the best [kids] I’ve ever had was a young girl. She was exceptional at figuring out the gear ratios on the cars to increase their speed.
I quickly began to integrate the use of Lego kits into summer enrichment programs with the same age group. The kits offer motors. So it was during the summer enrichment programs that we began to build and race them.
How many Legos pieces do you own?
About 15,000 to 20,000 pieces.
When did you decide to launch a website?
In November of 2013! In 2012 I was holding a session at my church when one of the moms recommended that I offer the sessions to other groups and expand beyond the church.
I recently received a request to hold a session at the Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital. I wanted to allow many of the sick children an opportunity to experience the fun of Legos and these kits. I’m now retired and this is my opportunity to give back to the community. I’m very excited with my involvement with the Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital and all the opportunities God continues to provide.