Approximately 25 children gathered Saturday morning into the Wapakoneta Elementary School cafeteria to construct with Legos any type of structure they wanted.
Appropriately, the overall winning entry was a bridge designed by Jacob Schreiner as the competition is designed to introduce and build a bridge between children and the construction industry. The competition was organized by members of the Lima Ohio Area Chapter 374 of the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC).
â€śBasically, the main purpose of todayâ€™s event is to expose the kids to the construction industry and careers in construction,â€ť Lima NAWIC member Kim Neeley told the Wapakoneta Daily News. â€śBasically we provided them with Legos, a rock, string, foil and poster board and they could basically build anything they could come up with.â€ť
Each child, from the first through fifth grade, was provided with 100 Lego blocks, and given 40 minutes to build their structure or creation.
â€śThey are judged on creativity, how much thought they put into it and planning,â€ť Neeley said. â€śThey (judges) ask them five or six questions and a lot of the points are based on how well they answer the questions because the questions are geared to learn about their thought process â€” whether they throw something together or did they put a lot of thought into it.â€ť
She noted one fifth-grader worked on building a nuclear reactor while another participant built an ancient ruin.
â€śWe really hope they gain some insight into the construction industry because we are all from the construction field,â€ť Neeley said. â€śWe hope maybe we spark an interest for them in the construction field.â€ť
Jacob, a Wapakoneta Elementary School first-grade student, constructed a bridge with a rock in the water and the aluminum foil serving as rushing water under the bridge.
â€śI built a bridge because I wanted to and I thought I would win,â€ť Jacob said. â€śI did not think I would win but I thought I would do pretty good, but I did win.
â€śI am really, really, really happy.â€ť
Talking fast and shifting his weight quickly from foot to foot, he said he built a bridge because he â€śreally, really, really likes bridges.â€ť
Jacob and his brother, Maddux, competed in Saturdayâ€™s event.
For Jacob, the interview portion was easy since he loves to play with Legos at home and he loves to build with the small blocks.
â€śI want to be a builder when I grow up,â€ť the son of Heather and Bill Schreiner told the Wapakoneta Daily News.
His creativity and love for Legos does not surprise his mother.
â€śHe really amazes me,â€ť Heather Schreiner said. â€śHe puts these big sets together without any of our help at home.â€ť
Travis Nanchoff, a second-grader at Perry Schools, sat intently on a schematic drawing provided by Garmann-Miller & Associates for each participant to sit on.
â€śI liked coming today because my grandmother and my mom could be here,â€ť said Travis, the son of Jeanette and Donnie Nanchoff. â€śI also really like to play with Legos. I like Legos because they have these little dots on them to make them stick together and that makes it easy to build towers and houses.â€ť
On Saturday, Travis, who has been building with Legos since he was 5, built a house with a rock inside with healing powers.
Caleb Schellenberg sat quietly as two judges, Jacob and Josh Skinner, asked him questions. He built a tower for the competition.
â€śI like that I could do this competition,â€ť the son of Christy and Chris Schellenberg said. â€śI built a tower. I came today to try and win and now I really like playing with them (legos).â€ť
Caleb is a second-grader at Wapakoneta Elementary School.
Winners of each school year bracket received Toys Râ€™ Us gift cards from the sponsors, while the overall winner, Jacob Schreiner, received a $100 U.S. savings bond from CHARLES Construction Services and a Kâ€™nex building set provided by the Basement Doctor.
For Ashlye Ruppert, the daughter of Mary and Brad Ruppert, she took her inspiration from an object in the room.
â€śYou can pretty much build anything you want,â€ť Ashlye, a third-grader at Wapakoneta, said. â€śI saw the flag on the stage and I knew we just celebrated Veterans Day so I decided to build a flag.â€ť
Ethan Rodabaugh, a fifth-grader from Bluffton, built a small cottage.
â€śOne of the reasons I built a cottage is I know how to build a house easily and I really like building houses,â€ť the son of Linda and Steve Rodabaugh said.
For him and the others, attending Saturday came down to one reason.
â€śI came today (Saturday) because I really thought it would be a fun time,â€ť Ethan said, â€śand it was.â€ť