ROANOKE (WSLS 10) - Lego toys are a popular thing for kids but the toys are used for education too.
Emily and William Abbott are home school students learning about history a century old while also learning about STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). After a quick lesson they get to work building cars, conveyor belts and space shuttles.
"I enjoyed being with the kids and building Legos actually getting to learn things," says William, a 7th grader.
"The Legos here have a lot more stuff involved like the kits and the motors," says Emily, a 5th grader.
Inside each of the kits are about 150 different pieces but it is not your typical Lego set. Included are gears and axles that can build about 150 different things.
"This challenges the kids," says Amy Gibson, a former teacher who is now the lead instructor at Bricks 4 Kidz in Roanoke.
Gibson says she saw a lack of hands on activities during her time in the classroom. That is not the case now as preschoolers to middle school students come to these classes and Gibson goes to private and public schools to teach lessons.
"The kids will actually start to learn 'if I put a big gear here does it make it go smaller' and I'll start adjusting the builds that we give them. So I will give them a model, they'll complete it and then they'll say 'I want to see what happens if I do this'," says Gibson. "Being able to follow instructions and being able to get frustrated and not give up. That's huge. So often even as adults we will get frustrated about something and then just quit."
"I do know what I'm learning because it helps me learn that engineering can be fun and it can be even more fun when you do it with Legos," says Emily.