Applying Lego skills to learning engineering


Lego’s − not just for building premade sets or going wild with imagination, they also work for learning about engineering.

Josh Levy, 16, from Hewlett Neck is using Lego’s to teach 5 to 12-year olds the basics of engineering. He created the program, Engineering for Kids, which aims to introduce children to the basic principals of mechanical and aerospace engineering in a fun and engaging way.

“My passion for Lego’s started when I was around seven-years old, my parents bought me a really cool set and we sat at the dining room table building it together,” said Josh Levy. “As I started to put the pieces together, the feeling had created something and it really excited me, sparking a passion.”

This passion has turned into a career path, as Levy already knows he wants to go to college for engineering and pursue his dream of becoming a mechanical and aerospace engineer.

Levy’s first program will be running on April 18, at the Hewlett-Woodmere Public Library at 5:30 p.m. for kids in grades 2 to 5. This program will offer hands-on activities, interactive workshops and exciting projects, which include building Lego sets. The program is currently at full capacity and registration has closed.

“I wanted to provide a platform for kids to explore and understand the world of engineering while introducing them to the basics of mechanical and aerospace engineering in a fun and engaging way,” adds Levy.

Not only does Levy want to inspire the next generation of engineers, but encourage them to find their own passion and ignite the love for engineering.

Levy uses Lego’s because they allow him to explain the engineering process as they build, since most sets are built in steps it allows for easy pauses to explain what part of the build they are on. Also, they make the engagement of the activity more fun and gives them a sense of accomplishment when they finish.

“By using Lego’s pre-designed sets, we also use their established instructions and building techniques making it easier for our participant to construct their sets and grasp the engineering principals behind them,” Levy said.

Levy had to send a proposal to the Hewlett-Woodmere Public Library when he gave a presentation at an in-person meeting and explained how his program would work. He worked with Caroline Lynch during the approval process and event coordination.

“Josh reached out and asked to have a meeting with me about a potential program at the library, when we met, he explained how he was interested in engineering, specifically with airplanes, and how he wished there was a program on the subject he could have attended when he was younger,” said Lynch. “He wanted to be able to give kids the experience he wished he had.”

Along with support from the library, his mother, Suzanne Levy adds in how she always knew he would pursue a career in engineering.

“Ever since Josh was a little boy, you just knew he had this sense of being hand-eye coordinated and we used to buy him those baby Lego sets and he loved them, and it kept graduating to bigger and bigger,” said Levy.

What began as a passion is now being used as a teaching aide for young children. Levy hopes to expand this project into schools and other libraries. He gives thanks to his support system through this whole process.

“I’d like to thank my parents, Ms. Lynch and all those who supported and contributed to making this endeavor a reality,” Levy said. “And to all those people who allowed me to share my passion for Lego’s and engineering with children who may not have had the chance to explore these fields otherwise.”