Classes consist of 14-24 students and between one-three instructors. Our Senior Mini-Master Builders classes are designed as drop-off classes.
Parents are expected to leave students at our classroom where they will attend class for 2 hours. Parents can then arrive to pick students back up after the class time has ended (or during the build portion of class if a student needs to leave early that day). We do not have sufficient space for parents to stay on-site during classes. Parents who wish to participate in class with their student should look into our Co-Op / Partnership classes.
What is the Mini Master Builders Seniors Orange Class? Mini Master Builders (Seniors) ORANGE is a six week long drop-off Lego Building class for kids ages 11-15 ys old. Each class is one hour and forty five minutes long.
Week 1 - Intro to the Language of Lego & The Classroom Rules Our instructor will introduce themselves to the students, explaining the classroom set up, rules, etc. Students MUST be available to attend WEEK 1 or they will be rescheduled to the next available class. During the first class, we'll build brick nametags with step-by-step instructions and then students will be able to write their names on them. We'll also work on a basic building project in which students spell their names out of Lego bricks, helping to learn many of the basic shapes of Lego and we'll take student photos (which will be sent to parents). We'll hold three mini-build contests and do some Lego trivia during the remainder of the first class.
Week 2 - Vehicle Builds - and Modifying them! Students will choose from a selection of sets, and will learn the best techniques for efficient set building - such as how to organize their Lego pieces before building, and how to make modifications to sets to change up elements about the build. We'll talk about some of the many ways builders can change and modify sets that they get on their own. We'll be building a model car this week, and students will get a chance to make modifications to their cars and then race them on a ramp in the classroom. At the end of class, we'll take take the models back apart, and talk about how to best organize and store your Lego if you're going to take apart sets you own! We'll be using cool elements this week to make our sets unique and interesting. We'll take photos of the student's builds and share them with parents! Our modified vehicles will hold a race, with the winning vehicle builder getting to take their vehicle HOME!
Week 3 - Lego in Motion! During week 3 - students will have a chance to play with some very cool interactive Ningago spinners and flyers. We'll take a look at different Lego pull-back motors and following instructions, all students will build a pull-back rubber band car. We'll have a contest for the car that travels the furthest, and that student will win a small Lego prize! Week 4 - CASTLE SEIGE! Students will select one of a half-dozen style of Targets, and they'll select parts and follow instructions to build the targets they select. Then, we'll build castles (following a simple technique for modular-building) and students will outfit their castle with TEN targets that they built. Finally, we'll play a Castle Seige game where students will be given Lego blasters and we'll face off in a tournament to see which student has the best aim AND the best defended castle - the winner of the tournament will win a Lego polybag!
Week 5 - Building Mini Scenes! Students will build Vignettes - Vignettes are small scenes built on 8x8 plates that connect together to create a complete scene, despite the small amount of space. First, students will be shown the basics of how to build the shape of the standard vignette-style box, and then students will be walked through how to plan and build a custom scene on their own. Students will select parts, choosing from fun Minifigs and Minifig accessories, Lego animals and other fun and unusual pieces, and each student will create one or more Vignettes - which will be shown at an upcoming Lego show! We'll share details about where the sets will be displayed as well as photos of the builds after class!
Week 6 - 3D mosaic tiles. Each students will design and build one or more mosaic tiles, to be part of our giant "Quilt" of designs. Each year, our patchwork quilt will be displayed at area Lego shows across the area, even in other states such as Philadelphia PA, Chicago Illinois and the Virginia. DC area! The huge patchwork quilt will be a ton of fun and students will be able to watch the patchwork quilt grow larger and larger - adding their custom and unique piece to the HUGE quilt of builds that is going to look INCREDIBLE when complete! On the final day of class, we will also play Lego Trivia - and students will have the opportunity to win prizes such as Lego polybags, small Lego sets, and Lego gift cards! What is included with the cost of registration for the Mini Master Builders Seniors Orange Class? Each student's registration covers the following: - Six weeks of 1 hour and 45 minute classes (Classes missed due to a planned absence (such as a family vacation) or illness may be made up within 3 months if there is another class of the same age/type available on a different date). - A brick-built name-tag which students can decorate with stickers or Lego pieces during class OR at home. Students will take home their name-tags on the final day of class. - A Mini Master Builders T-shirt (Shirt color will be based on the class students register for.) - A Lego Minifigure which students will choose on the final day of class. - The opportunity to win small prizes during several classes each session - such as Polybags, small lego sets, Lego keychains, Minifigures, or Lego Gift Cards (which can be used at the Lego store or Lego.com). Not every student will win a prize, but all students will have equal opportunities to win if they are present during classes when the events/activities are held. - A "free shipping" Lego order coupon and/or a free child's ticket to Legoland with the purchase of an adult ticket whenever available. - We are USUALLY offered a number of free tickets as well as DISCOUNT CODES for tickets to Philly Brickfest and/or other local Lego shows / Lego events. While we can not promise these, as it is up the discretion of the events staff, in the past, we have been able to provide both free tickets (for our students) and discount codes for their families, to attend shows at which we've displayed the student's work.
Who is the Mini Master Builders ORANGE Class appropriate for? Mini Master Builders SENIORS classes are appropriate for students ages 11-15 who have a basic knowledge and understanding of building with Lego. It is expected that prior to class, they will have constructed at least one Lego set with or without parent assistance so they have an understanding of how Lego instruction manuals work
Students should be able understand and follow the rules of a classroom, as well as instructions given in English (We do not currently have the ability to accept ESL students unless they have a working knowledge of English at or above the student's current grade level). Students should be able to read prior to starting class, however, there is not a great deal of reading or writing that will take place in class. We do not currently have an ASL interpreter available, but if you have a student who is deaf/hard of hearing, we ask that you speak with us prior to registration, so we can attempt to accommodate your student.
What kind of behavior is expected and how is it handled in the classroom?
It is expected that students will behave as they would in any other FUN activity classroom - while it is absolutely our goal to have fun in class, our #1 rule is student safety and peace of mind - which means that students must be able to keep their hands to themselves, and behave appropriately as to not disrupt or upset other students (for example - it's fine to talk and socialize during activities - but student's shouldn't be shouting over each other, pushing and shoving, etc). Some activities involve waiting to take your turn, and often more students need or want assistance than there are instructors - at which time they may have to wait patiently for a few moments.
We will go over the rules at the start of the session and will remind students as necessary during the course, especially and as our classroom activities and student expectations change. (For example - it's fine if students chat while they build, but it's expected that they will remain quiet during brief periods of instruction/explanation.) If students choose not follow the classroom rules, there will be consequences such as verbal warnings, a temporary time-out from the current activity where they will be reminded of appropriate behavior expectations. Behavior will be discussed with parents after class, or if a disruption occurs, parents may be notified if a behavior continues past the point of multiple reminders or if an infraction is more serious. If a student is actively disrupting class, or compromising the safety of other students (such as failing to keep him or her hands to themselves, using inappropriate language, refusing to participate or follow the class activities, a parent will be contacted and a discussion will be had about the student's future participation in class.).
Regarding Students with physical limitations, learning disabilities, mental health diagnosis or intellectual disabilities - please contact us to discuss your child's specific situation BEFORE registering for class. We will be able to more specifically answer your questions, and to discuss if your child will be able to benefit from, and actively enjoy all (or at least most) of the activities we have planned for that specific upcoming class, and we can discuss any necessary accommodations. We have STUDENT/PARENT participation classes that are a much better fit for many students who need extra guidance / attention / assistance and supervision.
While we have had many students on the Autism spectrum and with conditions such as dyslexia or ADHD - our ability to serve these students varies greatly on the student's individual needs. For students who are currently unmedicated during summer breaks or weekends - we do ask that you continue their ADHD medication during our classes as we've found that all students are much happier and able to fully participate when they, and others, are not frustrated by impulsive or disruptive behavior. While we respect a parent's right to choose - it has been the experience of parents in previous classes that their children have done much better and found more enjoyment in our class when they remained on the same course of treatment that they would be taking during the school year - so if your child is taking a summer or weekend session when they would normally not take their medication - it is recommended that you adjust their schedule to accommodate for our classes - Lego building can require focus and concentration and as a fellow sufferer of ADHD myself (the lead instructor / curriculum developer) - I can attest that it's MUCH easier to build when you're able to concentrate more fully!
Can a student take Mini Master Builders ORANGE more than once?
This 6-week class will always have the same curriculum. While it may change in minor ways (such as the specific sets being worked on) changing - the curriculum and structure, as well as the planned activities will remain the same. While students are WELCOME to take any class of this type again - it should be noted that many activities will be the same each time. Students can of course, build on their previous progress, but if you wish for your student to have a DIFFERENT class experience entirely - we suggest you select a DIFFERENT COLOR course in their age range, as each color class has a different curriculum. Students may register for as many classes as you'd like, but they may only ATTEND one class at a time (for example, a student couldn't simultaneously take the Orange class on Tuesdays and the Purple class on Thursdays, during the same month).
We welcome and encourage students to attend multiple different classes back-to-back OR spread throughout the year!
At the end of the course, Senior Builders get a certificate recognizing the completion of class!