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Regent's PCE Hosts LEGO® Camp

By Brett Wilson | August 5, 2014

Jessica Filosa-Gatie.

With their long history in millions of homes and its recent blockbuster hit sweeping movie theaters, LEGO® bricks remain an important piece of playtime for children and adults alike. But for Regent University's Professional & Continuing Education (PCE) and Bricks 4 Kidz®, LEGO toys are also an important tool for advanced learning.

This summer PCE hosted the second year of LEGO camp for Hampton Roads students in grades K-8 with Bricks 4 Kidz. The organization supports STEM—science, technology, engineering and math—education by encouraging children to learn the basics of architecture and engineering while socializing with their peers.

During the weeklong camps, the junior campers (K-4th grade) learned about functioning space crafts along with orbit, the planets and space travel. The senior campers (5th-8th grade) learned the art of movie-making, learning to storyboard their ideas and creating short films by using stop-motion with their LEGO creations.

Grace Alegre, director of professional licensure programs for PCE, served as the LEGO camp coordinator and head camp counselor. Throughout the week, she realized the importance of lifelong learning while watching the faces of her campers light up with discovery. Channeling this passion at all age-levels, according to Alegre, is one of PCE's main missions.

"It's important to capture this in young people because it opens their minds to be in a constant state of learning," said Alegre. "They will grow encouraged to develop, create and innovate in a world that is rapidly evolving."

Alegre said when children are equipped with skills to be inventive, this brings hope to the future. Jennifer Akers, mother to 10-year-old Brody, witnessed this throughout her son's week at camp. Akers explained that she was thankful for her son's experience working with other children and learning important team-building skills.

"He loves LEGO bricks, and it's fun to see his creativity grow with others aside from what he does at home," said Akers.

Brody joined the Regent-based camp for the first time this summer, and hopes to one day become an engineer. Seeing the passion come alive on the faces of the children they were working with set the camp apart for many of those involved in the weeklong camp.

"The Regent staff went above and beyond every day to make sure the kids and teachers had what they needed to have a successful day at camp," said Jessica Filosa-Gatie, director of the Virginia Beach Bricks 4 Kidz.

But what really made this one of the "best camp experiences" she's ever had, was watching her camper's faces brighten with discovery.

"I loved seeing their faces light up when their models worked," said Filosa-Gatie. "It was fun watching their excitement and creativity grow; they just wanted to show whoever was around what they did."

Learn more about Regent University's Professional & Continuing Education.

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Mindy Hughes, Public Relations

Phone: 757.352.4095 Fax: 757.352.4888

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