Thanks to a NAPS contribution, on August 18 students from the Northumberland Elementary and Middle schools’ Talented and Gifted program visited the exhibit “Nature Connects” at the Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens in Richmond.
Nature Connects is a traveling exhibit of 27 sculptures constructed from half-million LEGO pieces. The exhibit includes a seven-foot-long life-size bison, a 60 pound bumblebee, and a swallowtail butterfly built from 37,481 LEGO bricks.
New York artist Sean Kenney created the exhibit. Each sculpture has an internal structure of steel rods and plates that provides balance and support. The bricks are glued together to create the finished sculpture. The exhibit hopes to educate students on how all of nature is interconnected.
As the students viewed the sculptures they had a scavenger hunt guide and used STEAM skills (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) to link connections to their own after-school programs in Northumberland on LEGO Robotics. NAPS funded this trip and has worked with students on robotics skills for years, having received a grant to purchase LEGO kits for both the Elementary and Middle Schools. The exhibit at the Ginter Botanical Gardens is open until September 18.
Northumberland School students at the LEGO exhibit included: (Back row, left to right) Hannah Jett, Abby Jennings, Trey Vanlandingham, Channing Reynolds, Hallie Shackleford, not pictured Sophia Sapanara, Teagan Mullins, Grant Biddlecomb, Jay Bea. (Second row, left to right) Joline Haynie, Brayden Newsome, J.P. Withers, Joseph Scripture, Nash Withers, Will Biddlecomb, Brady Mullins, Camdin Sisk. (Front row, left to right) Emma Brown, Abi Contreras, Cooper Haynie, Luke Sisk, Ava Wilson, Olivia Newsome, and Tucker Webb, not pictured Darrah Downing.