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New Orion business seeks to excite kids with LEGOs



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July 09, 2014 - By Katie Winkler

Review Staff Writer

With more than 100,000 LEGO pieces to use to create mini-figures, build cars to release down a racetrack, and create other exciting times, children can have a fun and educational experience inside Brick-It-Up.

This unique business is a LEGO playground for parents to bring their children to and allow them to participate in open-access play, birthday parties, classes, camps and field trips.

After looking all around the Orion area for the perfect location, owners Gary Bruce and Ben Taylor chose to be across the street from Friendship Park at 948 S. Baldwin Rd. Brick-It-Up is more than 2,200 square feet with a large room where all of the LEGO action happens and a party room.

"This is a place to play, to build and create and meet other kids. There is nothing else like it around here and it is a great idea," Ann Jones said, who brought her god-daughter and nephew from out-of-town to Brick-It-Up.

Brick-It-Up allows students to use concepts from mathematics, physics, engineering and science to build different LEGO objects.

One interesting aspect is car building and racing the cars to discover what material is needed to make the car go faster.

"If you learn how to build a car, you will have to put it down the racetrack and test it. They will figure it out if the car needs to be heavier or lighter," Bruce said. "There needs to be the plastic wheels instead of the rubber wheels because there is less friction."

Once kids start to discover how these concepts become important in building their LEGO objects, they can be programmed using MindStorm, WeDo, LabView programs on the computer.

"I've always been very interested in engineering," Oxford high school student and Brick-It-Up employee Kristen Ewald said.

"Studies have shown that 60 percent of fourth grade girls like math and science but only 18 percent pursue engineering in college. We are trying to close this gap, not only with girls, but getting young kids to pursue STEM careers."

Brick-It-Up has been open since June 21 and they will hold a ribbon cutting on July 18 at 5 p.m. the public is welcome to the grand opening.

Follow the remainder of the summer, camps will be offered 9 a.m. to noon during specific weeks. The cost is $125 and includes sections about introduction to engineering, superheroes, mad scientists, car designing, comic books and story designers.

Dates, pricing and other details can be found on their website: www.brickitup.net.

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