Through the Acorn app we’re able to support businesses that make our communities thrive. Everyday we learn more about our activity partners and their inspiring efforts to enrich the wellbeing of children and families. Today, we're featuring Pat Masters, Owner of Bricks 4 Kidz.
1. Please tell us a little about yourself and Bricks for Kidz
Name: Patrick Michael Masters
Speciality: Owner of Bricks4Kidz franchise in Albuquerque; New Mexico Teaching Credential
When the business was started: I started it in February, 2011 Albuquerque, NM
2. What motivated you to start teaching kids how to build with LEGO® Bricks?
After moving to Albuquerque from California I explored the idea of being self-employed. I already had my teaching credential from California and I applied and received my New Mexico teaching credential. An online broker showed me several business opportunities including a Bricks4Kidz franchise, that an older couple was selling. I thought 'why not combine my education experience with kids building motorized models'? So I bought the franchise.
3. Tell us about a favorite moment teaching
My first Albuquerque Public Schools class ever was held at S.Y. Jackson. I had an assistant and some volunteers from El Dorado High School. We had more than 20 kids meeting in the teacher's lounge of all places. Then an aide brought in a little kindergartner -- John Michael Vincent -- who was in tears. She said he was "special" and having a rough day, but his mom thought our class would be a good fit. John could build. He didn't want to take apart his model at the end of class so I let him take my sample model apart and I took his home to later disassemble. A special child, John Michael Vincent is one of my all-time favorites.
4. What are the long term effects of this type of class on development?
I don't have any quantifiable data, but I can tell you that the kids learn teamwork and problem solving skills. They must follow step-by-step plans. The kids learn engineering skills assembling the models using gears, axles, bushings, bricks, plates, motors, batteries and more. They also learn STEAM concepts from our daily teaching lessons, whether it be for the Space Orbiter, Earthquake, Gymnast, Velociraptor or one of several other models. It only makes sense that what they learn in our classes is applicable in further learning.
5. Do you have any new projects or exciting things we should know about?
We have our half-day summer camps at UNM Continuing Education during the following weeks: June 18-22, July 9-13, July 16-20 and July 30-August. We will be starting our fall after-school classes in August. A wonderful way for schools to utilize Title 1 funds is with Bricks4kidz.
6. How can we learn more?
Please go to www.bricks4kidz.com, then find New Mexico. You can enroll and check out our camps & classes.
Discover Bricks 4 Kidz and thousands of other classes, workshops and fun days out on Acorn today via this link. Available for iOS and Android. Plus, it's free, and always will be.