Families enjoy Father’s Day activity at Montecito Country Mart
On a day dedicated to great father figures, some dads decided to join an activity for kids Sunday during a Lego-building event at the Montecito Country Mart.
Play-Well, a company that uses Legos to teach engineering to kids, hosted three hours of Lego building in the market’s courtyard.
The Nevius Family was among about 10 families who decided to join the fun. The family, who recently purchased a second home in Montecito, was enjoying their last day in town when they saw the sign for the event.
Oliver, 8, saw keywords like “Lego,” “building,” “cars” and “Father’s Day” and wanted to check it out.
“Me and my dad, we really like to build Legos,” he told the News-Press.
A tub of building blocks isn’t anything new for Oliver and his brothers Henry, 6, and Mac, 3. But they were still excited to build cars and race them down the sidewalk.
The kids started out with a bag of blocks to build a basic car. Then, they could dig through a bucket of “accessories” for the vehicle.
Each of the three Nevius boys built a different multi-colored vehicle. A small pull back on each creation sent the cars flying forward.
“It’s electric,” Henry said with wide eyes.
“It’s a great way to just sit there and play with them and watch their imagination, and you end up using your own imagination,” Play-Well instructor Chantal Hagan said.
In Play-Well classes, she helps children think about how the car’s construction impacts its speed.
Play-Well launched in 1997 with a mission to engage kids in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). Since the nineties, STEM education has grown, and schools have added art to the program and called it STEAM.
Santa Barbara schools, both private and public, have embraced this concept of STEAM.
Students at Cold Spring School in Montecito recently used coding knowledge to give commands to robots. Santa Barbara Unified School District took summer school to MOXI, The Wolf Museum of Exploration + Innovation.
Devon and Leslie Nevius had heard about MOXI from other parents and have the museum in mind for their next Montecito trip. Their sons attend a school with a large STEM program.
In a Pew Research Center survey, three-quarters of Americans responded that they enjoyed science class in grades K-12. Of those who liked the class, 70% said they enjoyed the hands-on aspect of science courses.
These chances to experiment and play may turn into the kids’ futures.
STEM occupations are expected to grow 8% between 2019 and 2029, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. By contrast, non-STEM occupations are estimated at 3.4% growth.
Regardless of whether the three Nevius sons grow to become engineers, they were excited to build Lego cars on Father’s Day — alongside their dad.
The boys didn’t remember what gift they had given Mr. Nevius (even if young children know what a golf rangefinder is). But the first thing Oliver said was how much fun he and his dad have playing with blocks.