AUSTIN, Texas — The eighth annual Brick Fiesta brought together LEGO lovers in Austin on Saturday.
One of this year’s key highlights is a LEGO replica of the Texas State Capitol, being crafted by Ben Rollman.
“It does take time. It does take a lot of sleepless nights and perseverance and a little bit of frightening moments where you think it's going to collapse in on it, but it can be done,” Rollman said.
He’s spent two months so far putting it together. Later this year, once completed, it will go on display at the Texas Capitol Visitors Museum for up to the next 10 years.
“It'll be kind of a nice reminder for kids visiting Austin that this can be done with LEGO. This is an exciting thing that they can get into,” Rollman said.
The original design called for 65,000 pieces, but Rollman said he’s lost track. He used a computer program to design it. The program said the final design will weigh 144 pounds.
“I think the excitement now is seeing kids come around the corner here and their eyes just get huge and they just point and they don't even really have any words. If they live in Austin and they've seen this building at this scale, I feel like it's almost it doesn't even register as LEGO anymore,” Rollman said.
He was one of dozens of builders at Brick Fiesta. Every year, the LEGO convention meets in a major Texas city to celebrate LEGO and promote continued learning.
“Anything can be built from simple tools if you have creativity and imagination and if you're willing to really stick with something and explore it and keep working and keep solving problems. And the better you get at doing that, the more impressive what you can achieve is,” said Claire Nordlow, co-chair of Brick Fiesta.
She said LEGO helps children with STEM-related learning because of the counting and sorting that goes with building.
“When they do get older and they get into their math and fractions homework, they can really quickly relate it to something they've already been doing, just naturally through LEGO,” Nordlow said.
Rollman is happy to be inspiring the younger generation while also keeping older generations young.
“Never give up on being young and you can – this is technically play for us, so it's a lot of fun but it's also very challenging, and I hope that the legacy is – you can continue to be young at heart and still do impressive things like this when you get older,” Rollman said.
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