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McCarthy LEGO League Produces Stop Action Movies, Inspires Creativity

Seventy-plus McCarthy Elementary students participated in LEGO League this spring.

Framingham Patch file photo
Framingham Patch file photo
For four to six weeks this spring, McCarthy Elementary School held a LEGO League for students in first through fifth grades, said parent advisory Josh Mulready.

Held on early release Thursdays, the 70+ students participating were split into three age level groups - first grade, second & third grade and fourth & fifth grade.

The league was partially funded by the McCarthy PTO, but most of the funds came from registration fees. The fees were used to purchases supplies, including Lego sets, cameras, etc, said Mulready.

The students in the youngest level were introduced to different building techniques, including correct wall building, mosaics and building pyramids (that concept can be used to build Lego hot air balloons as well), said Mulready.
 
Though some of the children had built with LEGOs prior to this league it did allow them to learn the correct techniques for building structures.  The first grade group ran for four weeks at 45 minutes each this year.

The combined second and third grade group was given a different building challenge each week, said Mulready. The group met for a total of 5 weeks in 90 minute sessions.
 
For example, during the first week of the league, small groups of children worked on a bridge made entirely of LEGO pieces. The bridge had to be 20 inches long, could not have any support feet (so it had to be suspended between two boxes) and it had to hold a 15 or 20 pound weight set directly in the middle of the bridge.

In the second week of the league, the students were tasked with building a replica of the Barton Swing Aqueduct (aqueduct that swings open to allow large boats to pass under it), explained Mulready.

The oldest group, featuring fourth and fifth grade McCarthy Elementary students, worked on Stop Action Lego movies this year, said Mulready. This group met six times for 90 minutes each session.

This was our second year teaching stop action, said Mulready.
 
On the heals of the LEGO Movie it was well timed as the students were excited to make their own movies, he added.

Making a stop action movie is quite involved, more so than people think, so the five weeks that the children had to make the movies was not long enough to master the concept, said Mulready.

However, they did a great job and I have posted the movies to a youtube account for the public to view: https://www.youtube.com/user/IAMLEGODAD/featured 

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Editor's Note: One of the stop motion animated movies is attached to this Patch report. 

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