The Prince Albert Science Centre is building towards their opening event one brick at a time.
The science centre will host a Lego Brick Lab at their Gateway Mall location on Oct. 29-30. Board members, including board chair Jan Olesko, said it’s wonderful to have an exciting and educational event like the Brick Lab happening in Prince Albert. She’s hoping it will help enrich the community.
“We certainly hope people come out and support us and have some fun exploration in science,” Olesko said during a press conference Wednesday morning.
The new Science Centre is based on the STEAM idea (science, technology, engineering, art, mathematics). Olesko said bringing in Lego displays and builders is a great way to showcase all five of those areas.
“You can be creative. You can design things that are creative and functional. You can make robots. They can be animated. It’s just like a perfect storm,” she said. “It is just going to bring all of those main areas into our Brick Club.”
Vice chair Sandra Williams said they will welcome the Saskatchewan Lego Users Group, better known as the SLUGS, who are based out of Regina but have members in Saskatoon. The group will hold demonstrations and conduct build battles. Local builders will also bring their own displays, and take part in a few wacky races.
“We are really excited about having them (SLUG) here,” Williams said.
“We are also going to be having lots of fun and action with an event called Wacky Races and you have to see them to understand them.”
The organizing committee began talking about opening a Prince Albert Science Centre five years ago. They were about to host their first event when COVID-19 hit, forcing the cancellation. However, the group still stayed busy.
“We didn’t sit back and just let COVID go over us,” Williams explained. “We did all of the behind the scenes things. We did our bylaws and our constitution and we applied for charitable status and all of that goes on behind the scenes.
“Now we are realizing COVID is still here, but we are ready to push forward with events. We are not open on a daily basis. We are opening on an event basis.”
“We have accomplished so much with so many hands to help us,” Olesko added. “We will have a first-class place open.
“When this idea came up people just started calling us and telling us they wanted to be part of it,” she added. “We have quite a large 42 member advisory council. We are even looking at a possible in the future a junior advisory council.”
While Lego may be marketed towards kids, Olesko and Williams stressed that the Brick Lab event is open to everyone. They even joke that the event is meant for ages “zero to 99.”
“We want people my age to come out and participate,” Olesko said. “This is for everyone. Science is for everyone.”
The doors are open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Oct. 29, and noon to 5 p.m. on Oct. 30. The Prince Albert Science Centre is located in the Gateway Mall across from Foot Locker.
Science Centre treasurer Cindy Tenaschuk joined the board about a year and a half ago. She’s excited to see the centre finally host its first event after so much planning.
“It’s going to be amazing for Prince Albert and community and northern, eastern, western (Saskatchewan),” she said. “We are excited because Prince Albert doesn’t have something to this magnitude and I am just super pumped.”
The Lego Group, the company that creates and sells Lego, is not affiliated with the Brick Lab event. However, 2022 does mark Lego’s 90th birthday.
Science Centre director Marj Bodnarchuk said Lego is very popular, which makes it ideal for a first-time event.
“We think that there will just be overwhelming success because of all the wonderful things people think and feel about Lego,” she said.
In addition to the displays and demonstrations, a number of collector items will also be on sale. This includes Lego sets that have been retired from production.
“We are selling these collectors items now and throughout the event,” Bodnarchuk said. “We offer the opportunity, if anybody is a collector, to come on down, have a look at our sets and maybe take a few of them home.”