In a time when travel is next to impossible, the Saskatchewan Science Centre has brought the world to Regina – through LEGO models of famous towers.
The Towers of Tomorrow exhibit, opening at the Science Centre on April 2, features 20 towers from all over the world, like Toronto’s CN Tower and New York’s Empire State Building. The exhibit includes towers built by Ryan McNaught, one of 14 certified LEGO designer professionals in the world. The exhibit also includes 200,000 LEGO bricks for viewers to build their own tower; that’s about 1/3 the amount needed to build some of the towers. For others, it’s even more.
Ryan Holota, vice-president of operations, said the centre is very excited about the exhibit.
“I think that LEGO is one of the most versatile tools for teaching STEM,” Holota said. “Because it has creativity sort of built into it, as well, people get to build, and you can let your imagination run wild.
“You get an amazing sense of how technology has progressed. For example, you can see the Petronus Towers, which were built not that long ago, actually, and then beside it is the Burj Khalifa and it just dwarfs those towers, and they were built not really that far apart.”
STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
Adam Dodge is one of the founders of Saskatchewan Lego Users Group (SLUG), an adult LEGO enthusiast group. SLUG was started in 2009 with four members and has since grown to over 50 province-wide.
The group was contacted by the Science Centre to be included in the Towers of Tomorrow exhibit.
“We have planned monthly themes for our members to build in while the show is running which will be displayed at the show,” Dodge said.
“As the show is focused around architecture, most of our themes are based in buildings: Saskatchewan landmarks, world architecture, et cetera. These will remain on display for certain weekends or throughout the month.”
Holota said the Science Centre has worked with SLUG many times in the past for the Ignite! Festival, an annual event that encourages imaginative innovation and inventions and includes many LEGO builds done by SLUG.
“They are Saskatchewan’s LEGO experts,” Holota said. “They’re great at doing not only very impressive builds, but also at taking LEGO specific information and sharing it with kids. I’m really excited for that partnership, and I think it’s going to be really engaging.”
Dodge said himself as well as the members of SLUG were very happy to be included in the project. SLUG usually hosts shows for their builds, but because of the pandemic they were cancelled. Towers of Tomorrow offered them a space to show their work again.
“Knowing that this show has already traveled the world, being able to connect with these Master Builder builds is quite an honour,” Dodge said.
“It’s rare to be around LEGO builds at such a large scale. Even though they are made from the same pieces I have at home, being able to see the techniques and element combinations that the professionals use is always helpful for our own creations.”
Towers of Tomorrow is scheduled to run from April until September.