Tagata Pasifika

The Pacific voice on
New Zealand television
since 1987

Tagata Pasifika

The Pacific voice on
New Zealand television
since 1987

Lego-based learning enhances creativity and collaboration for young Pasifika

Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air

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Kendall Vano | Reporter

In an innovative approach to education, students at Mountain View Primary School in Mangere Auckland are diving into the world of creativity and teamwork through the “Brick Pit” program. 

The initiative, now in its fifth year, introduces students to the power of Lego as an educational tool, promoting cooperation and innovation in the learning process.

The brainchild of Clare Thompson, a dedicated teacher, and creator of The Brickpit NZ, the program aims to level the playing field by providing access to Lego for schools, especially those without the financial means. 

Photo: Tagata Pasifika.

“Lego isn’t available to everyone in schools. It’s way too expensive, so most schools will not have Lego, especially out in South Auckland,” Thompson says. 

“And this is a way that they can have the same tools as some of our more affluent schools in Auckland.”

According to Thompson, children possess inherent creativity and problem-solving cultural skills that often go unrecognised. 

“Kids are smart. They are all about being creative. They are inherently able to do this without instructions,” she says.

“The Brick Pit allows students to engage in unstructured, freeform building, fostering critical thinking and imaginative expression.”

Thompson also draws upon the Polynesian tradition of collaboration, which she terms “being together.” This approach encourages children to collaborate and solve challenges collectively, mirroring the spirit of teamwork inherent in Pacific Islands culture.

The BrickPit program has incorporated weaving into their Lego element. Photo: Tagata Pasifika.

This year, The Brick Pit introduced a weaving element to its workshops, further enhancing the concept of togetherness. Thompson proudly showcased intricate Lego weavings, demonstrating the artistic possibilities that arise when creativity and collaboration intersect.

“One of the things I’m most proud of this year is incorporating a weaving Lego element. And a model. I showed some friends, they didn’t believe it was Lego.”

The success of the program has been remarkable, with schools yearning for its return annually. The Brick Pit has enabled children to experience Lego-based learning, even when economic constraints might limit their exposure outside the classroom.

As educational methods evolve, initiatives like The Brick Pit highlight the importance of hands-on, cooperative learning experiences that transcend financial barriers.  

Clare enthuses, “If you can get the Brick Pitt to come in and be in schools and let the kids use it. If you want our kids to get better, this is the way you do it.”



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