Why LEGO Beat Algebra—and 10 More LEGO Fun Facts
Blogger Isaac M. Morehouse, founder of Praxis, an educational program that teaches entrepreneurship and career experience, recently concluded that “playing with Legos is more valuable than learning algebra.”
Although he cautioned readers to not necessarily take those words literally, he writes: “The point is that kids doing and learning things of their own choosing in their own way on their own time is more valuable than making them do stuff. Most kids will prefer Legos to math. Let them play Legos. Some may prefer math to Legos. Let them do math.”
Morehouse, who was homeschooled, draws from personal experience with his own “LegoLand.” He notes that LEGO projects helped him build confidence, learn to solve problems, and appreciate his own creations.
In his blog, Morehouse apologizes for referring to the colorful, plastic blocks as “Legos.” That’s because the plural of LEGO is actually “LEGO,” without the “s,” according to the LEGO Group. Read on to learn more LEGO facts:
10 Fun Facts About LEGO:
1. Play Well
The LEGO name derives from the first two letters of the Danish words “leg godt,” meaning “play well.”
2. Take Ownership
On average, each person on Earth owns 86 LEGO bricks.
3. Why the Blank Face?
The first LEGO minifigure was produced in 1978. Since then, more than four billion have been made—producing the world’s largest population group.
4. To Infinity, and Beyond!
It was recently calculated that, laid end to end, the number of LEGO bricks sold would stretch round the world more than 18 times. More than 400 billion have been produced since 1949, but it would take just 40 billion LEGO bricks, stacked atop each other, to connect Earth to the moon.
5. Trust the Math
Computers have determined that utilizing six eight-stud LEGO bricks (2 x 4) offers more than nine million (915,103,765) possible configurations. Two eight-stud bricks provide 24 combinations. Adding a third brick increases the possibilities to 1,060.
6. So Many Colors
LEGO bricks are available in 53 different colors.
7. It Began with a Duck
Ole Kirk Christiansen founded the LEGO Group in 1932 in Bilund, Denmark. Christiansen was a carpenter who used leftover wood to carve small wooden ducks as children’s toys.
8. If It Ain’t Broke …
The standard 2 x 4 LEGO brick was patented in 1958, and a 1958 brick will interlock with currently produced bricks. Of course, LEGO Duplo bricks are eight times the size of the originals.
9. Brick House
In 2009, using 3.3 million bricks, James May of Surrey, Great Britain, constructed the world’s first full-size LEGO house, complete with working toilet, shower and bed. LEGOLAND in Windsor and Berkshire had hoped to display the house at its theme park, but the creation was deemed too expensive to move.
10. Raise the Dots
In 2014, 12-year-old Shubham Banerjee of California used a $350 LEGO set to build a working prototype for a Braille printer. Similar Braille printers retail for around $2,000 online.
Featured Image – woodleywonderworks / CC by 2.0
Seth Livingstone is a veteran writer and editor who has spent much of his career in sports journalism covering multiple Olympic Games, Super Bowls, World Series, and Daytona 500s. He covered the Boston Red Sox throughout the 1980s and 1990s before joining USA Today and Baseball Weekly in 1999. He maintains his membership in the Baseball Writers Association of America and is a Hall of Fame voter. Seth holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Northeastern University and has also worked as a substitute teacher (all grades and subjects). He lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and has two grown children.