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Lego in Lockdown S3 - Episode 7
Episode 710th December 2020 • Social Lights • Kate vanderVoort
00:00:00 00:20:49

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In this episode of the Social Lights Podcast, podcast host and Social Mediology founder Kate vanderVoort chats with Ben Teoh & Emma Carbone, founders of Bricks N Bytes. Bricks N Bytes was created in response to COVID restrictions to continue providing kids and parents a way to discover more about Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM), how to be creative with Lego and, find fun educational apps.

About Ben Teoh and Emma Carbone

Ben and Emma are from the City of Marion Libraries in South Australia. After being forced to close all the libraries because of COVID, they started thinking “what can we offer to families” as many kids will be at home and parents will need a little bit of support. After some research exploring what parents needed, what are the challenges they were facing with home schooling, they found the best approach was to create Bricks & Bytes. Established to build community groups where the kids can learn to create things with Legos and offering resources to parents on STEM related educational programs for their children. They also provide opportunity for hosts and business previously associated with the libraries to engage and support their audience. Both Ben and Emma love to work in a place where they can give back to people and provide something that often encourages and supports them.

BIG IDEA 1

“We are all about the community, about supporting them and providing them with all the services that we have.” (6:40) 

Ben and Emma notice that in many homes, families will have and use iPads and many other electronic smart devices, they came the conclusion that they needed to create something fresh that allowed them to engage with both kids and parents. Their STEM show has had positive feedback from the audience and only continues to grow.

At the beginning they started just on Facebook, but within couple of months they have expanded onto YouTube and now also Instagram. The focal point of Bricks & Bytes is their live shows, where they build Legos and explore educational topics to connect with their audience. Their emphasis has always been to support and provide for community by any medium possible.

Ben and Emma talk about how they try to bring a special guest on to the show from time to time, this is often someone from the science community. In the past they have had guests that have explored topics such as insects, rocket science, marine biology, and drones. All with the purpose of providing kids with an avenue to be creative and learn about the many different topics that can be explored within the STEM community.

One of their key programs is the App of the week. This initiative was created specifically with parents in mind. It was to give parents a resource to discover new fun educational games that can be played with their kids. 

BIG IDEA 2

“It’s fun to get that engagement with people.” (12:32)

They mention that it has been a very interesting journey, where they have learnt a lot about technology and social media, and how they can use these platforms to engage with people. What really surprised them and gave them encouragement and motivation was all the support and the positive impact that they are having with their audience. They made a point mentioning that they don’t like to pre-record what they are going to say, as they believe this is the best way for them to be completely genuine and the kids love when they make mistakes building Lego. In this whole process they have made many good relationships with external people and parents are very happy to see that their kids are having fun and learning.

Ben and Emma so far have used Facebook as their preferred social media platform. They have created groups where people of all ages can chat and post videos of the Legos they have created. This community has really helped the program grow and expanded, as it promotes inclusiveness and the ability share and contribute information for all to use.

BIG IDEA 3

“It can be hard to understand what the experience the kids are having, unless you are in it as well.” (17:33)

As Australia moves back into a post-covid world they are looking to offer not just books but also a place people can go and spend time, having parents around who come with their kids and just let them play and explore. They have many different programs and services, such as public access to PCs, free WIFI, a place where you have your community, a space to enjoy.

They notice that parents have started to get more involved with the tech that their kids are using and even playing with Legos. They discussed that Legos are a brilliant way for kids to learn, that they love playing with their friends and parents. Getting involved allows parents to apart of the fun and experience with their kids as it is a fantastic way to engage and learn with them. Ben and Emma conclude by mentioning it has been an amazing learning experience and that they are always willing to teach, share and learn new things together.

Keep listening to the upcoming episodes of podcasts by joining in Social Lights Podcast produced by Social Mediology.

You can connect with us on Facebook at @SocialLightsPodcast and find future episodes at socialmediology.com.au/sociallights.

Thanks for your time and stay inspired,

Kate vanderVoort

Episode Links

You can find Ben Teoh and Emma, and more on Bricks N Bytes at:

·     https://www.facebook.com/cityofmarionlibraries

·     https://www.instagram.com/cityofmarionlibraries

·     https://www.instagram.com/bricksnbytes

·     https://www.facebook.com/groups/albanycreekcn/permalink/3377276955660540/

·     https://www.marion.sa.gov.au/venues-and-facilities/libraries/whats-on/bricks-n-bytes

Links