Saturday, June 06, 2020

Kinneret Day School fourth grade winners at Yonkers/Ridge Hill Legoland. (Credit: Kinneret Day School)

Lego master builder Willis showing Kinneret students his rendition of their model. (Credit: Kinneret Day School)

Underwater school and Kinneret bus on public display at Legoland. (Credit: Marc J. Berger, MD)

Kinneret student displaying recreated underwater school. (Credit: Kinneret Day School)

On Tuesday, December 18, the victorious fourth grade of Kinneret Day School in Riverdale visited the Legoland Discovery Center in Ridge Hill/Yonkers, as the winners of the “Legoland: City of the Future 2218” competition. Kindergarten through fifth grade classes across the metropolitan area were asked to submit what they thought a city will look like 200 years in the future. The first place prize was a field trip to Legoland to see part of their city of the future, recreated by the Legoland master model builder, join the display in Miniland.

“I was looking for a trip for my fourth grade class and saw an advertisement for this STEM-related workshop offered at Legoland Discovery Center and thought the class would enjoy participating,” explained Lisa Poggiogalle, computer/math teacher at Kinneret Day School. “Then, as I looked further on their site, I noticed this competition to either draw or make a Lego city of the future. When I presented it to the fourth grade, they were very excited since most had worked with Legos before,” Poggiogalle continued.

“We did some research on what future towns and cities would possibly look like in the year 2220 and proceeded from there,” described Poggiogalle. “The process really brought the class together as a team, as they learned all about the aspects of scientific design. The class brought in all their own Legos and pooled them together for making this city, which included an underwater school house, airport, police station, amusement park and so much more!” Moreover, added Poggiogalle, “Their designs feature robotic community members who facilitate the running of the town, an observatory pier, rooftop organic gardens and an incredible facility for community members to exercise and play! The class created an amazing iMovie montage to encapsulate all the highlights of their amazing glimpse into their vision of what the next two centuries will have in store for Kinneret’s citizens. All their efforts and hard work truly paid off!”

Poggiogalle revealed, “I do not know the number of schools that competed but I was told by Nick Hurst, manager at Legoland, that Kinneret went above and beyond what they expected to be submitted.”

Once selected as the winner, Kinneret was asked to choose one element of the city to recreate at Legoland. “Unanimously, the class decided on the underwater school. After all, Kinneret, first and foremost, is a school, and secondly, Kinneret is the name of a beautiful body of water in Israel, so it was the natural choice!” stated Poggiogalle.

While at Legoland, Willis, the Lego master builder created an advanced version of the school and incorporated a submersible bus into the design. Willis told the class, “I looked at your submission and I really wanted to build the entire city, but the underwater school was my favorite part.”

Poggiogalle added, “When we spent our day at Legoland, students got to create their own Lego mini-figures to represent themselves and each Lego person was placed on the bus. The bus, the school and a certificate are now publicly displayed at Legoland’s Miniland for the entire school year for students and their families to come, see and enjoy!”

Rabbi Aaron Frank, principal of Kinneret, proudly stated, “Kinneret takes pride in this amazing accomplishment of our fourth grade and Mrs. Poggiogalle. It is one that combined teamwork, innovation and creativity—three of the many important principles we strive to impart here at KDS each and every day.”

Poggiogalle summarized that the experience “meets standards in the science and engineering practices. It ensures that the children ask questions and define problems. It builds on their experiences and progresses to specify qualitative relationships.”

The winning underwater school and the futuristic bus containing 22 KDS students is now on display alongside the models of Yankee Stadium, CitiField, the George Washington Bridge and many of the city’s other famous landmarks

By Judy Berger



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