The Block Kids Building Competition, a partnership between the Girl Scouts of Central Texas and the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) will feature 50 girls from kindergarten to sixth grade. Each will get 100 bricks and an hour to build whatever they choose.
“It’s just a really good precursor to get kids interested in various aspects of construction,” said Jana McCann, a NAWIC member. McCann works for a construction staffing company, so she sees firsthand the disparity in the number of employed workers between men and women. The Bureau of Labor Statistics show only one in ten construction industry workers is female.
“I’m hoping that with this new decade we start to see some changes,” McCann said.
Legos are a kind of gateway drug into design and construction. “It allows you to take a concept and see it in 3D very easily,” said Gary Friedman, owner of a Lego shop and former elementary school teacher. “And then you can take it and rearrange it and do something else.”
The freedom to explore, design, build and rebuild gives kids the building blocks to seek new careers in engineering or construction, NAWIC believes.
“Besides just digging a ditch or swinging a hammer, there’s so many different things that they could do in construction,” says McCann.