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Mar 16, 2017

Lincroft School Brickfest Exhibits Student Creativity

By Les Pierce

Anna Caruso and Katie Murphy with their Brickfest Best Overall winning submission, “Chocolate River”

Lincroft Elementary School students recently took advantage of the school’s seventh annual Brickfest to exercise their creativity and put the results on display. Brickfest is a competition in which students are challenged to create projects constructed of LEGO bricks and accessories. The students were provided minimal guidelines, with project dimension limitations the sole restriction.  Of course, no boundaries were placed on imagination. The students were also required to provide a name for their project. Participants could elect to work individually or in a team. One hundred two creations were submitted, representing the efforts of 165 students.

First place was awarded for each grade level, based on voting by the student population. Submissions were also judged for specific established theme categories such as An Amazing Place and This Book is Great. Those categories were judged by a panel of Lincroft School PTA members.

In addition to the grade level and subject winners, three projects were judged Best Overall. “The Black Museum” by Liam McGrath and Charlie DeMarco was named Second Runner Up – Best Overall. “Peppa Pig” by Madelyn Naughton and Alison Marrinan was named First Runner Up – Best Overall.

Best Overall was awarded to Anna Caruso and Katie Murphy for their submission, named “Chocolate River.” Anna and Katie are third grade students who have been close friends since kindergarten. They were inspired by the book “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” which they both encountered during the recent holiday book exchange at the school. The girls surmised that a truly creative project should include materials and artifacts that were not standard LEGO pieces. Katie said, “The key is to not just use Legos.” Accordingly, they incorporated a chocolate river that was created using chocolate pudding. They also fabricated Wonka chocolate bars for the background by printing photos off the internet to use as the wrappers.

When asked what was the most difficult aspect of creating the project, Anna answered, “Not being able to stick my fingers in the pudding was hard. It smelled delicious. I just wanted to eat it.” Katie added, “It was cool to make our project look like Willy Wonka’s Factory.” The winners added to the overall aura of the theme by wearing Willy Wonka Golden Ticket t-shirts.

Grade level winners were: Kindergarten – Jaxon Quick and Danny Heaney for “Lego Fast,” First Grade – Jason Garrett for “Red Racer,” Second Grade – Marina Canniff and Nathan Rosen for “The Amazing Lincroft School,” Third Grade – Mike and Luke Gaffney for “White Castle,” Fourth Grade – Vanessa Merlino and Mia Dowd for “Beauty and the Beast Rose,” Fifth Grade – Kristen Prefer and Kaitlyn Lynch for “Niagara Falls.”

Subject category winners were: An Amazing Place – Jack Schneider and Sean Compton for “Mauna Loa Volcano,” Let’s Race – Chase Voitle and Nico Lescavage for “Ready, Set, Go,” Sled, Ski or Skate? – Taylor Trupiano and Kyle Denery for “Winter Wonderland Fun,” This Book is Great – Bella Valenzano for “Wonder,” Lincroft is First Rate – Carolena Blasucci for “Lego Brickfest,” Parent /Child – Gracie Jameson and mom for “Winter Wonderland.”

Brickfest was co-chaired by Heather McGrath and Rachel Warnick of the Lincroft School PTA. Mrs. McGrath said of the event, “This was our seventh year for the annual LEGO Brickfest.  While I am involved in many of the PTA events, this is my favorite one to chair. Each year, the students amaze me with their creativity! Rachel Warnick and I are already looking forward to next year’s event.”