At ArcelorMittal, we recognize the importance of scientists and engineers to our business, our industry and our communities. As a result, over 40 percent of our annual community investment budget supports STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education throughout the United States. In the U.S., 15-year-olds rank 21st in science test scores among 34 developed nations. Of high school seniors who take the ACT, only 31 percent are ready for college-level science courses. ArcelorMittal wants to be a part of the solution in reversing these statistics. To do so, all children must have access to STEM experiences.
In 2016, ArcelorMittal decided to expand our partnerships with two science institutions in order to bring STEM to children and their families through a fun and relatable medium: LEGOs!
Brick by Brick at the Museum of Science and Industry
The Museum of Science and Industry (MSI) is the largest science center in the western hemisphere. The museum hosts nearly 1.5 million visitors each year, including approximately 350,000 children on field trips. Since 2012, ArcelorMittal has invested $375,000 in programming with MSI.
In 2016, we funded the Brick by Brick exhibit which features hands-on building challenges and 13 giant LEGO®-built structures of engineering marvels constructed by LEGO® Certified Professional and Chicago native, Adam Reed Tucker. Many of the of the real-world structures featured in the exhibit – including the St. Louis Gateway Arch, Golden Gate Bridge, Burj Khalifa and One World Trade Center – have been constructed with ArcelorMittal (or legacy company) steel.
STEM education is at the core of Brick by Brick. Museum guests can practice the skills scientists and engineers use, including asking questions, developing models and designing solutions. Brick by Brick supports the type of thinking that all children need in an increasingly STEM-focused world. Hands-on activities include exploring the strength of materials by walking on a steel I-beam, and building and testing LEGO structures to withstand earthquakes and heavy winds.
“At the essence of innovation, science and engineering is creativity. The simple act of play is its catalyst,” said Kurt Haunfelner, vice president of exhibits and collections at MSI. “This exhibit explores that close relationship, using a very relatable and much-loved toy, the LEGO brick. We want both kids and adults to come to this exhibit and leave motivated by the idea that play is a powerful thing and that a new world can come from a single brick.”
Build It! Engineering Fun, One Brick at a Time at the Great Lakes Science Center
The Build It! exhibit officially launched in February 2017, but our partnership with the Great Lakes Science Center (GLSC) and the planning process go back many years. Like the Museum of Science and Industry, GLSC sought to bring the love of LEGOs to life-sized proportions, inspiring visitors to design, engineer, problem-solve and build.
Most of Build It! was developed, designed and fabricated by Science Center staff working with an inspiring team of LEGO artists including Adam Ward, Michael Hickox and Arthur Gugick. Additionally, several ArcelorMittal Cleveland engineers served as STEM advisors for the exhibition.
The exhibit is being presented in three distinctly different hands-on phases so guests can build their own unique experience each time they visit: Play It! Explore It! Move It! Each phase features activities and experiences for LEGO lovers of all ages, from creating brick puzzle mazes and mosaics and marveling at spectacular sculptures, to exhibits that take LEGO into the exciting realm of motion through simple machines and robotics.
Dr. Kirsten Ellenbogen, CEO of the Science Center, explains that, “Curiosity and creativity are at the heart of what we do here at the Science Center. We have taken that to the next level in Build It!, using LEGOs to create exciting ways for guests to play with design