WESTFIELD — From building a 10-foot Darth Vader made of Legos in Australia to a 20-foot Statue of Liberty in New York, Dan Steininger will discuss how he had a dream job with LEGO Systems Inc. and how others can also aspire to become a Lego master builder.
His lecture on the fundamentals of building with Legos — and other interesting tidbits — is planned Sept. 30 at 6:30 p.m. at the Westfield Athenaeum. The program is supported in part by a grant from the Westfield Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.
The program is aimed for children ages 7-12 and their families, and since the program is an in-person event, masks will be required to keep everyone safe.
For young people who particularly enjoy STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) classes, as well as delving into history and research, a career as a Lego master builder could be in one’s future.
Registration is required and can be made by calling 568-7833 or visiting westath.org.
“I will provide some building and interlocking tips on making towers and bridges, and expect some crashing to occur,” said Steininger, adding he uses humor to ensure “everyone will have a blast.”
Steininger said his 60-minute hands-on program informs, entertains and inspires audiences about LEGOS and how to build objects using them. He will also allow time for a question-and-answer segment at the end of the presentation.
“Kids will have hands-on building opportunities to make towers and bridges and all builds will be tested,” he said.
The South Hadley native started with Lego Systems Inc. in Enfield, Conn., in 1994, and rose through the ranks to become a Lego master builder. He is now semi-retired from the company, however, he does assist with specialty events when asked.
“We were used to doing big builds for museums and malls, however, that all changed with the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Steininger, adding there are no big builds scheduled at this time.
Since Steininger had a background in art and sculpting, he seemed like a natural fit when he applied for a job at LEGO.
“After seeing the model shop it was like walking into Wonka Land,” he said.
During his presentation that promises great storytelling — he was an actor and professional clown early in his career — Steininger said he will explain how to use creativity to overcome mistakes and detail how one can also become a LEGO master builder.
“I talk about what master builders do and the education that is required,” he said.
Becky Blackburn, public services librarian, encourages library patrons to sign up early for the free program.
“Dan Steininger will talk about the process of building large-scale models, and how Lego can change lives,” said Blackburn. “There will be demonstrations, audience participation, and, Dan’s wacky sense of humor.”